MUNCIE MUD MAN: EAST-CENTRAL INDIANA’S OCR

1 Muncie SWAT Course 2 2a Pre Race Brief 1 4 High Wall 2

Muncie Mud Man has become East Central Indiana’s own OCR in the home of Ball State University, Muncie, IN.  It’s 5K and consists of approximately 16-20 obstacles.  While the terrain is mostly flat, you’ll experience a good mix of running through streams, windy treks through dense woods, open fields, 1-2 good hills, and most importantly, several passes through the obstacles of the Muncie SWAT’s obstacle course.  When rating this course, 1 will be the lowest rating for a category and 5 will be the highest.

Muncie Mud Man is conducted one to two weekends each year.  After several races in April and October (all of which being below 40 degrees during the competitive wave), this race was moved to Labor Day Weekend.  Parking is next door to the Muncie FOP for the standard $5-$10 fee.  Being a smaller, local OCR, registration takes place in the FOP building.  Also, there are some real perks to running a small, local OCR:  spectators, bag check, and pictures are all FREE.  For the ease of registration and free perks, I’d rate the registration a 4.

If you have never been in the service or law enforcement, you’ll love the change of pace of being able to run on the Muncie SWAT course.   As you’d expect, this is a professional course designed to test you physically in several different aspects.  There are 3 rows of 3-4 obstacles each.  With minimal running between obstacle, you’ll go through an under & over wall, walk up a high wall with a rope for support, go across the balance beam, then across the “Troylean Traverse”.   In your second pass, expect to cross the monkey bars, ascend the “Stairway to Heaven”, and then up through an opening onto a multi-level platform.  In the final row, climb the rope, conquer the “Tough One”, go over the “Dirty Name”, and up & over the cargo net climb.  I’d rate this SWAT course a 5 for difficulty, layout, and quality of obstacles.

Away from the actual SWAT course, do not expect too many obstacles.  Expect to run through dense woods, up & over a pretty steep hill, and run through 2 fields.  You can expect a couple obstacles, but nothing too challenging.  In the competitive heat, this is a good opportunity to for faster runners to make up some ground or to advance their lead.  For teams or individual runners in the non-competitive waves, it’s not exciting.  Since Muncie Mud Man is marketed as a “5K Muddy Obstacle Run”, I have to give this part of the course a 1.

To summarize, Muncie Mud Man presented a good combination of multiple terrain types along with a professional obstacle course.  For an overall rating of an OCR, Muncie Mud Man deserves a 3.  Muncie Mud Man does not rise to the difficulty of Spartan Race, Rugged Maniac, or Mud Ninja, but is a challenging OCR as well as a fun team event.  Given the SWAT obstacle course, the price ranging from $39 to $59 not counting any discount codes, and the perks of free spectators, bag check, and pictures, Muncie Mud Man is a good race to consider for the race calendar.

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Adam McHenry

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