Tough Mudder Pittsburgh Review

tough mudder pledge shirtThis Saturday, I ran the Tough Mudder in Pittsburgh (well, actually Ohio), with my brother. In spite of twisting my ankle on Monday while running, I wasn’t sidelined at all and was able to run the Mudder full bore. Here I give my Tough Mudder Pittsburgh review (2013).

We talk elsewhere about how to prepare for the Mudder, as well as obstacle tips. So, I’m not going to address those here. I want to talk about the actual experience at the Pittsburgh event.

Location and Travel

The event was at an ATV area called Powerline Park. It is a beautiful place with lots of steep climbs, varying natural features (creeks, bogs, meadows, etc.), and amazing views. In all my mud run experiences, I think this is the perfect location.

Travel was completely hassle free given that Powerline is so close to major highways (I-70, I-77, and even I-79). Parking was at a place called “Jamboree in the Hills,” a spacious, open area only a four minute drive off an I-70 exit. Easy and painless.

Parking and Shuttle

As with the previous Tough Mudder I ran (Maysville, KY 2012), the parking was a very pleasant experience. We were in the gate, paid, and parked within about two minutes. That’s not bad at all.

It was about a five minute walk from where we parked to the shuttle buses. They were local school buses and they were constantly arriving. We waited in line for about five minutes at most. The location of the Mudder itself was about fifteen minutes away.

Checking In

It was about a five minute walk from the bus drop off to the Mudder entrance, which isn’t bad. Registration was quick with no wait at all. My only complaint was that the area with waivers didn’t have enough pens (also a problem in Maysville). Bring a pen or fill yours out in advance.

The volunteers were friendly and helpful, which has been my experience at both Tough Mudder events.

The Weather

Absolutely perfect. It was around 83 degrees and sunny with a nice breeze.

The Race

As is typical, the race itself began with a motivational pep talk, some music, honoring veterans, and the singing of the National Anthem. The MC was really outgoing and charismatic.

I’ll admit, I’m not a huge fan of this pre-race stuff. I really just want to run it and get it over with. However, it’s not too bad of an experience and I’m sure it helps others get motivated.

The course itself was pretty difficult in spots, with a fair number of hills and places involving wading through waist high water. The obstacles were pretty standard (see map), but included a revamped version of fire walker. Also, the electric eel was changed so that it was much harder to avoid the zaps.

The course itself was around 10.5 miles, but seemed a little longer to me. The water stations were spaced about every two miles. I wish they would’ve had more variety in terms of nutrition (e.g. a protein bar or something) and more bathrooms.

Post-Race

The “after party” wasn’t really much of one. The lines were fairly long for food and drinks and people weren’t exactly living it up. The prices were a little high in my opinion (10 dollars for a turkey leg). The Tough Mudder is different than the Warrior Dash and smaller races in that regard. I think people are just way too tired to get into a post-race party atmosphere.  So, don’t expect much in terms of excitement.

Overall

This Tough Mudder was an amazing experience. It’s my second one and favorite. The location, weather, and course were just about perfect.

No Tough Mudder Pittsburgh review would be complete without this final thought: I will absolutely be doing it again next year (so long as it’s the same time of year and location). It was awesome. In 2014, you should do it too.

About Jonathan Bennett

Jonathan Bennett is a writer, speaker, dating expert, and business owner. His articles have been viewed millions of times, and he has been featured in a variety of publications, including the Wall Street Journal.

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