Motocross 338 to host 10th annual Rugged Maniac

Participants plough through cold, icy water at a past Rugged Maniac. (Staff Photo)

SOUTHWICK- The Motocross 338 will host the Rugged Maniac 5K Obstacle race this Saturday and Sunday where race organizers expect between 10,000 and 12,000 people to participate.

This is the 10th year that Rugged Maniac will be hosting their 5K obstacle course at the 338, and it is their biggest event of the year according to event director Jeff Scott.

“Our CEO is from western Mass. He started the company in this area.” said Scott, “This is sort of our home base event that we come out and set up at.”

The 3.1 mile course takes participants throughout the property surrounding American Legion Post 338 and the accompanying motorbike track. There are 28 obstacles included in the course with varying levels of difficulty, and in some cases varying levels of teamwork required. 

Scott said that while many people participate with teammates, some will go solo, but participants who are strangers to one another frequently help each other get through some of the obstacles.

One of the obstacles participants will encounter in the course is called “fenced in.” For this obstacle, participants must somehow crawl under a chain link fence through the mud with little clearance between the fence and the ground. 

Another obstacle in the race is the “pyromaniac.” where runners must make a running jump over rows of burning logs. 

In addition to the course itself, smaller events will be held on the 338 property throughout the day Saturday and Sunday. Some of the events include pie eating contests, pullup contests, and beer stein hoisting competitions. There will also be a mechanical bull and a DJ on the main stage. 

There are two ways one can participate in the run: Those who are participating with the sole goal of getting the best times will begin with the “elite heats” at 9 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. Saturday and Sunday respectively. Those will be the first wave of runners to go on each day.

The other way to participate is to go through during any of the other waves being sent out every 15 minutes. Those who want to pace themselves or are first timers in such races are recommended this option.

“It’s only 3.1 miles, so we’re not like a Tough Mudder or Spartan Race. It’s more of a ‘come have fun and enjoy a beer and the festival’ thing,” said Scott. “You don’t get a penatly for skipping obstacles. You can just come out and bring your friends.” 

Scott said that cleats are prohibited footwear for runners, as the spikes may damage parts of some of the obstacles, which would ruin them for everyone else.

At the end of the race, people typically do not want to keep their dirty, muddy running shoes on, so participants have the option of leaving the shoes they wore so they may be donated to Sneakers 4 Funds, a charity that takes running shoes that had been used in marathons or mud runs and sends them to small business owners in developing countries for them to sell as their own inventory.

As of Wednesday, the amount of people signed up had reached 95 percent capacity. Should one want to try their luck at signing up the day of the event, the fee is $100. Parking is $15 per vehicle, so carpooling with fellow runners or spectators is also encouraged.

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