Uff Da FAQs
How is UFF DA different? Well, thanks for asking. The short answer is that only the Uff Da Mud Run is put on by ENDracing. So what makes ENDracing different?
ENDracing is different because we are a grassroots racing organization that is focused on creating a local racing community in our region. Our primary goal is not to run a successful business in terms of turning a profit. Instead, our business model stems from and stays true to what got us into putting on challenging events in the first place - our passion for adventure. And in our opinion, this sets us apart from some other race (and in particular, mud run) organizers. This will have an impact on what you will find at the Uff Da mud run, compared to other similar events (at least on the surface) as follows -
- We aren't going to lie to you. If you need to be told you are the ultimate BA because you crossed the finish line of a mud run then have one of your friends do it, because we're not going to (surprise, it's not true). I mean lots of you will probably feel pretty BA during and after the event (we certainly hope so) - after all, our event is going to be pretty tough, maybe even much harder than many 5K events out there (it is ENDracing after all). And so while for some of you it just might be (as our competitor Mudman likes to claim) "the most intense challenge you've ever faced" - for others, probably the majority, it's going to be just a super fun challenge and a total kick in the pants. Yeah, you'll probalby be pushed out of your comfort zone, but uber extreme? Come on! We plan to bring some truth in advertising to this whole MOB (mud, obstacles, beer) industry, thank you very much. But don't worry, if you want uber extreme - just check out any of our other events....
- We won't charge for parking. In researching mud run events, we've heard horror stories of 3 mile long lines and hour waits on single lane roads just to park at the venue and then parking fees on top of that. You might have to walk a few blocks to get from your car to our start line but you won't have to pay to park. To help you in that end, here is a map of the biggest parking lots around.
- You won't wait long at obstacles. We love racing. We hate waiting. Our history in high level adventure races has given us an extreme distaste for bottle-necks and we intend to avoid them at all costs. Sure you may have to wait behind a few people when you get to an obstacle, but nothing like what you'll see if you look up some of the first person videos from folks at some of the other events. So how can we assure this? Well....
- We'll have smart starts. Start waves will be every 20 minutes rather than every 5. And wave sizes will be limited so as to ensure great flow through the obstacles. Yeah, we probably won't make $300,000 putting on this event, but remember why we're different? We will add waves as necessary to let as many in on the fun as possible, but would rather turn people away that start eroding the experience of everyone, just for the sake of a little more green.
- You'll be treated to a truly unique event. Sure, we'll have some fun obstacles that seem to be required elements of good mud runs. We've done our research. But we're also building this course around a specific location - the Grand Forks Greenway - home of the Red River of the North and the most brutal (perfect) mud in the history of the known universe. Tie your shoes tightly boys and girls. You won't be racing out on some remote moto-cross track or ski hill. You'll be right in the center of the community and everyone in town will be watching you. Awesome. We've also got some surprises that we can't tell you about that even mud running veterans will never, ever, have seen before. Promise.
- We're not interested in free rides. We aren't really interested in inflating peoples ego. That isn't our job. So while our obstacles will be optional (just like everyone elses), we're going to keep track of how many you skip. Can't do 'em all? You still get to cross the finish line but finisher awards will reflect finisher status. Miss or fail at a bunch of obstacles and you might end up with the "Uff Da!" Dat der Mud Run was sure sumptin, Ole! Yust wait 'til next year" award.
What is this about an Ultra Uff Da? As a race director my first love is, well, suffering. What better way to suffer than to take something that is already plenty hard like the ordinary Uff Da and do it over and over again? Well, thats the idea. As of this writing, the longest 'mud run' is the spartan double beast, a full marathon of mud running. As of Sept. 2014, the longest mud run will be the Ultra Uff Da. 8 continuous laps of the course for a total of 50 Kilometers and 200 obstacles. Yeah, we know it may not be possible, but some people (crazy people mind you) are probably reading this and thinking that just maybe, it might be. We want to know too. The Ultra category will start early in the morning and runners will have 12 hours to complete the laps. No skipping obstacles. Crying and dry heaving, however, will be allowed. Finshers will get special recognition, instant fame, and a sweet Ultra Belt Buckle. They'll also get a special jersey so that everyone watching will know they are crazy and root extra hard for them. The Ultra category will be limited to 40 racers, although who knows how many we will get.
Can I do this? Of course you can (or at least I think you can!). If you're not very athletic at all you might want to start getting out there and training of course - better late than never! 5K isn't that long and walking is always an option (don't worry, if you walk parts of the course you probably won't be alone!). All that being said - you should approach the event as a challenge to prepare for. It'll be tons more fun and you'll have more energy to devote to the super awesome obstacles if you're in decent shape. What is decent shape? How about being able to run/walk 5K (about 3 miles) in under 36 minutes as a goal. And shoot for being able to do this without feeling like you want to take your own life half way through. Happy training!
Can I skip an obstacle? Of course you can. Not only can you choose to skip an obstacle but you may also be forced to skip one if you can’t complete it (although you are welcome to try over and over again as many times as you wish, though you will have to be nice and go to the back of any line between attempts). But unlike other events, we’re going to keep track of how many obstacles you skip, and the type of finisher award you receive will reflect how many times you said ‘Uff Da!’
Is this a race? Yes and No. Yes if you enter the elite wave. No if you enter one of the recreational waves. Some of the obstacles will demand team-work. Don't worry if you're not running as part of a team... you'll get a pep talk right before we turn you loose on the course that will encourage your whole wave to act as a team. If you're strong you should plan on (and look forward to) helping out other runners that find particular obstacles difficult. We want to bring out the best in humanity, so be prepared to offer helping hands - or look for them - as needed. If you're in the elite wave, however - all bets are off and you should plan on being able to complete all the obstacles flying solo.
Why should I race in the elite wave? Well, if you're keen to 'race', then this is the wave for you. Men and women will be separated into different heats of a maximum of 100 racers. These are the only heats that will be officially timed, for starters. Second, there is the possibility of earning some serious cash, with $1000 going to the top runner of each gender. Second and third place garners $500 and $250 respectively. Not bad for a days work in the mud. Elite racers will also get some extra swag to boot.
Can I choose my wave? Yep, you choose your wave when you sign up. When waves are full, this information will go out on the website. Waves will be capped at approximately 100 runners.
How much time is allowed between waves? Waves will be released every 20 minutes (don't bring a stopwatch though, we reserve the right to adjust as needed to ensure a good race experience... it's our first year so there will be a learning curve!), with a 10-minute break after every four waves. This break will allow us to change volunteer crews, clean up/fix any obstacles as necessary, re-hydrate, eat, void our bodily cavities, etc. There will be a corral for the ‘pending’ wave as well as the ‘on deck’ wave. Please be in the ‘on deck wave’ 20 minutes before your scheduled start time. A brief pre-race announcement will follow your move into the pending wave corral which will happen once that wave starts the run.
Can I race and volunteer? Ok, we're flip flopping here. Previously we said yes. Now we're second guessing that (hey, race directors are human too!). Volunteers are going to ensure the success of the event and we're scared to let them out of our site for too long. So what we've decided to do is offer confirmed volunteers a chance to 'check out' the couse on friday night. This won't be a formal run or anything but if you are volunteering and want to try out some of the obstacles (and have signed a waiver!) then we're going to let you. We'll pick a time on friday evening and do an unofficial 'volunteer wave' so to speak allowing run throughs of at least most of the obstacles. Keep in mind that there won't be any bells and whistles - washing stations at the end, volunteers to pull you up the river bank (you are the volunteers!), etc, but you should still be able to have a good time. That being said, if you want the whole experience, you better sign up instead!
Will there be race day registration? If there are any open slots in existing waves we may allow race day registration (cash or check only). We will not create new waves on race day. Race day registrants will pay the highest registration fee in their category and will not be guaranteed race swag or a finisher award (although we will provide them if we have any left over!).
Is it dangerous? Umm, yes? No? That's a tough question. There is a risk of injury as in any obstacle/mud run - that is part of the nature of the challenge. We will take every effort to minimize these risks where possible. But there will be multiple obstacles, water, mud, rocks, roots, branches, logs, thorns, nettle, tripping hazards, uneven ground, and many other things that might could potentially lead to injury. Participants need to know their own limitations, and all participants enter at their own risk. EMTs or other medical professionals will be on site in the case of an emergency, but will NOT be located at every obstacle.
Do I have to know how to swim? There are three river crossings. One has a rope that you can pull on to get to the other side. For one you'll be given some sort of flotation aid (probably truck tubes). One will involve good old fashioned swimming. If you are not confident in the water then you have a couple of options - 1) you can skip these obstacles. Boats will ferry you across on the first two and you can walk a bridge on the third one. If you are getting a boat ride you may have to wait a few minutes if there are lots of people skipping. 2) we will have a handful (a dozen or so) life jackets available at the first two crossings. you can pick up a life jacket and put it on and go for it. Again, we won't have an infinite supply of life jackets and so will be bringing them back across the river as we run out, so your may have to be a bit patient! 3) you can send up a battle cry to the Norse Gods, invoke the strenght of Thor, and just go for it anyway. In truth, we recommend this third option if your issue really only involves thinking that the river is yucky and are worried about the monster catfish that lurk beneath its murky surface, and not a lack of swimming confidence. One final thought - you don't need to be a championship swimmer to succeed in these obstacles. But you should feel like you could jump off a boat in the middle of a lake, dog paddle around for a while, and not freak out. To find out more about the third river crossing (the actual swim), read the next FAQ.
What about the third swim? Can i have a lifejacket for that? After much thought, we have decided that racers who are worried about the third river crossing (the final obstacle) and feel they will want to use a lifejacket should bring their own lifejacket to the race start. There will be a place to deposit the lifejacket and volunteers will transport it to the final obstacle. When you get to the final obstacle, look for the sign that indicates your wave and find your lifejacket (make sure your name is on it!). Grab it, put it on, and get wet. Doing things this way solves a couple problems.... 1) we don't have to buy 100 lifejacket and store them 364 days out of the year 2) potential waits as lifejackets are ferried back across the river are minimized 3) you get a lifejacket that fits properly. If you think you're going to want a lifejacket and don't have one, you can borrow one from a friend or buy one for about 12-15 bucks. And PLEASE make sure you take the right lifejacket. If you get to the final swim and didn't supply your own lifejacket then, yeah, we'll probably have a few you can use... but remember, if everyone takes this option there are going to be alot of people waiting for those lifejackets, and it might be a long wait. No fair complaining though, you'll have brought it on yourself! And remember, there is always the option to skip the last obstacle and cross the river on a bridge, but we're pretty sure you'll regret this as you walk slowly along it's length hearing the hoots and hollars as all the onlookers cheer on your braver uff-da brethren as they take a mightly leap into the mighty Red Rive of the North.
How does the family wave work? We are not creating a second, family friendly course - families will be challenged on the regular course just like everyone else. The family wave allows families to run together so that parents can help their kids and kids can laugh at their parents. We won't be keeping track of which obstacles you complete or how fast you run. You can get assistance from volunteers, complete partial obstacles, etc. Remember, it is a LONG course for kids - about 3.6 miles in distance - and with many challenging obstacles. It will be a real challenge for kids (and adults) that are typically sedentary. It is recommended that your child either have previous experience at the 5k distance or you have some plans for how to get them through the course (piggy back or shoulder rides, etc). Families must stay together as they move through the course - YOU (not the volunteers, race staff, etc) - are responsible for your child(ren). One adult must accompany every two children (aged 6-10) in the Family category. Family wave participants should allow for between 1.5-2.5 hours to complete the course. This should be plenty of time, but won't allow time for naps, extended mud fights, or tantrums, so plan accordingly.
Can I change waves or give my entry to someone else? Unlike other races where you're locked in, our answer is Yes! If there is space in the wave you are requesting, we will do our best to fit you in there. If you get hurt, have an emergency, or just haven't been training, we'll also allow you to transfer (or, gasp, sell) your entry to someone else. Here's the catch: because we have to make these changes manually, each change has a nominal fee. Fill out a change request form here.
What is that smell? It is called Eutrophication! Although the river mud which comprises most of the mud on the course doesn't smell at all and tastes better than any other mud on the planet, the course does utilize one old oxbow of the river and one pond on the greenway. The latter in particular tends to enjoy a level of Eutrophication--a process where the water becomes a low oxygen environment. The result is that great smell. In the pond obstacle in question though you don't actually need to get into the mud (or even touch it), unless of course, you can't walk in a straight line... and how hard is that? (: And don't worry, even if you do fall in some of this stinky mud the effects won't last...you've still gotta swim across the river (see FAQ's above) and that'll get you nice and clean again. [But seriously folks, please try not to eat the mud--even the tasty kind. At least not on purpose. That is just gross.]