Mudnificent7 returned to the Heart of England Conference for it’s third outing. Mudnificent7 (or Mud7 for short) is a special race brought by Obstacle Race Magazine, billed as a festival of OCR – it brings 7 independent Obstacle Race series together for one big race. Each race had their own individual section, showcasing their style and obstacles to the masses. The seven races were:
- The Suffering
- Extreme Events
- Big Foot
- Rocket Race
- Ram Run
- Urban Attack
- Zombie Evacuation were a “surprise” additional race
Parking was easy (we got there relatively early so got very close to the event village). Registration was straight forward, with the printed Trumin waiver with its barcode, I was in, with my number and start wristband within a matter of seconds.
After Mudnificent7 2016, I signed up immediately it opened so I managed a first wave starting time. I really don’t do queues, so going early is a must for me! Around 100 lined up for the first wave. Sound system was really quiet and no one could hear the MC which was strange as the music was blasting out. The MC’s microphone could have been much louder!
Suffering was first and was definitely the toughest section, walls, sandbag carries, big inflatable pillow and a lot of switchbacks was brought to the table along with the reapers (marshals) barking orders like “10 press ups”, “10 burpees” etc. Good section and it definitely helped to spread the field. Once we were past this section we didnt queue up at all for any other obstacle.
Extreme events started the wooded section, with various trails in and out of the bramble, cargo net climbs and tyre hops. It was in this section that I actually hit my knee quite hard – making me walk and skip a few future obstacles. It ended with a few walls and a metal weaver that was very low to the ground – I made it to the end, but only just!
Big Foot followed and there were three “signature” obstacles with which Big Foot is known for – well they use a lot of ropes! First was a simple rig using rings/ropes to traverse a 10m span. After a short run there was a rope climb and the third was a section crossing the water with a water bucket carry, and then across again over a rope traverse. Very short and quite forgettable section. Shame as the past two years they had a larger, more intricate sections.
Rocket Race was next, with more cargo net climbs (muscle up to one which took me three attempts!) the use of Kermit Kanyon and a spider wall across a water section. Time Hop was a new obstacle they brought to the table, which I personally think needs a bit of work, but the idea is there.
Ram run was a section of two halves (quite literally) with a winding trail run through the woods before coming out to Zombie Evacuation (more on them in a second) and then into their rig section – a long obstacle heavy section very reliant on upper body strength
Zombie Evacuation (which, incidentally was my first ever OCR) was the surprise addition, a trail run through woods, open section and “abandoned hospital camp” trying to dodge the zombies and keep your life. No “obstacles” per se, but fun to be chased down by the zombies and have fun. Shame you weren’t given a small souvenir for making it with your life (I didn’t) but none the less, a fun section to break up all the upper body stuff.
Urban Attack was the penultimate section. Starting with monkey bars and flying monkey section, and then into a series of 5 walls – 8ft/10ft and then to the overhang and tornado. I had slippery shoes and unable to get up those awesome obstacles, I would also say (for me) not enough of a run up. But Urban Attack always brings it. Was the shortest section, but probably the most intense.
The final section was Reaper and it was awesome. The last two years the races didn’t really make use of the lake, the first year being just a simple wade and last year was platform traverse. Not with Reaper: Dunks, climbs, slides, rope sings, lily pads in and out of the lake several times was a huge amount of fun. Fortunately the weather was good, so the water section was refreshing rather than cold. The final obstacle was a near vertical slide into a foam pit.
Finished with an awesome medal, tech t shirt and reaper branded water bottle. No finisher photo though which was a shame as there is a finisher wall set up.
The event village was large with many OCR related outlets for the participants to spend their money. One coffee outlet (£3.20 for a latte?!) and one burger outlet meant the choice was very limited. No bar too, which was a shame. 2016 seemed to have a wider choice and I distinctly remember having a beer. The finish did lack the panache of Rock Solid who MC’d the finish line, welcoming people back and an epic finish photo at the top of the wall. Without the loud sound system, the village did lose a bit of atmosphere.
I was given a timing chip, which I find strange for this type of event – very much a “fun and take your time” event. I would say the organisers could do away with the timing, save some money and very few would care. However, just for the record I was 50th out of 1500+ runners and 6th in my age category finishing with a time of 1.47. Connor Hancock, won with a time of 57 minutes!
The start line MC was a mis-step, she didnt have the gift of the gab nor the booming voice needed for MC duties to get the crowd hyped up. In our wave, no one was responding when she was hyping up all the races involved. However it was a nice that she said hi to the various groups involved and wished individuals happy birthday. With her knowledge of #OCRFamily, she would have been better as a finish line MC and just allow the PTs to MC and warm up.
Overall Mud7 gets a very solid 8/10 – some minor quibbles to the village and I do think that one or two race sections should be swapped out. The course as a whole, was very intense, 28 walls, 5 rigs and countless other obstacles within 9km is a helluva lot and one that wouldn’t be copied in any other race.
Mud7 does show how strong the independent OCR scene is in the UK. I look forward to my 4th Mud7 event in 2018.