With the ever growing OCR sport up here in the Great White North it was only a matter of time before our little treasure known as Mud Hero would be expanding and looking to stay on top of the game so it was no surprise when the Crazy Canucks team announced that they would be holding their first Mud Hero Urban as their season opener to their race series here in Toronto.
Not since 2012 has there been an urban OCR in this city and with the not so wonderful history of that race I was excited and a bit anxious to see what Mud Hero would do to make this race as successful as their other races have been. See Mud Hero is known for their very muddy mud pits, I was curious to see how they would incorporate this very important factor into the Urban race.
On the first of two race days, which happened to fall on a Friday, my friend Cliff and I decided to volunteer. This day was reserved mainly for team and corporate team fundraisers but individuals were encouraged to come out that day as well.
We showed up at the venue, Ontario Place, which used to be an amusement park by the Toronto waterfront, early enough to sign in with Lindsay Webster, who happens to be the Marketing and Brand Manager at Mud Hero. After receiving our instructions we had enough time to take a little walk around to check out some obstacles, the festival area and chat with the staff and friends, like Ryan Atkins who happened to be helping out at the race that day.
As volunteers we requested to be at the finish line handing out well deserved medals to all participants. This is usually my favorite area to volunteer at because it’s so rewarding to see the faces full of smiles, relief and sometimes tears of accomplishment on each racer. Giving hugs and receiving muddy hugs in return while putting the medals around each persons neck is so rewarding but it was a windy, overcast and chilly day near the lakeshore.
During our time volunteering I decided I had to run the course so I asked Adam, if I could take time off from volunteering to run a lap, he invited me to run with him in the 3:00pm wave. As we continued volunteering we lost track of time and missed the start of the 3:00 wave however they let us run behind them trying to catch up to Adam but he was too fast and so Cliff and I ended up running the course taking in the very scenic views.
This course was definitely a runners course taking us through the now vacant amusement park and by the beach and marina. There were plenty of the Mud Hero trademark obstacles such as Kong and the A-Frame, with some new upgrades made to them, Pole Slide, Tunnel Walls and Wrecked Cars. New obstacle’s included the Log Ride Hop, Water Slide and P.D.L (Punch Drunk Love) leading you to the finish line.
They incorporated the mud obstacles by adding two Mud Bins and a Mud Pit throughout the race. There wasn’t a lack of mud for sure and they stayed true to their name.
There were a good amount of obstacles at the race and I think they made very good use of the space. They could have easily used a lot more if they wanted to make this race longer. Coming towards the end they could have added a few more obstacles or bigger walls but that would be my only recommendation. Once you passed P.D.L you came across the finish line where we were greeted by our fellow Finish Line Ambassadors, who we had the pleasure of volunteering with all day. They cheered everyone on as you came across the obstacles leading to the end.
Mud Hero always has plenty of photographers positioned at most of the obstacles and they definitely kept up with it at the Urban debut. They made sure to capture you nice and muddy at the mud pits, having a blast as you jump along on the Wrecked Cars and at Kong and the water obstacles. They definitely like to capture your triumphant finish and with free photos you are bound to find many pictures of you and your friends having a blast with the water front and the CN Tower as a backdrop.
Mud Hero volunteers are some of the top volunteers around. They are enthusiastic, cheerful and always helpful and fun. Some of them you will recognize year after year as they love to volunteer for this race.
The staff at Crazy Canucks is by far some of the best in the industry with top notch customer service and their priority always being to ensure everyone has the best experience either as racers or volunteers at Mud Hero.
Mud Hero Urban was a success! It definitely attracted many new racers to the sport and it was accessible to others who wouldn’t travel far out of the city to run. It stayed true to it’s muddy name and like always, it was a fun and not too challenging event perfect for all fitness levels. It’s not a surprise that I am a big fan of this race. This is definitely on my list of recommendations for any beginner new to the OCR world as it has everything you could ask for to get you stoked and wanting more muddy challenging fun. I look forward to seeing how this Urban race will do in the future. It can only get better.
EVENT INFO: The 2015 Mud Hero Urban was a 6km race with 26 obstacles that took place in the heart of downtown Toronto at Ontario Place, a well known landmark and previous amusement park now vacant.
REGISTRATION: Included a Mud Hero Finisher shirt, race bib and medal, free photo’s, water stations on course and at finish line, 1 complimentary drink (alcoholic or non-alocoholic) and entry to Mud Bash
PENALTIES: No penalties
FESTIVAL AREA: Mud Hero always has a very fun and full festival area known as the Mud Bash. With a DJ, live band, cash bbq, giveaways and more, it’s always a fun place to hang out before and after you race or if you’re spectating. Racers get free access to Mud Bash as part of their registration package
PRIZES AND GIVEAWAYS: Awards were given away for top charity fundraisers
FUNDRAISING: Teams were encouraged to raise money for either The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation or Camp Oochigeas
PICTURES: Provided by ZoomPhoto photographers
BAG CHECK: Free bag check
SPECTATORS: Spectators are encouraged and get free no charge access to the event.
VOLUNTEERS: As a volunteer you receive a volunteer shirt, $50.00 merchandise voucher, meal and drink tickets, snacks and water throughout the day. The staff make sure to come around to check up on you constantly to make sure you are fine and if any issues need to be addressed
OBSTACLES: Ladder Climb, Over Unders, Deep Woods, Spiddy Web, Log Ride Run (new), Water Slides (new), Wilderness Adventure, Tunnel Walls, Pole Slide, Log Ride Hop, Rock Wall, Walls, Lilly Pad Leap, Pebble Beach (new) , Kong (new design), Wrecked Cars, Backwards Bull Frog, Blow Up Slides, Mud Pit, Log Hop, Tunnels, Weeble Wobble, A-Frame (new design) and P.D.L – Punch Drunk Love (new)
MUD HERO RACE SERIES: This year they are also offering their first Toronto Ultra 10k option at the Toronto North event in August. Make sure to check out their website for future events to sign up and get muddy. http://www.mudhero.com/en/