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Home > Magazine > Adventure > Mud Runs -- New Craze Featured in Silent Sports

Mud Runs -- New Craze Featured in Silent Sports
June 28, 2012

The new Silent Sports issue has a cover story about the phenom of "Muddy Buddies." I'm thinkin' the concept has an OYB-ish vibe: a diverse, challenging event designed for fun not "results." Apparently finishing times aren't even kept in some. It shows desire to do more than mono-action -- where the usual is to show up, ride (or whatever), using a mean hone in an arms-race gear mode, hydrate, then go home, no spectators. A few crits nationwide will draw a party but more often they occupy a parking lot all by their brutally lonesome selves.

One of the tricks these events use -- according to the article -- is to keep the circuits somewhat close to the finish then start waves every half hour so that folks are already partying while others are still racing. It builds in its own spectator base! Kinda weird but it seems to work great. (It kinda seems that events should actually be integrated into a community. The public should respond or the event be altered. ...Or the public be altered! My view is likely a no-hoper, given today's screen-based lifestyles.)

We're using some of this Muddy Buddy party-event vibe here at OYB Central in mid-Michigan for ski events but haven't gotten anywhere beyond enjoying ourselves -- and we've been pretty good about spreading the word: fun but challenging non-event skiing followed by apres bonfire partying and tasty vittles. What's not to love? No fees, no arms-race. I suppose we could blame the lack of snow, but we've still had great snow days flop. It's a work in progress, I suppose.

We've also done bike events this way, but no PR for those: riding a mellow, diverse, yet sometimes challenging multisurface guided secret-route then having a tasty feast followed by live music. So far this has been strictly due to Sir Jessop's personal efforts and hospitality and so doesn't actually have a public event format. But I would think word would get out and we'd be beating the public away with a stick.

Actually... maybe this is what everyone else is doing, too? Is there a whole world of "non events" happening on a friends-only basis below the radar?

Is anyone else tired of $30 entry fees, arms-race gear requirements (you need x/y/z expensive gadget or you might as well not enter), and highly refined and specialized performance parameters where only focused lifestylers have a prayer of getting in on the best action...?

Muddy Buddy seems to be tapping into a desire to bust loose and break the various un-fun molds. I suppose they still end up with a $30-50, whatever, entry fee, but they're outta the box on the rest of it. Stopwatch, who needs it? Aero-gear? Phooey!

Hey, we did a neighbors-only adventure race this spring that fit the bill and what fun it was! (Reported here.)

And I'm still working on what is the best snack-pack to carry along on a ski outing. It used to be that a bota-bag wineskin, crackers, cheese and chocolate would do the trick. That still seems like a solid base. But I sense a party hiding in here somewhere just wanting a chance to bust out and show the people some more fun than they're used to.

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