Posted at: 07/19/2013 5:53 PM
Updated at: 07/19/2013 6:21 PM
By: Maarja Anderson
Adventure races are sweeping the nation. They are like grown-up obstacle courses that challenge runners mentally and physically. One of the first extreme races in the Northland comes to Spirit Mountain on Saturday.
Mudman is a 5K race and 1,500 people are expected to run up, down, and across the hills at Spirit Mountain this weekend.
"We are always throwing something in the way to take your mind off the pain," said Bill Corcoran, one of the race directors.
Corcoran says the race is meant to bring out your weakened warrior, pushing runners both physically and mentally to see how much they can take.
The race starts with a few hurdles to slow down the runners. Obstacle 1 is a barbwire crawl, then straight up a hill. Over the next three miles, 14 obstacles push the runner's endurance. Some are man-made, others are made by Mother Nature.
A few obstacles might bring runners back to their grade school days, while others look a little more dangerous, such as Hell's Bells.
Hell's Bells is a run up a rocky ridge while 55-gallon barrels filled with rocks swing from the trees. Monkey Bars also takes a new take on the playground go-to and uses ropes instead of bars.
Corcoran said runners can skip obstacles, but not for free.
"They can do some burpees or some push-ups," said Corcoran. "We will have some drill instructor style military guys there to hand them out."
There's still time to register for the race. Kids as young as 8 can run in the Junior Mudman. There is also parent-child division. The first heat starts at 10 a.m. at Spirit Mountain's Grand Chalet. For more information go to the Mudman website http://www.mudmanrace.com/.