Monday, 21 June 2021 15:21

Rugged Maniacs provide change of pace at the Rock

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 Rugged Maniac contestants swing from ring to ring. The obstacle course returns to Rockingham Dragway this weekend. Rugged Maniac contestants swing from ring to ring. The obstacle course returns to Rockingham Dragway this weekend. Contributed photo

ROCKINGHAM — Rockingham Dragway, which for more than 50 years has been playing host to the world’s quickest and fastest race cars, slows the pace dramatically this Saturday for the return of the Rugged Maniacs national mud run series featured in season five of the ABC-TV reality show Shark Tank.


Within the Rugged Maniacs series, the focus is on manpower instead of horsepower. Vehicles are used solely to transport participants to and from the venue. Once inside, it’s all about people pushing themselves over, under and around a series of 25 obstacles including Antigravity, two rows of trampolines which bounce the participant up a padded cargo climbing wall, and Commando Crawl, a boot camp-like crawl through muddy waters under barbed wire.

Characterized as “recess for adults,” the Rugged Maniacs series features a 3.1-mile course with more than 25 obstacles including climbing walls, tunnels, burning logs and water slides.

Among the most interesting are The Gauntlet 2.0, massive swinging bags suspended over narrow paths made of foam pads; The Warped Wall, a 7-foot barrier curving backward at the top; Pipe Dream, massive drainage pipes through which contestants must crawl; Tipping Point, a see-saw obstacle; Shoe Catcher, a thick pool of gooey mud; and Jacob's Ladder, a 12-foot-tall wooden ladder pyramid.

There are heat races for individuals at every level of fitness, from marathoners to couch potatoes, with music, food and plenty of adult beverages waiting at the finish line for those anxious to celebrate their accomplishment.

The party starts at 8:30 a.m. Saturday with 250 “Elite Heat” entrants, the most accomplished in the field, hitting the course at 9 a.m.

 

 

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