Tips for Surviving the Rugged Maniac

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Did you see my recap of the Rugged Maniac 5k? It was such a fun event! I already want to run another one! :mrgreen:

If you’re thinking about participating in the Rugged Maniac or a similar race, such as the Warrior Dash, Ruckus, or Muddy Buddy, here are a few tips to help you survive the day.  


1. Wear gear that you don’t care about ruining.

Holy mud! Going into this race, I knew I was going to get dirty, but I didn’t think I’d be soaking wet and covered head-to-toe in mud!


I thought my clothing and sneakers might not survive the Rugged Maniac, so I wore gear that I didn’t care about ruining. I ended up keeping my sports bra and washing it, but everything else was pretty nasty and didn’t come home with me.


2. Try not to wear baggy clothing.

The course for Rugged Maniac has you crawling under barbed wire, through dark tunnels, and up cargo nets and 13-foot barricades, so you want to wear clothing that doesn’t hang off of your body. You don’t want it to trip you up (or get stuck on barbed wire), and, once you get wet and muddy, you don’t it to weigh you down. You need all the help you can get for this race!


3. Tie your sneakers tight!

The mud was thick and deep! I saw a bunch of people lose their sneakers right at the beginning of the race, so make sure you tie them tight. Otherwise, they’ll get stuck in the mud and fall off!


4. Bring a towel and soap/body wash.

After the race, a lot of people hung around in their dirty, wet clothing, but I wanted to get clean and dry.

While waiting in line at the hoses to rinse off, a woman in front of me gave me a few squirts of body wash, which made all of the difference getting clean. I was able to quickly wash-off the majority of the mud and dirt from my body. Having a nice, dry towel made life easier too.


5. Pack a change of clothes and a couple of plastic bags.

Once I was clean(-ish) and dry, I changed into a new set of clothing, which was essential for hanging out and beer drinking beer after the race. I was much more comfortable in clean, dry clothing than dirty, wet stuff. Plastic bags were great for salvaging wet gear to bring home.


6. Bring a camera (very optional).

If you want to bring a camera on the run with you, here’s how to do it:

  • Bring an old camera that you do not care about breaking. It will get wet and muddy and might not survive!
  • Put it in a small Ziploc plastic bag.
  • While running and doing obstacles, I put the plastic bag and camera in my sports bra for safekeeping. I took it out and snapped photos (with muddy hands) as needed.

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I didn’t plan to race the Rugged Maniac for a time, so stopping to snap photos was well worth it. Plus, there were quite a few delays at the various obstacles. So, on a number of occassions, we were just standing around waiting for our turn, so it was easy to take photos then.

I hope my tips help your race day go smoothly! Have fun!



  1. Looks fun! Thanks, this is really helpful; I actually just signed up for the Mud Run in Philadelphia in June. I am not (yet) a runner so it is nice to have some good tips!

  2. I had a blast also. I ran in the same wave as you guys!!! I remember chatting with you about having the camera!! Great times. Awesome recap!!! See you @ the next one!!!

  3. Great tips! Im running the warrior dash this summer and didnt even THINK about some of the stuff you mentioned like body wash! I have an old waterproof camera that i will totally be bringing out with me!

  4. That’s awesome that you completed this race (and had fun! :))! Brad, the founder of Rugged, is one of our clients (for graphic design needs) and works in our building, so I will let him know you had a blast! 🙂

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