This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending the 5TH Annual Mad Anthony Mud Run at Coyner Springs Park in Waynesboro, VA. The name and event pay homage to Revolutionary War General “Mad” Anthony Wayne, and do so by utilizing the terrain and “Battles” to test each competitor’s gumption. Advertised at just over 4.5 miles with an average temperature of 45 degrees, we were all up for a run in the park. But first…
The pre-race packet had very clear instructions on when to arrive and where to park. I made my way to the designated parking area inside the local Target parking lot where we were to take school buses to the venue. Being shuttled is typically a huge turn off, but the ride was short and there were plenty of buses lined up ready to take participants to the park. A perk of shuttle bus rides as a reviewer is eaves dropping on the excited conversations of other participants. I always get a good feeling when everyone is anxious and excited.
Registration was a breeze and took me under a minute to get my race bib (which had the timing chip built in), tech shirt, winter beanie and bag check ticket. The fact that they added a winter hat to the “race swag” this year was a very nice touch. Bag check was complimentary and bags were left on a large blue tarp with two volunteers managing the area to make sure bag numbers matched bib numbers. For the second straight year, I left a bag overflowing with race gear and returned to find it untouched!
The racers were separated into 3 corrals that were staggered to help spread out the field. This seemed to work well as I did not have to wait at any of the Battles. The course terrain was a mixture of grass, dirt, soft mud, wet mud and straight up water. The Battles consisted of a tire pit, trench crawl, hay bale climb, 6 foot walls, over/under logs, swamp/tunnel run under the highway, low crawl, A-frame Cargo Climb, Cinder Block carry, tube crawl and an 8-foot wall. My favorite obstacle was the swamp/tunnel run, which utilized an actual tunnel crossing under the highway. There was a concrete lip that people walked on to avoid the water while others looking to push their pace opted to run through the water and take their chances with wet shoes in the mud. While technically a natural obstacle, it brought a mental aspect to the race that caused participants to choose comfort or speed. I chose speed. Another positive was that the organizers seemed to put more into obstacle construction this year, opting for more walls rather than trivia.
Overall, the vibe of this event was a positive one. Participants were supportive on course and were often heard encouraging others as they pushed through the terrain. The race organizers ran a well-oiled machine from start to finish and even had orange slices to go with your free beer. For those looking for more food, there was a food truck that was serving egg sandwiches for reasonable prices. I indulged in a steak egg and cheese on a bagel. By Monday, I received an email from the organizers with my chip timing, overall results/time/pace as well as a link to a video showing me finishing the course. I had no idea that this was coming and it was fun to see. While this run would technically be classified as a mud or fun run, “Mad” Anthony appears to be adding more obstacles each year and continues to produce an enjoyable event. If you are within the general area of Waynesboro (I drove 2 hours) I would definitely recommend giving the event a go because my experience exceeded the cost of admission.
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