Author: Jason Roberts
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On Saturday, May 11th, the Newbsanity Mud Gauntlet was held outside of Binghamton, New York. Over two-hundred racers were on hand to tackle the very muddy course created by the Newbies. The course is laid out over 40 acres with dense trees, streams and a nice mix of hills to test the grip on your trail shoes. The weather was cool in the morning hours with sunshine breaking around the lunchtime hour. Temperatures were in the mid 40’s to upper 50’s. There was a food truck on hand along with plenty of seating, a DJ and a rinsing station to help clean off.
With the rain leading up to the event, there was no doubt that mud would be a common theme throughout the course. On an obstacle called Sneaker Eater, you really were in about two feet of thick mud. At other parts of the course, competitors were traveling upstream, and through additional mud pits. A lot of the obstacles on the course were created to help owners Jarrett and Jarrett(father/son) better prepare for the big-name races that most of us have competed in. Looking around, you can see Tough Mudder, Spartan and Savage race obstacles throughout the course. In some cases, these obstacles have their own twists or additions.
Sixty+ events in, I have yet to see a course with as many walls as they had on this course! While Spartan has one inverted wall per race, the Newbies have 5 in a row titled Royal Flush. Add in two, 10-foot walls called Fortress Walls, as well as a handful of other climbing obstacles and your core was tested out here as much as any race.
Shark Attack was another familiar obstacle for those who run the Spartan races. Competitors must make it across the 40-foot plastic coated-cable with water below you in case you can’t hold on. Speaking of familiar obstacles over water, Grip or Slip are metal monkey bars set up over top of water. The newest obstacle on the Newbsanity course is called Peg Leg. There is a zig zag of 2×10’s about four feet off the ground. Along these 2×10’s are about fifty wooden pegs. Competitors begin at one end and grip one set of pegs while holding on to another set of pegs with their feet. This obstacle is a long, strenuous journey, with a total distance of about 40 feet.
There were three different structures, each with a different level of difficulty. Failure to complete this obstacle resulted in a 10-burpee penalty. A bucket carry, a Ladder to Hell clone called Vertigo, a 15-foot half pipe called Rip Curl and a structure created to help duplicate the Multi Rig from Spartan were also found throughout the course.
Going into this event, I didn’t expect much. I have seen how difficult it is for the lesser-knownname events to survive against the big names of Spartan and Tough Mudder. How could a course be created on someone’s property with the home literally surrounded by the obstacles? I didn’t expect the obstacles to be in the same league. I didn’t expect the event to be run very well. I was wrong. The course was tough. The obstacles were created to a standard that matches the big names in the industry. The grip and upper body strength required for all the obstacles may be more demanding than a typical Spartan. The event was well organized. 100% of proceeds from the Mud Gauntlet benefit the Southern Tier AIDS Program. I believe $30,000 was raised for the event. If you are in the Tri-State area, this is an event definitely worth checking out!
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