Now that the New Year is well and truly underway, it’s time to dust of those running shoes and clamber out of your holiday cocoon. What better way to do this than with a mud race! If one of your resolutions this year is to get fit and healthy, signing up for one of these events is a fun and challenging way to start your year off on the right track.
If you are unfamiliar with the concept of mud races, the phrase ‘mud, sweat and tears’ should give you a good idea of what is involved. There are lots of mud runs to choose from, but at their core, most events consist of lots of obstacles, large amounts of mud and a great team spirit amongst the entrants.
If that description has whetted your appetite and you think you can handle a race of this magnitude, it’s time to check out some of the best mud races that are taking place in the UK this year.
If you really want to go wild, the Wolf Run should be at the top of your list. In this instance, Wolf stands for Woods, Obstacles, Lakes and Fields, which should give you a good idea of what this event entails. The Wolf Run mud race covers about 10 km of off-road terrain that is littered with natural and man-made obstacles. The route of the run has been designed to “allow runners to experience natural, raw running conditions as far as possible” while also being challenging, fun and a good way to make a regular 10 km that much more enjoyable and demanding.
The Wolf Run isn’t organised as a race or timed event and is more about the experience, rather than competing with your fellow wolves. During the run you can expect to be faced with a wide range of obstacles including lakes, mud pits, bogs and fallen trees.
If this run sounds like the perfect antidote to sterile treadmill sessions and monotonous road races, you can sign up for the next event, which takes place in Warwickshire, near Leamington Spa. To check the dates of the forthcoming events, visit the Wolf Run website at: http://www.thewolfrun.com/
The Mud Runner is perhaps the most well-known of the mud races held in the UK each year. There are three types of race that are held under the Mud Runner banner. The current line-up of events includes a cross country event, a duathlon and a cross country obstacle race. Due to the popularity of the Mud Runner events, they draw competitors from all walks of life ranging from first timers right through to experienced mud runners. They even have junior events which are held on the morning of the adult runs.
The different events organised by the Mud Runner team are held a few times a year. This means there really is no excuse for not taking part in at least one of them over the next 12 months! If just one race in 12 months sounds too easy for you, why not take a shot at earning the status of Mud Master by completing all three of the different events in one year.
If you want a mud race that is open to the whole family and is well organised and accessible to most levels of fitness, the Mud Runner is a great option.
The Mud Runner events take place at Eastnor Castle Estate in Herefordshire on the edge of the Malvern Hills. Check the website for details of the different events and when the next run is taking place: http://www.mudrunner.co.uk/
X-Runner Mad Monk
X-Runner hold a number of different obstacle races throughout the year but our favourite has to be the Mad Monk. This race, held at Darley Abbey, Derby, comes in two versions, either the 5k or the 10k, and is an extreme obstacle race that promises more mud than you will probably see in one place all year!
The Mad Monk race is packed with man-made obstacles such as tightropes, tunnels, cargo nets and an assault course. There is even an open water 50 metre swim to really push you to your limits.
To find out more about the other mud runs held by X-Runner, visit their website: http://xrunner.co.uk/
The Best of the Rest
As more and more people are looking for increasingly muddy ways to challenge themselves, new mud runs and extreme obstacle events are popping up in the UK all the time. The above are some of our favourite events, but on the off chance you’ve already conquered them, here are some more to keep you going until you come to your senses:
- Mucky Races consists of four different events to push you to your limits on various terrains. The Mucky Races events are held around the country so hopefully there will be one near you. If you love mud, you will love the swamp, muddy mayhem, 30 metre mud pool and the mud pit obstacles that will be blocking your path.
- The Tough Mudderraces have a great name and an impressive set of obstacles. The race is 12 miles long and contains not only mud but cow dung, electric fences, live wires, fire and the impressively named Turd’s Nest. Tough Mudder races are held throughout the year and up down the UK and Ireland. There is also an after party for each event.
- The Mud n Madness adventure race does what is says on the tin. Held at Stubbers Adventure Centre in Essex, this mud run takes place over a 7.5 km trail. The Mud n Madness mud run is open to individuals and teams of three, which is great for first timers who don’t want to go it alone. Amongst the 10 obstacles that make up this event, our favourites are the 800 metre water crossing, the archery range (shooting, not dodging arrows!) and a good old fashioned beasting session just before the finish line.