Tag Archives: run the jailbreak

Dress Code Sparks Craze Debate “On the Line”

Dress Code – What?

Two days ago the Reebok Spartan Race set the interwebs on fire with the announcement about no costumes in the elite wave of the Tuxedo, NY event this weekend. Obstacle Racing Media had a great article yesterday which you can read here. In that article they interviewed some of the more notorious athletes who participate in the elite waves who also potentially wear a costume of some sorts. Stephen Sinek, aka “The Painted Warrior”, Stephen “BowTied” Spartan, and Michael Deater aka “The Panda”, all left quotes and opinions on the Spartan press release. The most shocking interview was with Mr. Spartan himself Joe Desena; he considers body paint to equal a costume. Here at mudrunfun we have to wonder how will this play out? We already know that The Painted Warrior has a different paint scheme on his body for every race. But what about other elite wave runners like friends of mudrunfun Thing 1 & Thing 2? Andrew and Eston Jones don’t wear a ton of body paint and would you really consider them a costume? They have two words marked on their chest with a marker and they wear their signature red headbands. Will they get pulled out of the chute? We had a chance to talk with Andrew Jones aka “Thing 1” and here is what he had to say: 945222_201074453378031_804304775_n

quote“Whether or not what we wear is considered a costume can be debated, but the reason we wear what we wear, is for bigger and better reasons than being an elite Spartan athlete.”

So what about the future of this so-called sport? What about the up and comers who have a story to tell and want to inspire others? Recently we ran across an up and coming elite wave runner named Kimberly Easterling-Stewart who also goes by “The Mud Pixie”. We recently sat down with her and discussed her transformation story (separate story to be released soon) and how she became the Mud Pixie and why. She had planned to start competing in the elite heats officially later this summer after a few races and more training. Here is what she had to say about the ORM article: 10448656_720690051322838_187398030010595107_o.jpg

quote“The Mud Pixie arose from believing in myself, using perseverance and the sport of OCR to reshape my body, mind, and spirit. Isn’t that what Spartan is supposed to be all about? And the underlying meaning of their new book Spartan Up?”

She further stated,

quote“My purpose now is to continue to progress as the elite racer I was always meant to be and prove to the world, anything is possible when you believe! If they would like me to drop my leather get-up for elite races I can understand that. I ran in athletic compression gear before the pixie and I can do it again. But my wings are simply a part of a full functional camelbak that I have always used. They don’t slow me down or get in the way! After everything I have overcome, all I ask is they don’t clip my newly found wings!”

I guess it wouldn’t look good on TV to be “Spartan Chicked” by someone wearing a pixie outfit or having two people in athletic gear and one as a mud pixie standing on the podium. We couldn’t write an article and not get some of the opinions of other owners and race directors in the industry. So we reached out to a couple races to get some feedback. The first one to give us a sound bite was Troy Levy with Armageddon Ambush, who puts on events up and down the East Coast, he has two thoughts on this, the first being,

quote“What Spartan is doing with their national media coverage is great for the sport and industry. Obviously Reebok, Spartan and NBC know what they are doing and if they want to market the elite aspect of the sport that is their purgative. If the vision is to bring credibility and legitimize the sport then having someone run the race in diapers and costumes probably won’t do that. I can see why they would not want that on national TV. But on the other hand, I am not sure if showing just the elites would drive the masses to sign up for any mud run event. The industry as it stands now shows a large gap of participants from Elite to non-Elite. So having the non-elite or elite participants freely showing their freedom of dress wearing speedos and panda hats is welcome to many events So that being said I can see both sides of the coin.”

The Armageddon Ambush is one of the most unique races going, they combine the physical challenge of the mudrun with obstacles as well as a color run! There is nothing like getting blasted with color after crawling out of a mudpit! It’s like two races for the price of one! Our next conversation was with Tim Scrivner with the Texas based mudrun series “Run the Jailbreak.” Here is what he had to say on the topic:

quote“The explosion in popularity of obstacle events over the past five years has been fueled primarily by non-traditional runners. People are flocking to these types of runs because they are fun and challenging, it gives them the opportunity as an adult to get together with friends, dress up, get dirty, have fun and enjoy the camaraderie of a shared experience. A big part of that experience has been the costumes and group themes that people come up with to brand themselves and their groups, people watching is nearly as much fun as the events themselves. I understand what Joe is trying to accomplish and the last thing you want is for your sport to be marginalized for a WWF atmosphere. However, I believe that you need to have personalities and story lines for people to follow if you are going to gain a wide audience for your sport. Your local marathon will have runners in all forms of outfits and costumes but the elite runners will not be wearing anything that will hinder their performance, I assume the elite Spartan competitors are responsible enough to not get “carried away” with their attire and would be conscious of how it could possibly affect performance as well. The Gen X and older crowd remembers countless “hokie” events that were passed off to us as “sports” by ABC’s Wide World of Sports and ESPN 2, but the Millennial’s have grown up on X Games, video games and TMZ. They judge by a different standard than we do.”

While the “Jailbreak” is not a themed event in terms of mandatory costumes in which to participate, his events do draw thousands and you can typically see the masses dressed as a convict or police officer! Which is funny in itself, because if you ask them why they dress up, the typical response is, “I never get to be bad, so I’m a convict today!” and having attended one of these events, you will not find a greater assortment of “Sexy Cops” even the Reno 911 guys! Our Final Interview was with event owner Sean “Ace” O’Conner with the National Superhero Scramble series;

quote“I think it’s comical…I understand why Spartan is trying to regulate, but also think that this and other regulations take away from the overall experience for racers and spectators.”

While Sean was the least outspoken event owner of the three, it is easy to see why, his race is about Superheroes and pretty much the entire field gets to be a superhero for the day! The only dilemma is are you a DC or Marvel guy? So at the end of the day there are lots of opinions and views from all sides. Mudrunfun just wants to raise the awareness of the industry as a whole, so whether or not you are an “elite” runner or a weekend warrior, we want everyone involved. We don’t care if you wear a costume or run stripped down to the “bare essentials” we just want everyone to have a good time. We also don’t necessarily think you have to be labeled in one category either, we love all the events whether OCR, Mudrun, Color Run, Zombie Run, Glow Run, or X-Run. We live in a wonderful country who doesn’t discourage you and allows you to have the freedom of expression, so express yourself, tell your story, be a Painted Warrior, a Mud Pixie or Bowtie Spartan or be yourself and the best you, you can be. At the end of the day the consensus seems be on the side of The Mud Pixie, so please Spartan, don’t clip our wings.     Want to know more about the people mentioned in this article? Click below on the person or event you want to see.

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Run the Jailbreak Austin – 2011 – Race Recap

Burnet, TX – May 7, 2011

I have to say that it is a bit difficult remaining objective when you actually have friends that organize the race and you also work with/for the same race on a business level. Trying to leave the favoritism behind, we (DFW Mudcrew) traveled down to Burnet, TX to tackle the “Run the Jailbreak” breakin free hill country escape. This was already nothing like any of the previous races I had attended, which included The Spartan Sprint, DFW Mudrun, The Survival Race and Warrior Dash.

Yes it is true, this was better than Warrior Dash! Granted, lets keep it in context, while WD has close to 15k people attend, there were no where near that many, I think the approximate head count was close to 3000, it was the setting at Reveille Peak Ranch that made the difference. The setting was amazing, the pavilion overlooking the lake was perfect. When we arrived, it looked as if I was walking into the “Buffalo Chip” campgrounds (biker reference, if you don’t know look it up) and there was obviously a nice party the night before. I am guessing the camping was a hit!

DFW Mud Crew

So here we are, out in the middle of Nowhere, Texas and it appears as though this has a lot of potential. The band starts playing, the food is being served, corn-hole boards are ready to go (bean bag toss), the vendors are lined up, Monster Energy drinks in hand, this is going to be a great day. One of the perks of working with the event organizers is the ability to volunteer (free run!). So I did, and I was lucky to handle the fire hose with the Directors son. Together our job was to hose down the runners right after the start. All I can say, is yes I reverted to the 13 year old kid like my compadre in crime. While I was trying to be nice, my counter part was going for head shots on everyone, I went for the ground, then tried to move them into the slippery slope section. The best part…if you fell down, you were done, we totally kept the hose on…unti you got up and ran away. Every half hour a new batch arrived and the footing just got worse every time!

I know you are waiting for my review, well I can say that this was an AWESOME course. It had monster hills, challenging terrain, a cool slide and some great obstacles. The only draw back was that they didn’t have it chip timed, so trying to remember or find your time was difficult if that matters to you. I finished 3rd in my heat with a time of 32:02 with it being right around 2.86 miles according to my buddies GPS.

Course: This Course was way more than I expected, the big hill alone was a killer, but I can’t say enough how great this course was. I thought the Spartan course in Smithville was hard because of the three consecutive hills, but this was a little bit more challenging, because most of the front of the course was uphill at a slow incline. Not until you really went down the long water slide did you come back down. I loved it so much, I actually ran it twice. The second time, the last wave of the day, I ran with a friends son, my 13 year old buddy, who was no slouch finishing in 38 minutes. We ran the entire course together, at his pace and it was awesome!

Registration: Despite the small area near the entrance, they had the packet pickup pretty much under control and we were in and out without any hiccups. I was even able to snag one of the “white” shirts!

Atmosphere: Beside the run, the location was phenomenal, no wonder Spartan Race snatched up this location for its 2012 Sprint race location. The lodge are overlooking the lake is awesome, enough shade for everyone, we played corn-hole, jammed out to some awesome tunes and it wasn’t a beating like at Warrior Dash with a million people. One of the obstacles the A-frame was right in front so people were cheering others over the obstacle. By far the best after party of the year. I hated that we had to leave and drive back to Dallas!

If Jailbreak 2012 can live up to the 2011 race, then they definitely have a fan in me, it is going to be hard to get over that already established bar, but I think they can do it, I have faith! If you want a code to get a discount, here is your discount code!

Jailbreak Austin 2011

First Run

Time: 32:00

Distance: 3.36

Finish: 3rd in wave

Second Run:

Time: 38:03

Distance: 3.36

Finish: no clue

Run The Jailbreak DFW 2011 – Race Recap

Roanoke, Texas  – September 18, 2011

During the course of writing the reviews for the races I participate in, I have definitely changed the way I write them up, some have been what is going through my mind obstacle by obstacle, some have been a detailed review of the race, and still others just a brief overview of the event. This being my third Run the Jailbreak event, all I can say is that they are slowing becoming a better and better event to participate in.  Each one out does the other and depending on what you are looking for, they pretty much have it for you.

The Mud Crew I run with often, has a lot of competitive people, so some will disagree with my thoughts, but hey that is why I am entitled to my opinion right? While I am more on the competitive side, meaning I like to run for time, how fast I can get through the course, how fast over the obstacles, and what place I can finish in.  It is just my competitive nature. But the reason I like the Jailbreak events is not because of the difficulty of the race, but the whole experience.  This is a 5k run, it is not the competitive Spartan Series or Tough Mudder type of event.  While they have obstacles which are challenging, the focus on this race is to break free.  That is their motto, “breaking free” it means different things for different people, from what is holding you down, what is binding you, to what is troubling you.  Some people strive to just complete the event, some want to just have fun with a group of friends and others want to prove to themselves that they can just do it.

With all that being said, and writing this post well after the 2011 race year is complete, this was by far the best race I competed in all year. Not only was the whole experience just plain awesome, the run was perfect. With Texas being in a drought for the entire summer, many other mudruns were canceling the races because the lands they selected had no water and they couldn’t get water to make the mud.  Luckily the DFW Adventure Park has it’s own well system and plenty of water.  The day before the event is was like the mudrun Gods knew how to ensure the success of this event, they opened up the skies and we had a whole day of Texas sized rain.  In one day the dry creek bed turned into waist to chest deep water, the whole trail was a mud clump and my shoes never felt so heavy. If you didn’t find mud on this run, you didn’t run it.

With sunny skies the day of the event, this turned out to be an awesome run.  I also have to give a big Kudos to a new friend of mine Mac.  Mac a friend of Jailbreak, and he is on a quest to lose weight. When he started his journey he weighted close to 400 lbs. He has been slowly shedding weight and has lost a whole person to date.  He still has a goal and pounds to lose, but I was inspired by him.  You see, Mac ran the Jailbreak and he finished. He completed the course, completed the obstacles and is looking forward to more. My hat is off to you Mac, job well done.

Course: They ran the course in reverse of the previous year, and since Warrior Dash also used this location this year, they had to change up some things.  Even though the course is relatively flat, they did a great job of using the creeks and ravines, creating obstacles to challenge and the mouse like maze at the finish with an uphill finish line was great.  I think the fact that the ground was 2 inches of mud during the entire race definitely made it more challenging.

Registration: As any event grows, so does the packet pickup pains.  But the day before pickup was ran pretty smoothly and the day of was laid out very easy and I didn’t notice much waiting.

Atmosphere: I really enjoyed the after party, the bands they had along with the jumbo-tron TV screen made the infield a cool place to sit on your blanket and relax.  The food was decent and the beer was cold!

I am definetly looking forward to 2012, not only are they returning to DFW & Austin, but they added Houston and South Padre Island.  South Padre Island is going to be a beach race, meaning sand! Should be interesting running in sand and going over obstacles.  Should make for a great road trip! Oh yeah, and if you want a code to use on registration for the races. HERE IS YOUR STUPID CODE!

Rick and I

Results:

Time: 33:02

Distance: 3.1

Finish – 31 of 5241

Run the Jailbreak – Race Recap 2010

By: Travis E. Blythe

This year I embarked on a mission to challenge myself physically as well as mentally. So I set off to actually do what most people pledge they are going to do.  One of the items was to compete in events like this.  This was my third of the year, I had already completed the DFW Mudrun and the Warrior Dash.  This one was called “Run the Jailbreak” a pretty simple theme to it, run like you just broke out of jail and get away.  I actually thought most of the time like I was the fugitive!

Going off what the website says the obstacles are, below are all of the obstacles and what my opinions of them are.

  1. Jailbreak Start – Nothing special about this, I did like that they actually had us doing some boot camp warm ups to get the blood pumping before the race.
  2. Allied Waste’s Outer Trenches – Unfortunately I ran through this maze of short walls, rolling hills and one culvert.  Mostly because there were people everywhere and I was annoyed, people jumping and falling and stopping in front of things…grrr…so I just ran through it.
  3. TMX’s Culverts – Not really an obstacle just something to run through, which was actually the middle of the table top jump from the motocross course.
  4. MGD 64’s Hydro Gauntlet – This was okay.  After some running, you go chest deep into the a small lake and they shoot water cannons up in the air to get you wet.  Coming out was a challenge just because the people in front of me kept falling down.  Nothing like trying to get running when your sliding in mud.
  5. Mustang Maze – Now that we are nice and wet, we run through a paintball arena made up of house looking structures. Not really hard since you were running in and out of makeshift buildings.
  6. DFW Adventure Park’s Sharpshooter – This was different, we had to stop and shoot laser tag, just enough to catch my breath, but I didn’t play too long, I had a race to run!
  7. Monster Mountain – I am guessing this was the hay bail mountain. It was not in the place they show it to be on the map, but none the less, not too hard, I took the first shelf at a run, then scrambled up the rest.  Hopped down the other side and off to run some more.
  8. Soleus River SlideThis was fun, a short water slide, I went feet first since I was not sure how deep it was at the bottom.  Glad I did, it was shallow!
  9. Honda Kawasaki West’s Final PlungeNot sure what this was, I don’t remember it
  10. Sgt. H20’s River Crossing- I am assuming this was what we did after the waterslide, walking in the waist deep creek, slowed you down some.  I managed to actually pass some folks here and coming out of the creek too.
  11. 7-11’s Colditz Canyon Crawl – I am not sure what this is either.  When we came out of the creek, we had to climb up a wall of tires, this was fun and took less then 30 seconds for me, I was like spiderman going up this, it was fun and easy to do.
  12. North Texas Bank’s Hay Baled Out – Again, I have no idea what this was, as we already went up and down the hay bales.
  13. Dare to TreadI think this was the tires they had in the middle of the road, all I can say is, thank you P90X for the Plyometrics training in which I did this, I went through these like I was in training camp, high knees and all, sure I could have ran around them, but why do the course then?
  14. Levee BreachI think this was just one of the many flooded out road ways.  Not too hard, good way to catch your breath, definitely slows down the running.
  15. Mud Punishment – I am assuming that this is the barbwire crawl we had to do near the end. Not the hardest obstacle, but trying to go fast was tricky, then I torn up my knees crawling through and I got mud in my eye!
  16. Victory Party – Not much parting going on when you are the last group on the course, everyone seemed to split and most of the vendors were closing it up as well.

So what is my overall review?  I thought this was easier than the Warrior Dash.  Most of the obstacles were just water related and not really mud, don’t get me wrong, coming out of the water was the worst part where the slime actually was.  Trying to get going again was a pain!  I guess I was expecting something more challenging physically.  The run was tough the 3.8 miles seemed to go on and on and running over a motocross track up and down the whoops were tough at the end, but I wanted more. I was also disappointed that the event was not timed properly, for the money (entrance fee) you got a t-shirt, 2-beers, 1-sandwich and a good time. No timing chips were used and thus you only had the clock to look at when you finished and compare with what people said they did.  I think it would have been nice to see where you place in your age group or heat. I know, don’t beat me up, it was for a great charity “Sower of Seeds” and I did like the fact that we got to park at the Texas Motor Speedway and took buses there and back.  It was really easy and I was not annoyed about it at all.

By far the DFW Mudrun was the most physical one I have done to date.  My favorite part of the Jailbreak though was the tire hill climb!  I also wanted to mention that the monster truck tires were awesome to take at a dead run.  I wanted to thank the guy I raced towards the end, he really pushed me to run faster.

I never expect to finish first when it comes to races like this, but for a minute I thought I had a chance.  Normally I watch as the fast guys take off and I just try to maintain  the same pace throughout the race, if not try to increase as it goes on.  For this race, I watched them take off and then was surprised as I reeled them in one at a time.  The guy I thought was the race leader, I caught about 2/3 of the way through, and he was tired.  Breathing hard and running with a slight limp, I was shocked he kept going at the pace he did once I ran up on him.  It was at this point where I was trying to recall all of the people I saw sprint out and how many I passed.  This was the guy I remembered the most because he was in blue and he disappeared from sight right in the beginning.  So for the last 1/3 of the race I thought I was racing to be the winner of the heat.  I let him get ahead about 3 paces knowing I had some reserves in my tank for a sprint to the finish.  We took turns passing each other, then side by side, we scaled those huge monster tires in unison and never missed a stride.  As we got closer to the finish, I would get ahead during the water obstacles and mud, but he would sprint to catch me every time.  We entered the last crawl at the same time.  I had someone in front of me and I thought I was toast, but after crawling through, I was winning and never looked back as we headed to the knee deep water and then to the finish.  I later found out he gave up on the crawl and conceded to me as he was spent.  He later told me the water was a killer for him. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that the water saved me as the run was killing me!

My dream was quickly shattered when I crossed the finish line and learned that there were 5 others that already finished…Oh well, I ran it in 39:01 not a bad time if I do say so myself!  It will be interesting to see how the Warrior Dash organizes the same course next year for their 2011 run.  Yes they are using the DFW Adventure park as well.

While writing this blog, the Caveman Extreme contacted me from a post I left on Facebook and left me this message and a coupon code: We saw your post on Jailbreak and we felt the same way about the chip timing. We wanted to extend an invitation to you to the Caveman Xtreme, which is chip timed. This is our second event this year. We had very positive feedback on our course from the Caveman Crawl. Caveman Xtreme is located in Bridgeport on October 23. Bridgeport is located 33 miles west from the Jailbreak location. There will be over 40 obstacles at this event along with an attempt to break a Guinness World Record.

All I can say is…umm yeah I want to be a part of a Guinness World Record!  See you out on the course!