As a veteran of other mud runs, I was intrigued by the ads that constantly appeared on my Facebook page for the Savage Race (the cleavage pics didn’t hurt).
I did a little bit of research on the Savage Race, liked what I saw, and signed up (Ohio 2013). It ended up being a great decision. Here is my Savage Race review.
The first thing I noticed about the Savage Race was its smaller size. The participants were close to three thousand (as opposed to ten thousand for others). It allowed for a more intimate experience while having enough participants to meet new people and have fun afterwards. It also made a breeze. We literally parked and walked one hundred yards to the race entrance.
The race itself (timed by GPS chip) was around five miles and had a ton of obstacles. While most are similar to other races (an ice bath, electric zaps, etc.), there were a few unique ones such as, my personal favorite, a giant water slide (that you had to climb up on a curve using a rope).
The obstacles were all doable for a person in good shape with one exception: the hills. At my event they were absolutely brutal. I should’ve paid more attention to the location: a ski resort! But, the challenge is part of the fun.
The after party was great. The band was good, they honored the competitive wave winners early, and they had cool contests like push-ups, etc. What I liked best was the cheap prices. Drinks were three dollars and food was about the same. Having been gouged at similar events, this was refreshing. The staff and volunteers were really awesome all around too.
As with other mud runs, the participants were a cool and fun bunch. If you’ve never done a mud run, imagine busting your butt at a physical event followed by a great party where people are relaxed and having a blast. Maybe it’s just my love of fitness and being around people, but these events rock.
There were a few downsides, but they were minimal (or outside the control of the organizers). Still, an honest Savage Race review needs them. First, they charged five dollars to check a bag. Given the proximity of parking, a bag check wasn’t necessary, so no big deal. Second, the course was filled with poison ivy and I broke out from it. This isn’t really the fault of the organizers, of course. Finally, the photos were not tagged by bib number, but by obstacle and time arriving at the obstacle. I literally had to sort through thousands of photos to find my own.
These little things certainly don’t detract from the race or the fun afterwards. In fact, I appreciate the little things the Savage Race organizers did right. Parking was close by. The concessions were cheap. The MC even announced our names as we crawled under barbed wire to the finish line (a nice touch after a grueling effort).
While I hope Savage Race becomes very popular and gets much bigger (because it’s awesome), I also hope those in charge of the event keep the sense of intimacy and attention to the little things as much as possible.
Bottom line: I loved the Savage Race (and so did my brother and friend) and would jump at the chance to do it again. As a middle ground between the pretty easy Warrior Dash and the grueling Tough Mudder it might just be my favorite mud run.