Archive - August 11, 2013

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The Road to Becoming a Mud Ninja

The Road to Becoming a Mud Ninja

Obstacle_American Ninja Warrior

Mud Ninja is a “must run” obstacle course in the sleepy area of South Salem, OH. Located west of the city of Chillicothe, OH, the town of South Salem offers great terrain and a very nice landscape for Mud Ninja. Don’t expect to run through a stream during Mud Ninja, but rather expect to consistently trek up & down hills on a very narrow path.
Mud Ninja is conducted one weekend each year at the end of July. It’s 5K and consists of approximately 25 obstacles. Upon arriving at Mud Ninja, you can expect good organization with parking followed by a smooth check-in at the different registration booths. One unique aspect about Mud Ninja is the registration process. When you register, you can either choose to be timed or untimed. Upon arrival at the registration check-in tents, there are separate tents for timed and non-timed runners. If you’re a non-timed runner, you very quickly move through the registration process. This kept both tents moving quickly.
Mud Ninja had a good combination of familiar obstacles with some new obstacles. Of the familiar obstacles with a new twist, the 3 that stood out the most were the tunnel crawl, the giant wall, and the slide. Starting with the tunnel crawl, the obstacle Midnight Snakebite offered more than just crawling through a straight, tight tunnel. This was a rather longer, winding path with the maze-like feel to it. Nothing like coming out of the tunnel to see a snake right in your face. If you looked hard enough, you could see the serial numbers on the (thankfully) rubber toy snake. Well played!
About half-way through the course, you come to The Great Wall. I expect it was an 8-10 foot wall. Mud Ninja has several obstacles designed to force teamwork and this was one of them. Not super difficult as long as long as you have 3-4 people working as a team. To go this one alone, you’d need some mad Parkour skills. Let’s not overlook what seemed to be a favorite obstacle, the Tsunami Slide. This was a nice, simple tarp waterslide down a very long hill. Loads of fun.
For the new obstacles, you can expect to encounter a Slack Line at towards the finish line. Nothing fancy here, just a traditional slack line. Unless you’ve got good balance or have been practicing, you may end up wet. For anyone who does not like traditional monkey bars, Mud Ninja introduces you to Gorilla Bars. Instead of swinging bar-to-bar, plan on traversing a pit using 2 horizontal bars. And for the signature obstacle, Mud Ninja brings to you the obstacle they’ve named “American Ninja Warrior”. This obstacle was inspired by the Jump Hang from the American Ninja Warrior TV show. For this obstacle, get a running start, jump off a spring board across a ditch and onto a very short cargo net. This cargo net is intentionally short, forcing you to rely solely on upper-body strength to muscle up to the top of the platform. Just like in the American Ninja Warrior TV show, keeping your arms locked in at 90 degrees as you climbed the cargo net preserved upper-body strength. Climb to the top of the platform, feel like a champ for a minute, then down the other side to continue the race.
To summarize, Mud Ninja presented a good combination of unique obstacles along with more familiar ones with their own twist. Given the consistent hilly terrain and price ranging from $27 to $69 not counting any discount codes, Mud Ninja is an excellent race to consider for the race calendar.

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