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Muddy as Ever: Arkansas Obstacle Course Racing in 2013

All Sports Productions - Legend Highlands

Obstacle course races have become a seemingly permanent fixture in the outdoors scene.  An estimated two million people in 2013 will pay good money to slosh through mud and crawl under barbed wire.  If you haven’t ever tried one before, this figure might leave you scratching your head at the fools and their money.  But the personal challenge, the fun atmosphere and the uniqueness of each race have many people throughout the country hooked.

The Finale at Warrior Dash 2012.
The Finale at Warrior Dash 2012.

Arkansas mud-lovers will have at least six races to choose from in 2013, possibly more as race directors continue to finalize dates. Check out the calendar of Mud Runs in Arkansas for an up-to-date list of events.  The season kicks off with the locally organized Hillbilly Pork Chop Roundup.  Whereas so many other obstacle course races use the same old muddy/dirty theme, the Hillbilly Pork Chop Roundup breathes some creativity into the typical mud run and adds some local flavor.  The obstacles all have a hillbilly theme (ie: Pig Feed Bag Carry) and prizes are given to the racers that collect the most rubber pigs that are scattered along the course.  Out of the 300-plus mud runs that will happen this year, Pork Chop Roundup is the only one with this added challenge of tackling obstacles with full hands.  Kudos for the creativity!

Everybody goes all barbarian with the sense of accomplishment.
Everybody goes all barbarian with the sense of accomplishment.

Arkansas will also host two of the most popular national race series.  The Warrior Dash will return to Little Rock in 2013 stocked with fuzzy warrior helmets and giant turkey legs for the thousands of participants they expect.  Dirty Girl will also make their debut in Little Rock this year for those ladies who would prefer to race without the guys around.

Every race needs a good mud hole.
Every race needs a good mud hole.

All of these races are quite beginner friendly, and are about 5k in length, though the Pork Chop roundup does have a 10k option.  Most people run or jog through a mud run, but you definitely won’t be alone if you want to walk the course. And if you get to an obstacle you don’t want to do, you can just go around it.  Endurance-lovers looking for a bigger challenge can look north of the border towards Missouri where there will be two Tough Mudders in 2013.  A Tough Mudder is 10-12 miles long and is known for having some of the most challenging obstacles of all.

Arkansas Cycling & Fitness.
An obstacle from the 2012 Conquer the Gauntlet.
An obstacle from the 2012 Conquer the Gauntlet.

So whether you want to round up some pigs or gnaw on a warrior turkey leg, the Arkansas mud race calendar won’t disappoint.  Go out and get muddy!

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Emily Metzloff is the author of Obstacle Course Racing available at Amazon. Visit her at Mud Running for training information, promo codes and state-by-state calendars. 

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3 Responses

  1. I ran Warrior Dash near my hometown in MO, and to be honest I wasn’t that impressed for the money I spent. The festival after the race was fun, but if you’re going to spend 60+ bucks on an obstacle course race, then there better be some good obstacles, and Warrior dash failed in this department. I’d rather just pay for a spectator ticket. For those looking for a more balanced 5k obstacle course, I’d do Rugged Maniac, they put a great race on in KC last year.

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