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Mud, Barbed Wire, and Fire Can’t Stop a Rugged Maniac; Race is Nov. 10

The Rugged Maniac obstacle-course race features about 25 challenges along its 3-mile route. This event returns to Reveille Peak Ranch in Burnet on Saturday, Nov. 10. Staff photo by Jennifer Greenwell

Rugged Maniac is a 3-mile race dotted with 25 (or more) challenging and intimidating obstacles that push you to, and sometimes beyond, your limit. Expect mud, fire, water, barbed wire, and an occasional inflatable along the off-road course.

The event returns Saturday, Nov. 10, to Reveille Peak Ranch, 105 CR 114 in Burnet. It is organized in waves with groups starting out at different times to make it participant-friendly with little to no wait time at obstacles.

Rugged Maniac has such catchy names for its obstacles: the Warped Wall, Claustrophobia, and the Head Scratcher (if you don’t stay low, the barbed wire will show you how this obstacle got its name). There are plenty more to conquer.

Jennifer Greenwell (right) and her daughter, Leah, at last year’s Rugged Maniac at Reveille Peak Ranch.

You might wonder why anyone would want to encounter such obstacles while running, and even pay to do so.

I can tell you why I do it.

I have been a runner for 18 years. I started on a treadmill, progressed to outdoor running, then ventured onto the trails. Last year, I decided it was time to try something new and participated in my first Rugged Maniac with absolutely no training, other than running. Was I able to conquer all of the obstacles?

Certainly not.

I will admit I glided past a few that required only upper body strength — using a conveniently placed shoulder to hoist myself over the top of a very tall inflatable. (Once over, I returned the favor and offered my hand to the owner of the shoulder, who gladly took it). So, why do I do it?

To challenge myself and venture outside of my comfort zone. You don’t grow and advance in strength or skill if you’re not challenged.

Once I got a little muddy, I just went for it. I crawled through the mud pits, jumped over the fire, climbed the netting.

The event was incredibly tough, but it was also rewarding and extremely fun. I came out soaked and covered in mud from head to toe, but it was the best time I’ve ever had at a run.

One fantastic thing I noted at the event was how everyone worked together — team or no team — to help those who needed a little boost.

Will I do it again? Absolutely.

In fact, I’ll be jumping in this coming Saturday.

To register for Rugged Maniac on Nov. 10, go to There is no charge for spectators, but there is a parking fee of $10 (if paid online) or $15 (at the event).

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