When I hear the words “multi-lap” my ears perk up immediately. After all, I’ve built my racing career around endurance running and multi-lap races (reference my book Ultra-OCR Man). Despite running Rugged Maniac since 2015, I’ve never done their multi-lap version until now. Here’s what you need to know if you are getting ready for a Rugged X.
Competitive?: The first thing you may want to know is that this multi-lap option is not a competitive race. Does that mean serious athletes should ignore the option? No, I don’t think so. Rugged is a great training opportunity for those preparing for longer races like Toughest Mudder, Spartan Ultra-Beast or Battle of the Lions Perpetuum (Endurance). Rugged provides a great place to test your training, clothing choices, nutrition and more while experience a dense array of obstacles (25 over three miles) that are legitimately fun (seriously look at Mount Maniac and Off The Rails to name a few). It is basically a perfect simulation for endurance races creating the most specific form of training possible.
Identification: I know in 2019 when I had some friends run it they got a Rugged X headband to identify themselves as multi-lappers. Unfortunately, those are no longer part of the Rugged X experience, instead a simple wristband was used to identify people running more than once. While a little disappointed with the lack of headband the wristbands made it easy to identify people.
Pit Area?: There is no designated pit area for those running multi-lap. If you are testing out nutrition or gear, you’ll have to put it someplace else. I used a picnic table that was right off the course in the festival area about halfway through each lap. Since this isn’t competitive, I could just stop by on laps and walk off course briefly to refuel before starting up again. Another option was to have my pit crew (aka wife) meet me someplace adjacent to the course for refueling.
Other Perks: Rugged X had its own check in at the same spot the VIP check occurred. Therefore, if your primary reason for signing up for VIP was a speedy check in (read “The Rugged VIP Experience”), perhaps you would be better off going with the Rugged X add on instead. Rugged X also allows you to have a finisher’s medal for each lap, so if you are the swag aficionado, then Rugged X might be for you. However, only one shirt is allowed per participant.
Who is this for? If you are traveling from far away, being able to run some more laps is a good perk. If you are looking to train and prepare for competitive multi-lap, this a great opportunity. If you are competitive, but also want to run with your friends later in the day, you should go extreme also. The multi-lap pass means you can jump in on any wave. It also means you can run part of the course stop, have a beer and get back on the course to continue running (did I just create a Rugged Beer division?).
Overall: Rugged X is a nice add on for those wanting a little more out of the Rugged Maniac experience. For me personally I’ll add it to some of my Rugged experiences, largely dependent on my race calendar for the year and other upcoming races. Regardless I was glad I did it at least once to experience it all for myself and know when it will be best to add it. I would encourage you to sign up for Rugged X at least once for a multi-lap experience at the OCR with the best party atmosphere and some of the most fun inflatable obstacles in existence.