Thousands of ‘Rugged Maniacs’ expected for obstacle race at Cloverdale Fairgrounds

Competitors will crawl under barbed wire, leap over flames at July 15 event

Thousands of thrill seekers are expected to run in the Rugged Maniac race on July 15 at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds.

Entrants will not only run five kilometres but also traverse, climb and tackle 25 obstacles, including crawling under barbed wire, leaping over fire and sliding down a 50-ft water slide.

You’d truly have to be a maniac to sign up.

The obstacle race, which travels across North America throughout the year, is returning to Surrey for a third-annual Rugged Maniac event at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds.

“Rugged Maniac is an opportunity for people to go outside and play with their friends,” said Rugged Maniac COO Rob Dickens.

The festival also includes a day long festival, where participants can try out an adult bounce house, dance in a foam pit and ride mechanical bulls.

“It’s like recess, for adults,” said Dickens. “Except now there’s beer.”

Dickens said the Rugged Maniac sets itself apart from other obstacle course races.

“The main difference between [Rugged Maniac and] Tough Mudder and Spartan races, is that we don’t try to hurt our runners,” said Dickens. “We don’t have electric shocks or ice water to run through. We don’t punish our runners if they don’t make an obstacles.”

Another important difference? The distance.

“We’re more about obstacles and less about long distance running. Tough Mudder is a half-marathon, and a lot of people don’t realize that,” he said.

“It can be physically challenging, but we get such a wide variety of participants,” said Dickens. “Fifty per cent of our participants are female, which is the highest percentage of any obstacle course race in the world.”

Dickens said the “Vancouver” event was returning to the Cloverdale Fairgrounds because of a few reasons. The sheer size of the venue, for one, as 4,000 entrants have already signed up for the race and organizers expect about 5,000 on the day of the event.

Another factor, Dickens said, is “the ability to build all these crazy obstacles. A lot of venues would hesitate when you tell them you want to bring in bulldozers [to create the course].”

“We have a great partnership with Cloverdale, and we’ll keep coming back as long as they’ll have us,” he said.

The event has quickly become popular with local fitness groups. A Cloverdale team from Live2Play Fitness Studio will have nearly 50 entrants alone.

“We have a team of 49, almost 50, we’re working on it,” said owner and personal trainer Clare Materi, laughing.

Usually, for an obstacle course run, the Live2Play team numbers in the mid-20s. But the Rugged Maniac is different.

“This is a little bit more of an entry-level [event]. It’s flat, it’s a 5K and it’s not as scary as, say, the Tough Mudder,” said Materi.

The last few years “have gone really well. They’re a lot of fun. Lots of team building. Really brings our clientele together,” she said.

“It gives them something to work on,” said Materi. “To master the one thing they couldn’t do last time” whether that be the ‘gauntlet’ or the ‘ringer.’

Dickens said not to get him wrong, that it is a physically challenging course. “It’s just that the focus is not on how hard it is, it is about how fun it is.”

“It’s about pushing ourselves but have a great time doing it,” he said.

The Rugged Maniac obstacle course race will take place on July 15, from 9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds. For more information, visit ruggedmaniac.com or contact info@ruggedraces.com.

 

The Cloverdale Live2Play team ran, climbed and crawled over a rugged course filled with 25 obstacles, and an undisclosed amount of mud at last year’s Rugged Maniac course. (KEVIN HILL / TWIN LENS PHOTOGRAPHY)

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