How to Beat All of Rugged Maniac’s Obstacles!

Rugged Maniac is probably one of the few mud run events that has the most obstacles within it’s 5k length.

rugged maniac obstacles

If you go, you may have to cross about 20 or more of them which is way more than most other races. Let me say that I have not completed a Rugged Maniac, but I have done harder mud runs, far harder actually: Spartan Races, Tough Mudder and a lot of others.

In fact, I’ll say that after comparing the obstacles in Rugged Maniac, a lot of them are similar to Tough Mudder I’m not saying this to diminish Rugged Maniac, but I am saying this because I have good experience with mud runs and can help you prepare for this one.

So with that said, I have done the research on this mud run. What are these challenges and will you be ready to beat them? Only if you’re prepared!

All of the obstacles on Rugged Maniac:

Barricades: These are relatively small walls about 5 feet in height that are spread out across the race. Usually most mud runs including this one begin with some sort of barricade to cross. 

Crossing ones that are 5 feet isn’t really difficult and if you’re a beginner, read tips on getting by these types of challenges.

Head scratcher: This challenge is actually quite common in most mud runs but is just named differently. You just crawl in dirt underneath wires. They call it the head scratcher because it can really scratch your head. If you wear a cap or bandanna, you may reduce the risk of scratches. Knee pads will also help.

Beam me up: This is a 10 foot or higher “Wall” where you basically climb a “ladder” vertically. It is a wooden prop that has steps for you to climb onto with your hands and feet and then climb down on. This challenge is must easier if you’re doing it slowly and making sure every single step you put in and every hold you hang onto with your hands is firm. This challenge can be dangerous if you try to blaze through it.

Ninja Escape: It is ironic that they named it this because it’s actually similar to the American Ninja Warrior starting obstacle people cross, except there it’s above water and here it’s above dirt. You jump from one diagonal board to the next. To pass this challenge, it is important to get a decent speed up because the momentum of your speed will make crossing this much easier.  

Pack Mule: This is another obstacle that is similar to other ones on mud runs but just named differently. You carry a sandbag or other weight. Usually carrying it behind your neck makes it easier, but if it gets tiring, switch over to carrying it under your armpit and if that gets tiring, switch it to the other armpit, then back on the neck. Don’t let any part of your body carry these weights for a long period of time, otherwise it can hurt you.

Shoe Catcher: I encountered this type of obstacle on Mud Man X and yes, I did lose my shoe as well! You go through deep, wet dirt that sinks your foot in with each step and when you try to bring the foot out, the suction makes it difficult to do it and it can often have your shoe slip out of your foot.

What helps prevent that in this challenge is to keep your foot at an angle when lifting it. When you keep your foot horizontally in the mud and try to lift it, it can create maximum suction and cause the shoe to get lost.

Pipe Dream: Another common mud run challenge. You crawl through a tube. Sometimes it can have a dirt slope after. Use knee pads to crawl through more easily. This one is common in Tough Mudder so I have tried this.

Commando Crawl: A similar crawl to the head scratcher, only on water.

The trenches: Several “trenches” are dug out in this obstacle and you have to run and jump over them. Usually they aren’t that big in length, maybe a few feet so the more momentum you have when running, the farther you’ll be able to jump over them. 

Napolean Complex: A tall wall almost twice as high as the barricades, but it’s easy to get through because it has 2 wooden poles lined up horizontally on the wall making it easy to step on them and push yourself up. In races like the Spartan Race, these kinds of walls do not have those wooden sicks and you have to rely on jumping all the way to the top.

Speed trap: It is dirty water you have to walk through. It is called a speed trap because if you try to run over it, you will fall in due to the depth of the water. Also you usually won’t be able to see the bottom so if you try to run through it, you can end up falling over into the water. Do it slowly and make sure every step is firmly placed on the ground.

Jacob’s Ladder: It’s actually 2 ladders attached to each other diagonally which you climb through. You should use the same caution on this as on the “beam me up” one.

Quad burners: These are big piles of dirt which you need to walk over. There maybe 3 at some points but they are called quad burners because your legs, especially the quads will get tired. Exercises on stair masters or just walking up staircases can help you here.

Claustrophobia: You crawl and maneuver through a tight space.

Mount Maniac: There is a net you climb on top of, then another net which crosses to the next part of the obstacle and finally another net you climb down on.

Dragnet: Similar to commando crawl, except under a net. 

Tipping point: It’s basically a single man sea saw board you walk over. Obviously maintaining balance while doing it is very important. As you get closer to the middle and out the other side of the board, it will begin to tip. When it does, you should slow down, let it slowly get to the ground, then walk across.

Balance or bust: You walk across wooden pillars over “deep water”. Shoes with good soles help here like the Salomon SpeedCross 3. Water shoes would be the best, but they would not work for the rest of the race. 

Water works: You have dirty water with several poles floating over it which you can technically pass under or climb over.

Let’s cargo: A cargo net obstacle that looks very similar to Jacob’s ladder, but without the wood, only nets.

The Warped Wall: This maybe one of the final hurdles in Rugged Maniac. You have to get a good running start to run up an arched wall that is pretty high. Many times, there’s friendly people at the top willing to help you. Sometimes this obstacle may be one of the last 3 that continually has you climb higher before you reach the big slide:

The Accelerator: This is the big slide that may follow the let’s cargo challenge. It may be about 40-50 feet high but you slide into dirty water.

Leap of faith: You jump into water that’s several feet deep.

Pyromaniac: A very, very common finish line kind obstacle in mud runs where you jump over a small fire. In the Warrior Dash, it is called the Warrior Roast. 

Bang the gong! An obstacle where you jump on a trampoline and use it to hit a gong that is hanging of a rope. Whether you hit it or miss it, you’ll fall into dirty water.

The blogstacle: A net that is over a air filled “balloon” type prop. You use the net to climb over it.

The ringer: It is a very difficult challenge where you have to swing from one ring to another over water. You need to have excellent grip to get through this.

Frog Hop: There are several floating props over water you have to hop through here. I recommend jumping in the middle of the prop to maintain the most balance. Some people prefer to jump on one and stay low before jumping over the next one. It is very easy to fall over if you try to run and jump through this quickly.

The gauntlet: You walk over a slippery area while there are big bag like objects swinging around you. If one of them hits you, you can fall over into the water. You need to learn how to sidestep these bags if they come at you because usually you won’t have enough time to dodge them if they’re coming at you and take this obstacle slowly.

Anti gravity: You jump on a big trampoline onto a wall that is covered in a net which you use to climb.

And those are the obstacles on the Rugged Maniac! Make sure to have all areas of your body prepared for physically for this! 

Rugged Maniac is a fun, mid level mud run that can be very challenging for people, but if you prepare yourself, wear the right clothing and know about these obstacles beforehand, you will have a great time on race day. 

If you have tried Rugged Maniac, what did you think of it!?

And if you’re looking to try this race, here is where you can see which events are being held in your area.

Looking to try other mud runs too? Here’s a list and how difficult each one is. I don’t list ALL the options available, but you will find some of the most popular mud runs on that list.

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