Phoenix Mud Runs Are Not Your Average Boot Camps

Not all Phoenix fun comes with dim lighting and fancy cocktails. Sometimes, there's nothing better than endorphins, sunshine, and sweat. Lover of all things outdoors, The Outsider explores the more natural side of Phoenix.

"Boot camp" can be one of a few things: soldiers being drilled by R. Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket, large groups of women donning sweat-pants, listening to power music, and doing plyometrics, or perhaps even the real thing. 

When it comes to a mud run, all definitions apply, and the trend is completely taking over the adventure running scene.

The most recent valley mud event took place this Saturday at McDowell Mountain Regional Park in Fountain Hills. Hosted by Four Peaks Racing, Mud, Sweat & Beers was a four-mile race through the desert trenches.

What's it take to get through boot camp? Find out after the jump.

The Price: This event ranged from $50-$60 for an individual which, surprisingly, isn't that bad. For any event that includes getting down and dirty, registration ranges from $30-$300 depending on the mileage and types of obstacles. Apparently mud is expensive.

The Equipment: Although quality running gear is important, this probably isn't the best time to bust out that $200 synthetic, dry-fit jacket. Participants instead rocked an old-pair of running shoes and comfortable clothing. There were also a lot of costumes. Looking bad-ass is a necessity and therefore costumes are almost always welcomed at these types of events.

Sweat Factor: The race started with a graceful dive into a mud pit followed by a run-by rinse-off via hose and race volunteers. Like in all mud runs, runners are then faced with a variety of challenges and obstacles inspired by army boot camps. This wasn't a scene for intense road-racers and speed addicts so the mood was laid back and lively.  People were clearly here to have fun, not to reach a new PR (runner's speak for personal record).

"It was a great course, really challenging," says top finisher, Rich Korb while elaborating on the

hardcore obstacles including a puzzle, a balance beam, jumping over hay bails, and climbing under and over ropes and through tires.

"The hardest obstacle was running through the wash," admits second place finisher David Delorenzo who had a hard time treading through the thick sand. But that didn't stop him from finishing in under 35 minutes

Most racers completed the course between 40 and 75 minutes and nobody crossed the finish line looking clean.

The Scenery: One of the most enjoyable parts of the race was the landscape. Located on the more secluded side of the McDowell Mountains, racers and onlookers were able to soak in the lush desert landscape. After the race, participants were greeted with beer and snacks and a post-race celebration.

Interested in catching the next mud event? Try one of these:
Mad Mud Run 
Rugged Maniac
Tough Mudder

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Kelsey Havens
Contact: Kelsey Havens