I wrote the following story for both the Charlotte Observer and The News & Observer; it ran in both papers May 31, 2011. It runs here in an expanded form with links.
They go by names such as the Gladiator, Warrior, Rugged Maniac, Spartan and Tough Mudder. They feature obstacles ranging from mud pits covered by barbed wire to a gauntlet of dangling, live electric wires. To pitch themselves they use adjectives like “grueling” and “insane,” boast that the Navy SEALS and British special forces had a hand in their design, and feature promotional videos of paramedics carting bloodied contestants off the field of battle.read more
The Triangle’s inaugural obstacle-infested 5K, the Gladiator, went off today at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary. Some 776 runners made the passage into Gladiatordom, battling through a gauntlet of tires, crawling under a camo tarp (barbed wire was deemed too dangerous; the Town of Cary also nixed running through a fire pit and that bane of grade school playgrounds everywhere, monkey bars), hoisting over a cargo net wall, walking a balance beam and squirming through a tarp-covered water pit, among other challenges.read more
There’s a bike ride in the east, a biathlon in the west, and a survivalist 5K in between this weekend in North Carolina.
The northeast corner of North Carolina may be the best-suited part of the state for cycling: two-lane country roads meandering past forest and cotton fields with little automotive traffic to compete with. Yet how often do you find yourself riding a bike there? Not very, I’m guessing. Usually in a case like this it’s because you simply haven’t had a good excuse to explore the area. An excuse such as this Saturday’s Country Roads Bike Tour. Starting and ending in Scotland Neck, the CRBT offers routes of 20k, 50k and 100k — basically a k for every style of riding, from not-much-at-all (20k) to long greenway rides on the weekend (50K) to the hardcore recreational rider who gets in 100 miles a week (100k).read more