We trust all of you are excited and ready to be a part of the single largest gathering of F3 men in history. When 500 of us descend upon the Leatherneck next Saturday, we will definitely turn some heads and draw some attention. There have been some logistical changes this time, so this PreBlast is an attempt to provide sufficient detail so things run smoothly. A schedule of events and the F3 Starting Order are included at the bottom.
ARRIVAL: You should plan to arrive at The Leatherneck by 6:45am. You do not want to be late. Running from the parking lot to make your start time will make for a miserable day. The Physical Address of the Leatherneck is 1215 Valley Ridge Rd., Gaston, SC 29053. Directions are here: http://www.ultimatechallengemudrun.org/directions.html.
THE TENT: This year, we have negotiated a tent for F3. It will be in the vendor area and will be well marked with flags and banners and will serve as our central meeting point. Additionally, we have secured VIP parking close to the tent for the 14 busses of F3 Nation. Parking instructions and VIP parking passes will be sent to Regional Mud Run Q’s. If you are arriving by car, you are on your own in the parking lot, but you should be able to park pretty close that early on Saturday.
SHOVEL FLAGS: Please bring EVERY shovel flag in your Region and plant them at the tent upon arrival. This is an historic gathering, and the flags will make a statement.
THE MUD RUN WAIVER: Bring the COMPLETED mud run waiver form with you. This year they are allowing one waiver per TEAM. Everyone must initial each section and sign it as directed. TEAM CAPTAINS are responsible for your team’s waiver. Print it here: http://www.ultimatechallengemudrun.org/PDFs/waiver.pdf
REGISTRATION: Assemble your team and proceed to the registration tent – only take with you what you plan to race with. Give them your waiver and get your race bibs and get marked up with your numbers. Team Captains will get the team’s timing chip. When you exit the registration, you are in the starting chute. There is a portajohn available there. Proceed toward the starting line and put yourselves in order by number.
THE START: Teams start two at a time every 15 seconds. This is it. Do well.
THE COURSE: There is a new course layout this year. Apparently, all 36 obstacles are the same, but the route to them has been changed. Watch Twitter (@F3MudRun) for any course recon updates prior to the race. We do know the Fireman’s Carry is the last obstacle again this year. We have not, however, found the rumor of added alligators to be credible. UPDATE: The Mud Run website today says that while the course will have a new layout, “Some obstacles will remain the same but get ready for some new additions.” I will try to ferret out some truth nuggets in my discussions with the organizers this week.
Also this year, there will be actual Marines monitoring each obstacle and not JRROTC volunteers. The Marines are much more strict when it comes to attempting/completing each obstacle or taking penalties. Teams who in the past have “blown through” obstacles should also be aware that the Marine’s this year have the authority to disqualify a team for skipping an obstacle. With 125 teams, odds are very high that one of us will piss off a Marine with a hard-on to bust somebody. Don’t let it be you.
Fountainhead’s “Wiki-Mud” provides strategy tips and information about specific obstacles and is recommended reading: http://f3nation.com/2014/03/16/the-wiki-mud/
Purple Crayon’s “How To Beat the Mud Run Obstacles” is also excellent (Note: order of obstacles has changed): http://f3nation.com/2013/10/08/how-to-beat-the-mud-run-obstacles/
THE FINISH: You must cross the finish line with your entire team. In our meetings with the Mud Run reps, they specifically mentioned this rule. Team Captains with the timing chip must finish with your three teammates and ONLY your three teammates.
AFTER THE RACE: When you are off the course, the mud run will have fruit, water, etc. for you. You can also hang around the finish line to welcome your buddies as they finish. At some point, you will want to make your way toward the “showers” (which are hardly more than a glorified garden hose) for a rinse off. Don’t think for a minute you’re gonna get all the mud off you. That will take weeks. Make your way back to the F3 Tent for 2ndF. We will have some coolers with limited supplies of beverages for your enjoyment. GLASS BOTTLES AND PERSONAL COOLERS ARE NOT ALLOWED INSIDE THE GROUNDS.
CRITICAL TIMING – OPERATION ENDURING WARRIOR DONATION: Operation Enduring Warrior is an organization that supports disabled veterans through training and competing in obstacle races. You may have seen photos of the OEW guys wearing gas masks during the mud run. Their web site is here: http://www.enduringwarrior.org/
F3 Nation has decided to support their efforts this year with a financial donation and moral support. You may remember having the option to make a donation to OEW when you signed up on the F3 Mud Run website last fall. We raised about $1600 that way. On the morning of the race, we’d like to “pass the hat” again for anyone who would like to donate to OEW and increase our check size. There will be a donation box at the tent. Think about it – if all 500 of us gave just $5, we’d add $2500.
At 10:00 Dredd will present our donation. Logistics are still being finalized regarding exactly where that exchange will take place, but we only have about a five minute window before OEW hits the starting line and we don’t want to back up the rest of the starters. Wherever it is, we want our guys and our shovel flags flanking the OEW team. This should be a really cool event.
PHOTOS: Immediately following the donation, we will take the group pictures. This should not take but a few minutes. We also hope to have several photographers on the course.
BUSTED PAW: The awarding of the Busted Paw will take place immediately following photos.
|Tentative Schedule of Events — Mud Run|
|6:45||Arrive at The Leatherneck, Gaston SC|
|7:00||Plant your Shovel Flag in the Shovel Flag Collonade|
|7:00 – 7:30||Race Prep: Check in, Numbering, bathroom, etc|
|7:30||First Teams Start, including F3 Dream and F3 South Beach|
|07:45 – 08:10||Remaining F3 Teams start — the Wave of Bad Assery|
|+/- 08:20||Dream and South Beach finish|
|+/- 08:45 – 09:45||Remaining F3 Teams finish|
|+/- 08:45 -10:00||Showers, 2ndF at tent|
|10:00||Check Presentation to Oper. Enduring Warrior|
|1. F3 Nation|
|2. F3 Metro|
|3. F3 NoCo|
|4. F3 Area 51|
|5. F3 The Fort|
|6. F3 Raleigh|
|7. F3 Greenville|
|8. F3 Columbia|
|9. Small Groups|
|10:20||Busted Paw Presentation|
THE STARTING ORDER:
Since last fall when the Q of the Mud Run was handed to us (Columbia), we have received countless communications regarding starting times. You name it, we’ve heard opinions from every region. After carefully weighing all the information, the overwhelming consensus was the regions wanted the chance to compete for The Busted Paw against each other’s best competition and on a level playing field. It also became apparent that any solution we offered was going to piss somebody off. Last week, we asked each Region Q to submit his teams in ranked order. NoCo sent the most with 38, then Metro with 35, Columbia 19, South 15, Raleigh 10, Greenville 5, and Fort Mill 3.
South Beach and Dream earned well-deserved priority spots from the Mud Run and will start at the front of the entire race so we removed them from the Metro list. We took the top two teams from each region and put them at the front of the line. The best teams from each Region will start within 90 seconds of each other. Are these the fastest 12 overall teams? Probably not, but each region has an equitable starting position to compete for The Paw. Any arguments and speculation should be finally decided in the arena.
Next, we added in two more teams from Metro and two more from NoCo since they have twice any many teams as the other regions and to give a little priority bump to some teams that finished well in the past. After that, we started a pattern of 4 Metro teams, 4 NoCo teams, 2 Columbia, 2 South, 1 Ft Mill, 1 GVille, and 2 Raleigh and went straight down the submitted lists. While this might not be the best way, its how it was done, and it all should work out just fine.
UPDATE: Dream and South Beach will start at 07:30. The remaining F3 teams start at 7:42. The official Mud Run starting list as posted on their website is here, and please note that all team names are preceeded by Region names and that’s how it will appear in the Mud Run’s final results: http://www.ultimatechallengemudrun.org/PDFs/April%2012,%202014%20Start%20Times%20(subject%20to%20change).pdf
Good Luck to all!
Blood Clots…Bones Heal…Sweat Dries…Pride is FOREVER!