An App for Ultimate Obstacle Races

The fitness industry has seen some strange trends come and go, and one that is currently making waves are those muddy, obstacle runs that push participants to their limits. From the outside you can clearly see how intense these competitions can get, but no one can really understand how challenging they are until they participate in one, as explain that these workouts have the ability to push you to the limit – both physically and mentally.

If this is the type of challenge you’re up for, then it’s high time you start training. To give you that jumpstart you need, it’s recommended that you use your smartphone to whip you into shape. Because of the popularity of apps today, mobile apps have become the most useful tool across the world to source content according to the operators of mobile-optimized website, Spin Genie. Thus, apps allow us to conveniently rely on our smartphones for most everyday situations. A study from Statista indicates that “health and fitness” is one of the top app categories downloaded from the iTunes App Store, and so for anyone wondering if their mobile device could be used for fitness training, even for the most obscure sports like obstacle races, we can confirm that your phone can help you physically prepare for race day of any kind.

A couple years ago, the makers of the world’s best-selling obstacle race book decided to launch a mobile app suitable for both the beginner and experienced racers, and everyone in between. With comprehensive training plans and detailed exercises for all levels of fitness, the Ultimate Obstacle Race Training app is the only digital companion you need to ready your mind and body for these types of races. iPhone and iPad users can purchase this all-inclusive app for just $1.99 on iTunes.



If you’re also looking for an app that catalogues upcoming obstacle and mud races, an iOS race finder app is also available for users in the UK and US. The app is free and displays all the listings for 2015 and 2016.

This blog post was sponsored by Ultimate Obstacle Race Training app

Spartan Race Series on NBC


Have you seen the latest Spartan Race series that has hit NBC Sports?  If you missed the first episode, get on the bus before you get left behind! [Read more…]

Reebok Spartan Cruise Sweepstakes


Spartan Race has conquered the land, now they head out to sea!

When I think of cruising I think of endless buffets, bottomless drinks and lots of fun.

Well I’m sure the Spartan Cruise will have all that and so much more!  Throw in a Spartan Race and you’ve got a cruise of epic proportions.  Who wouldn’t want to be on a ship surrounded by like minded people who love Spartan as much as you do?   [Read more…]

Hardcore Fun in the UK – Insane Terrain Review

Greetings from a sunny UK and a warm welcome to an insight into the OCR scene across the Atlantic Ocean!

My name is Simon Goss and my hope is to give you an idea of what obstacle races are like over here that are not only native to the UK, but also how the ‘larger’ events that make the hop across the ocean compare to their bigger brothers, Stateside.

The focus of this review is an event that’s part of a series, based in the East of England, called Insane Terrain…. and it was my mission to see just how insane this could be!

Insane Terrain

Insane Terrain coined their own slogan ‘Hardcore Fun’, and offer a race that is suitable to Elite runners and ‘fun’ runners alike. Upon arrival at the Ipswich race, not too far from the eastern coast in England, the event village was located in an open field with the start line clearly visible and track leading off into a nearby set of trees, not really offering any clue as to what lay ahead.

A very relaxed atmosphere was buzzing around. Although at first glance there appeared to be a fairly limited amount of stalls, but upon further inspection it appeared what was there, ticked every possible box, including the event stall, offering t shirts etc and a health food stall, offering a variety of energy bars and gels for both before and after the race. The presence of a decent first aid stall and on site ambulance filled everyone with confidence and a local radio station provided the background music to get everyone pumped for their wave to start!

It wasn’t long before I was lining upon the start line, along side many other excited looking racers, including a good friend of mine who was about to experience his first obstacle race! After a quick warm up with a trainer perched on the back of a truck, we were off and heading toward the tree line ahead!

The course, itself was based at an equestrian centre and used a mix of natural terrain, horse jumps and some specifically made obstacles for this event. A good course design soon separated the the ‘serious’ from the ‘fun’ runners as we headed over a selection of barrel type jumps before heading up a very soft sandy hill which really punished the legs within 1k of the start!

Mud Crawl

What laid ahead was a variety of jumps, balance beams, river runs, net crawls, mud crawls, under wire river crawls (lots of crawling!) and even a bridge jump into a river! These were separated by a variety of runs which included steep forest trails, open fields, zig zag up and down steep hills and even a swamp walk which tested even the most experienced OCR fan!

The 5K course offered an interesting option that I’ve not experienced at other events before, where you could decide at the end of your first 5K if you wanted to continue on for a second lap and therefore do the 10K race! This turned out to be an excellent option for people who were new to obstacle racing and had perhaps underestimated the effect of mud and obstacles on a normal run.

All this mixed together meant for a fantastic course which really tested the abilities of the runners and this is where the distance option at the end of the first 5k really paid off. My friend decided to take their offer and headed for the finish line as I grabbed some water from the drinks station and went the other way and set off for a second loop!

Upon reaching the finish line, we were greeted with friendly faces offering water, energy gels, an event t shirt and even a nice medal!

Insane Terrain Finish


Off to the side, they had a hose system setup so you could wash away most the mud and separate changing tents for ladies and gents, which is not always the case here in the UK, and I’ve become an expert at washing from water bottles and changing in my car!


– Reasonable entry fee
– T shirt and medal included
– Option during the race as to distance (5k or 10k)
– Excellent for beginners
– Fantastic marshalling

Could do with more larger obstacles (walls etc)
– Ran out of shirts for later finishers, drinks bottles and towels given instead

Bottom Line
It was an excellent event, both hardcore and fun, suitable for both experienced and new runners alike and I will definitely be taking part again next year!

Insane Terrain Medals


Meet the Author ~

Hi, I’m Simon, just a regular British dad of 2 kids (and a dog) with a very understanding wife who understands my love of playing guitar and obstacle racing.

An ex amateur football (soccer) player, I found OCR in 2013 and have an ever growing collection of medals, t shirts and calendar entries for future races!


Reebok Spartan Cruise Press Release

logo-altSpartan Race has conquered the land, now they head out to sea! [Read more…]

Merrell Down and Dirty Obstacle Race Review


A sure sign of spring and the start of a new OCR season in Southern California is the return of the Merrell Down and Dirty Obstacle Race series.  We attended the Down and Dirty Mud Run April 13, 2014.  The event took place at Castaic Lake in northern Los Angeles County.  This race draws a hug local crowd and offers such a great family atmosphere.

Race Options

Merrell Down and Dirty offered many race varieties including some new options that had not been offered before.

5K – This is a great course with lots of fun obstacles that will challenge any fitness level.

10K – Designed for those wanting more of a challenge.  This course veers off from the 5K racers and offers more challenging terrain and some additional obstacles to conquer before meeting up again with the 5k course.

Military & Public Safety Heat – Retired and active military and public safety personnel are honored with their own competitive heat.

Brick Division – New for this year.  The Brick division offers an extra challenge where each participant is required to carry additional weight in a backpack throughout the course for an additional challenge.

Adventure Kids (4-6 years) 100 yard dash – Pint sized obstacles that finishes on the other side of a long mud pit.

Adventure Kids (7-13 years) 1 mile race – Older kids can experience some of the same obstacles as the grown up including the famous mud pit crawl.


New Obstacles

The Heavy Hoist was a new addition for 2014.  There were two different weighted cement blocks that had to be lifted up to the top of the pulley and the brought back down.  This was something that offered a nice challenge to new racers.

Photo Credit: Merrell Down and Dirty

Photo Credit: Merrell Down and Dirty


The Jungle Gym was another new obstacle we encountered this year.  The cargo netting offered a challenging climb since the rope was not super tight on the structure.  There was some give to the rope, so teamwork was the best way to get over this one.  Other racers would pull down on the ropes so that it was easier to climb.  And there was no shortage of cheers when a struggling racer made it over the top.

Photo Credit: Merrell Down and Dirty

Photo Credit: Merrell Down and Dirty



Castaic Lake Course

This year I opted for the 3 mile course since I knew I would probably be sore from doing an adventure race the day before.  The course was laid out similarly from previous years, but they added some additional obstacles that kept the race fresh and fun.

The distance itself may not seem that challenging to seasoned obstacle racers, but the terrain is very challenging.  The course starts off relatively flat as you make your way through the park setting.  You get to go through a water obstacle, some hurdles and a cargo net climb.  Once you make your way into the foothills you are greeted almost immediately by switchback trails that lead straight uphill! You quickly realize if your training was enough when you encounter these hills.  This part of the course is very dry with no shade, so good hydration is important.  As you make your way up the foothills there was a sandbag carry and the new obstacle Heavy Hoist.

Right around 1.5 miles you encounter what we like to call Heartbreak Hill.  It is a ¼ mile section of packed dirt that seems to go straight up with no end in sight.  The good news is that once you make it up this hill the rest of the course is downhill.  And there is a water station on top that will be a great reward once you get up there.

As you make your way down the hills you get some breathtaking views of Castaic Lake and Castaic Lake Dam.  It seems that Merrell Down and Dirty saved the funnest obstacles for the second half of the course.  They have a giant inflatable slide and several mud pits.  In addition there is also a challenging rock wall climb and a slippery incline wall that you have to hoist yourself up using a rope.  And of course, the final obstacle is the giant mud pit you get to crawl through before receiving your dog tag finisher medal.


The Kids Races

Two of our kids participated in the kids races and they look forward to them every year.  Our youngest ran in the 100 yard dash.  She was so excited to get all muddy at the end, and her only complaint was that she wished it was longer!

Our oldest loved the one mile race and the opportunity to do some of the same obstacles the adults do.  Her favorite obstacle was also the mud pit at the end.  There is something about kids being encouraged to get dirty that gets them all excited!

Charity Partner

Operation Gratitude






This year the Merrell Down and Dirty Mud Run has partnered with Operation Gratitude.  This non-profit organization that sends 150,000+ care packages annually filled with snacks, entertainment, hygiene and hand-made items, plus personal letters of appreciation, to Veterans, First Responders, Wounded Warriors, Care Givers and to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed overseas.  I have personally volunteered my time to Operation Gratitude and know what a great organization this is.  To find out more about Operation Gratitude please visit them at


The Bottom Line

We have been doing this race for the past three years and each year they have brought something new to the course.  Their obstacles are top notch and very well built.  There is always plenty of support throughout the course – from water stations to energetic volunteers to keep you motivated – this race has it all.

This event is a must do when it comes to your town.  Merrell Down and Dirty has perfected the formula for a great family-friendly OCR event that can be enjoyed by everyone.

For more information on this event and registration visit .

MudRunFun Magazine Transforms into Hybrid Runner


The world of OCR is a continually evolving animal.  Those of us involved in the industry in one form or another know that nothing stays the same for long, and it has been amazing to watch the evolution of the sport grow and get better each day.

Today, the folks at MudRunFun announced a change to their MudRunFun digital magazine.  It will now be called Hybrid Runner Magazine.  Rather than focusing solely on obstacle races, they will expand their coverage to all types of events including fun runs, rucking, obstacle course racing and mud runs.  The magazine will be produced bi-monthly in digital form and will cover a broader spectrum which better represents their audience.

Hybrid Runner Magazine will be available beginning in May 2014.

I am especially excited about this announcement, as I have been asked to be a contributing writer for the magazine.  I am honored at the opportunity to be able to share my love and passion for the sport with all of their readers!

So sign up now, and be prepared for some dirty goodness in your inbox.

See below for the full press release.

MudRunFun Magazine

MudRunFun Magazine

MudRunFun Magazine Evolves into Hybrid Runner Magazine

MudRunFun Magazine will become Hybrid Runner Magazine in May of 2014 to better represent its subscribers. Readers can expect to see more focus on fun runs, rucking, obstacle course runs and mud runs.

Orlando, FL (PRWEB) April 03, 2014

MudRunFun Magazine is changing to meet the needs of all of the hybrid runners and race organizers creating new adventures around the country. “Our subscribers told us that they are interested in many different kinds of runs, adventures and challenges. They talk about themselves as a hybrid between a typical street runner, an obstacle racer, and someone looking for a fun weekend adventure. So that is what Hybrid Runner is all about,” says Damion Trombley, president of MudRunFun LLC. “We already cover fun runs like glow runs, color runs, off road trail runs, obstacle races, and mud runs. Hybrid Runner is for all of these alternative participants. He/she might enjoy fun runs and mud runs, or rucking and obstacle runs. That is why our magazine is targeting the “Hybrid Runner.”

 The digital MudRunFun magazine was first released in August of 2013 with articles on fitness, obstacle course strategy, health, and the inspirational victories of the exceptional people that flock to these races. What can you expect from Hybrid Runner magazine? We have contributing writers from across the “Hybrid” community including Holly Berkey, the famous “Muddy Mommy”; Dr. Roger Smith, author of The New Blueprint for Fitness; Laurie Hale, Host of Getting Dirty Podcast and reviews of everything a hybrid runner could be interested in from races to apparel to supplements to strategies.

Vice President, Matthew O’Leary, says, “Our magazine is different because it is an interactive community newsletter that is very personal. Hybrid Runner Magazine will open a direct digital doorway for the reader to get the full experience out of the community at the same time giving the advertiser the power of being one click away from their customer. The articles come directly from our community. Our inspirational reads are always different depending on who is writing them. They really show how being a Hybrid Runner has changed people’s lives, and the spirit of our community shows through this.”

Hybrid Runner Magazine will have its debut release in May 2014 and will be available for your viewing pleasure bi-monthly. Do you want to subscribe now or get more information? Visit

Spartan Up! and Other Things Joe De Sena Can Teach Me

Spartan Up!

When I first heard about this thing call the Death Race I couldn’t believe that people would pay good money to essentially be mentally tortured, and physically broken down to the point of delirium.   This race so insane that the participants aren’t told exactly when it will start or when it will end.  They  just push to finish each challenge before the cutoff time, which is also an unknown to them.  I was even more amazed when the “victims” boasted about their experiences and said they would do it again in a heartbeat. This must be the concoction of a sadist or an evil genius. What type of person could inflict pain and still have people clamoring for more?  The mastermind behind all of this is Spartan Race founder Joe De Sena. [Read more…]

Spartan Sprint and Super Races Temecula 2014

Spartan Entrance at Vail Lake

Spartan Entrance at Vail Lake

Another racing season is upon us, and what better way to kick it off than to bring Spartan to Temecula for their first races of 2014.  Spartan invaded Vail Lake for a two day event on January 25th and 26th. They offered up the Super on Saturday and the Sprint on both days. [Read more…]

OCR Turf Wars


Is there such a thing as an OCR turf war brewing?

Remember back in the good old days when obstacle racing first started gaining popularity?  Like-minded adrenaline junkies started forming groups so they could train together and conquer obstacle races together.  Those were simpler times. [Read more…]