Tomorrow is Friday – another week coming to a close, and another race on the horizon for me. This morning, however, I’m not thinking about Saturday’s race…I’m thinking about a race that’s just over a month away. Why?
Mass Mayhem – THAT’S why. Mass Mayhem is going to be my first “real” mud run, and it’s coming up really freakin’ fast…
So WHAT IS Mass Mayhem? Oh, nothing major…just a casual 4 mile jaunt up a mountain through the mud. hah. Why don’t we start at the beginning?
Mass Mayhem – How ’bout the basics?
Mass Mayhem is an Obstacle Course Race. On the most basic level I could possibly describe it, I will be running on, over, through (and hopefully not around) a number of obstacles on my way up and down a ski mountain. The problem with the basic version is…There’s SO much more to it than that.
One of the things I really like about Mass Mayhem is that it’s all to support a great cause. Mass Mayhem is run by an organization called Type One. Type One’s mission is to support research to cure type one diabetes. Isn’t that great? They’re partnered up with Faustman Lab at Mass General Hospital – Dr. Faustman’s work is being DIRECTLY ASSISTED by each and every registration for the Mass Mayhem event…I think that’s pretty awesome! You know EXACTLY where they’re donating money…and wouldn’t it be cool to see, down the road, that Dr. Faustman found a cure? And by getting muddy that one time (or more times) you helped make it happen?
OK, now that I have the warm fuzzies… How about the course?
The course itself seems a bit tougher than your average 3 – 4 mile obstacle race. That isn’t a bad thing!
From their own site:
“Picture this mountain with all it’s elevation changes, ski slopes, surrounded by woods, full of a thousand of your new best friends, covered in mud, trenches and tunnels, trails carved out, and obstacles constructed! What could those spheres represent? What fun would it be if we showed you the whole course?! Mass Mayhem is unlike any other race, so let your imagination run wild!”
So yeah… Most other 3 – 4 mile obstacle runs I see don’t happen ON A MOUNTAIN. Races like Superhero Scramble and the Spartan Sprint (comparable distance) are happening at Amesbury Sports Park…and while I’m sure there will be some hills to run up…it is most certainly NOT a freaking mountain. So we’re starting off with a bang…
As far as obstacles go…
Looks to be much of what you’d expect from any worthwhile, self-respecting obstacle/mud run – things to climb up and over, things to crawl under, lots of pounding on your upper body and punishing your lower body…and ample mud. They list some events on their site, such as cargo net crawls, wall climbs, rope swings, etc, but they’re keeping much of it a surprise for race day. Who knows…if we’re REALLY lucky (hah) there might even be snow too.
So Where The H#*! Is Blandford?!
Funny you should ask…I said the same thing. Blandford, Massachusetts is PRECISELY…in the middle…of nowhere. Blandford is out in Western Mass about a half hour west of Amherst (home of my alma mater UMass). Not much around out there…Except for Blandford Ski Area. THAT is the site of this race. I asked the Type One folks why on Earth they picked THAT place…
“One of the most exciting aspects of obstacle course racing is locking down an amazing location, and that’s exactly what we’ve been able to do with the folks at the Blandford Ski Area. Runners are going to be climbing up the mountain terrain across wooded areas and through the trails. The base is located at 1,025 ft above sea level and the summit is located at 1,490 ft; a 465 ft vertical drop. We have a slew of new obstacles and some old favorites that everyone will enjoy. Maybe we will even get lucky with a late season snow, but if not, we do have full access to snow making equipment!”
Wait…so there’s snow no matter what? Crap. OK fine. Like I said – this course looks just a BIT more challenging than every other OCR of this length I’ve come across. GOOD – I like a challenge.
This is it – my first “REAL” mud run. At least it looks like I picked a doozie! I think I’m going to go away pretty satisfied with this one, and I think it’ll give me a good taste of what OCR’s are really like. I also think this’ll be a great preview of what I’m getting myself into for some…bigger and longer OCR’s…(more on that in a later article…)
And of course, there will be finisher’s medals, t-shirts, and a post-race party complete with beer…because after something like that, you deserve a beer (if you’re 21+).
So, all of this begs the question…
Why Not Join Me?!
It’s always more fun with friends, right? I LOVE when people join me for races, and its even better when they join me in supporting a great cause! Come run Mass Mayhem with me in support of a cure for Type One Diabetes! IF YOU REGISTER WITH COUPON CODE “FITNESS” YOU SAVE $20!!! That’s definitely the best coupon code out there right now. You also save an ADDITIONAL $10 if you’re a student (college OR high school) or military (active OR retired).
So what are you waiting for?
Go to www.RunMassMayhem.com and register! You can also feel free to join Team “So THIS Is Fitness…” (search for it on the team selection screen). If you register, write on the wall of My Facebook Page and let me know! This is gonna be FUN!