Monday, April 30, 2012

The Countdown Continues: 5 Days until Ruckus St. Louis

Ruckus St. Louis is right around the corner!  In fact, our muddiest obstacle course yet will be open in just 5 days.  So what should you do to prepare for Ruckus St. Louis this week?  It’s time to breathe a sigh of relief, RuckStars, because this week is taper week!

What is taper exactly?  It’s a term that long distance runners, swimmers and bikers long to hear after an intense season of non-stop training.  Taper is what happens when practices and usual exercise literally “taper off” and allow for athletes to recover before their biggest races.

So now that you’ve been training for Ruckus St. Louis for a few months (or maybe weeks or days if you’re running the Heater), it’s taper time!  Here are our top tips for tapering just five days before Ruckus St. Louis:
  • Do you last long run a week before the big day.  After that, it’s time to cut down your mileage at least 80% of what you were doing before.
  • Less is more!  Five days before Ruckus, keep in mind that the less running you do, the better.  Allow your body to build up that energy that you would normally be burning during a long run.
  • Resist strength training.  Allow your muscles to rest and skip your strength-training routine in the final five days leading up to Ruckus. 
  • Mentally prepare by visualizing yourself hurdling over tires, swinging on ropes and climbing over walls.  The more you mentally prepare, the better you will execute.
  • Eat plenty of carbohydrates before the race (like whole-grain breads, pasta and cereal) and drink plenty of water.  Try to resist drinking alcohol as it can have a dehydrating effect.
  • Two days before Ruckus St. Louis, resist the urge to run.  This will help you build up that extra bit of energy that you will need to finish up those obstacle with style.  

Best of luck to you during taper and we will see you on May 5th at the GCS Ballpark! 

Participating in Ruckus St. Louis? Check out our Facebook Photo Contest and win a free registration for the 2013 race! 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Did You Know? Mud is Actually Good for Your Kids

How many times have you wiped a child’s face, poured extra bleach into the washing machine or asked the kids to leave their shoes in the garage all in the name of muddy play?  We’re guessing hundreds.  For many parents out there, mud is a pain—it gets all over the house, it gets under fingernails and it doesn’t necessarily scream “sanitary”. 

Muddy knees? No problem!
But many studies have gone to show that mud can actually be good for your kids!  Don’t believe us?  Check out the top 4 ways you should let your kids get a little muddier than usual during Ruckus St. Louis in just a few weeks:

1.  Mud is good for your brain
According to Medical News Today, there are certain types of bacteria found in soil that produce serotonin (and for you non-geeks out there, serotonin is a key chemical to bodily functions and is a natural anti-depressant).  What does that mean exactly?  It means that dirt and mud can actually make you and your kids feel happy! 

2.  Mud improves immune systems
When kids expose themselves to mud, dirt and soil, they are actually building up their immune systems during play (and while creating a huge mess).  Expose your children to the naturally-occurring microbes in soil and they will actually build stronger immune systems. 

3.  It’s healthy to be outside
Obviously, when kids are playing in the mud, they’re not playing inside.  They’re out in the sunlight, which is obviously more beneficial than plugging in the Playstation or powering up the computer.  Studies have recently coined the term “nature-deficit disorder”, a notion that has been negatively impacting children in the tech age.  When kids don’t head outside to play, they suffer from attention deficit disorder, depression and obesity.  And to think that a couple of muddy hands could cure all of that...

4.  Adventure can work wonders
It’s been proven that kids who play outside grow faster in character development.  Children who tackle adventure tend to be more self-motivated and know how to handle friendly competition. 

Get your kids out to Ruckus St. Louis and let them enjoy the mud!  Trust us—the muddy minivan seats will be worth it.  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Calling all St. Louis RuckStars! Check Out the Ruckus Facebook Photo Contest

If you’re a social media rockstar and a St. Louis RuckStar, we’ve got the contest for you!  From May 5th until May 12th, Ruckus is holding our first Facebook Photo Contest—the chance for you to show off your hilarious, crazy, chaotic pictures from Ruckus St. Louis and win big! 

So how does this all go down?
We want our Ruckus St. Louis runners to upload a picture of their favorite Ruckus moment to our Facebook page.  The picture can be of an obstacle accomplished, a winning finish, a post-race celebration or even a pre-race pump up session.  Please include a caption with your photo as to why it was your favorite Ruckus moment. 

What kind of pictures are we looking for?
Pictures (unfortunately) cannot be downloaded from our Ruckus website or Facebook page.  They must be authentic and taken from a participant’s or spectator’s own phone or camera. 

What’s the prize?...After all, that’s why I’m doing this!
The prize! Of course!  Five lucky winners will receive a free ticket to Ruckus St. Louis in 2013.  We will contact you via Facebook and provide you with a promo code for next year’s big obstacle course. 

What’s the deadline?
We will only accept photos on our Facebook wall up to 7 days after the event.  That means you’ve got until May 12th to upload your photo.

Best of luck to all of you competing in Ruckus St. Louis—and even more luck to those looking to win a free ticket for the 2013 event!  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Win a Free Ticket to Ruckus St. Louis!

You'd be smiling too if you won a free ticket to Ruckus St. Louis! 

Dying to go to Ruckus, but just haven’t had the time, energy or expenses to purchase your ticket?  Lucky you—now’s your chance to win a FREE ticket to compete in Ruckus St. Louis on May 5th!

How can you win?  It’s simple.  Like us on Facebook and tell us the main reason why you should compete in Ruckus St. Louis for free. 

Have an inspirational story?  A milestone you’re looking to meet?  A cool reason you want to join a specific team?  Let us know! You and five others could win the chance to compete in Ruckus St. Louis—for free!  We will be giving out six free registrations—so tell us why you deserve it today.  Winners will be announced on Monday, April 30th. 

Have you already registered for Ruckus St. Louis but have an awesome reason why you should go for free?  Comment or post your reason on Facebook anyway and we will reimburse you for your ticket.  

What are you waiting for?  Cause a Ruckus with us and tell us your story today. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ruckus as a Stress Ball

Stress balls have been used for centuries.  In fact, these squishy, malleable balls have been used in Chinese medicine since the dawn of time.  And still today, stress balls are found in desk drawers, on nightstands, and in the anxious palms of the typical stressed-out soul. 

But why do stress balls work?  The continuous action of muscle contraction and relaxation relieves muscle tension and actually allows us to feel more relaxed and rhythmical.  Stress balls have a therapeutic value—they have been proven to help lighten mental loads and relieve bodily tension.
But squeezing a stress ball is only one way to relieve the tension and stress that pulses through the human body.  There is, in fact, be an even better way to achieve ultimate relief: exercise.

Ruckus can squeeze and smash stress away just as good as soft rubber ball out there.  Why?

Ruckus gets you away from it all
Stress knocks on our doors for many different reasons.  Disease, death in the family, work, family life and financial insecurity seem to be the biggest core areas of stress.  But when a person is in their “zone”, most of these stressors are left behind.  Exercise allows us to clear our heads and “get away from it all”. 

Muscle contraction and relaxation
The reason we love stress balls so much is because they allow the muscles in our arms to contract and relax.  But Ruckus allows for muscle contraction and relaxation on a whole new level.  Because Ruckus combines running with intense (and usually muddy) challenges, your muscles have time to relax in between our crazy obstacles.  Ruckus truly is muscle confusion at its finest.  

Ruckus is rewarding
Squeezing a stress ball can only get you so far.  Once you’re finished palming it to death, you don’t necessarily feel a burning sense of accomplishment.  But when you cross the Ruckus finish line or slide down Mount Ruckmore, we promise you will feel like a stress-free winner.    

Post-Ruckus endorphin rush
Although regular exercise does help us smash stress, mixing up workouts relieves tension even better.  If you’re bored with your routine, you may not experience the normal post-gym endorphin rush, making exercise less effective as a stress fighter than it could be.  Ruckus, on the other hand, allows you to try something new and gives you the chance to combine physical exertion with a bit of benign risk-taking. 

Many Ruckus runners sign up for our muddy obstacle courses because they want to feel that sense of accomplishment.  Others participate because their friends and family members are doing it too.  Yet others get down and dirty during Ruckus just to experience a fun weekend adventure.  But if you’re looking to sign up for something to relieve stress, clear your mind or rejuvenate your mental health, Ruckus may also be just the ticket.  Think of it as a jumbo, muddy, slippery stress ball, designed with you in mind.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Still Procrastinating? Register Before the Ruckus St. Louis Price Increase

Hey, you.  Yeah, we’re talking to you.  You procrastinators, I’ll-do-it-later-ers, put-offers, draggers, stallers and dawdlers.  Ruckus St. Louis is about to experience a price increase!  Be sure to sign up today to receive your best offer. 

Prices increase on Friday, April 20, so sign up now and put procrastinating in the past!

We look forward to seeing you and your muddy self on May 5th in St. Louis (assuming you’re not running late!).

Want more Ruckus news and updates?  Check us out on Twitter! @RuckusSports.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Ultimate Ruckus Q&A (and Other Awesome Ruckus Stats!)

Is Ruckus for me?  Will I be able to complete the Ruckus obstacle courses?  Is Ruckus better than Warrior Dash?  Where is a Ruckus near me?  What if I’ve never done a mud run before?  Will I survive?

You’ve got questions—we’ve got answers!  Below are some of our most popular Ruckus questions that you may desperately want answered before the Ruckus St. Louis on May 5th!

Why should I sign up for Ruckus?
Whether you want to feel a sense of accomplishment, are in need of a workout milestone or simply want to have some muddy fun, there are a billion reasons to sign up for Ruckus.  According to our previous Ruckus Kansas City survey, 58% of participants signed up for Ruckus in order to fulfill a persona accomplishment.  41% of participants signed up due to motivation from friends and family members and 20% signed up to experience a fun weekend activity.  What’s your reason to cause a Ruckus?

Do I need to be “in shape” for Ruckus?
We won’t lie—Ruckus certainly isn’t easy.  But that doesn’t mean that you have to be in marathon-shape in order to compete.  Every year, participants from ages 2 to 72 and of all different skill levels compete in Ruckus.  We also offer a variety of different obstacle course lengths including a 4-mile challenge, a 2-mile heater and a Ruckus Mini. 
During Ruckus Kansas City a few weeks back, we found that 37% of participants were “avid runners” and participate in one or more road races a year (whether that be a 5K, 10K, half marathon, full marathon or triathlon).  35% defined themselves as “general athletes” who simply work out on their own and consider fitness important. 

Should I do the 4-mile Challenge or the 2-mile Heater?
Great question—and it’s completely up to you!  Are you a sprinter?  Check out the Heater.  Looking for a little more running?  Sign up for the Challenge.  Our Challenge is the most popular Ruckus event with 88% of KC participants competing in it a few weeks ago. 

Have most participants competed in Ruckus before?
As a matter of fact, no!  53% of our KC Ruckus runners experienced the crazy obstacle course for the very first time. 

What about Warrior Dash, Spartan Run, Tough Mudder and other mud runs? 
Many of our participants have engaged in these other muddy obstacle experiences, too.  29% of our runners had participated in Warrior Dash, 4% in Mud Run, 3% in Tough Mudder and 2% in Spartan Run. 

Will Ruckus take place near me and how should I arrive?
Ruckus is currently taking over five different cities across the U.S. including St. Louis, Boston, Pittsburgh, Columbus and Kansas City.  A majority of participants travel 30 minutes to one hour to participate in Ruckus and usually arrive with friends in tow.
Keep in mind that not everybody that comes to Ruckus has to run!  We have outstanding spectating capabilities as well.  In fact, 77% of spectators thoroughly enjoyed watching Ruckus Kansas City a few weekends back. 

So, should I take the plunge?
We think so!  If you’re passionate about fitness, enjoy a challenge or want to bond with friends and family, Ruckus is the best obstacle course for you.
And if that doesn’t convince you enough, take a look at the numbers: 78% of KC Ruckus runners plan to sign up for the 2013 Ruckus Kansas City obstacle course!  Another 92% of participants would encourage friends, colleagues and family members to participate in future Ruckus events.  

So what are you waiting for?  Sign up now!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kansas City Ladies Get Down and Dirty: The Adventure Girls’ Ruckus Experience

When Willow Lundgren was growing up, she wasn’t hosting tea parties, wearing puffy pink princess dresses or collecting Barbies.

“I’ll admit it,” she says. “I was a Tom Boy as a kid.  But if I added up all of the mud I’ve ever had on my body during my childhood, it would never add up to how much mud I encountered during Ruckus Kansas City.”

Willow was one of the seven members of a team known as the Adventure Girls.  The team was made up of a group of Kansas City girlfriends who enjoy going on adventures and getting a little down and dirty every once and awhile.  Some of them, as a matter of fact, have even trained for the rigorous runs such as Hospital Hill in Kansas City.  But according to members of the Adventure Girls team, nothing could prepare them for the challenge of Ruckus.

Together, the seven women pushed through the 4-mile Challenge course at Ruckus and finished with a time of 1 hour and 19 minutes.  But the Adventure Girls weren’t pushing for a specific time—they simply just wanted to laugh, create some memories and have some muddy fun.

One of the members of the Adventure Girls was Julie Meers, senior vice president of Missouri Bank.  Any other day, she’s a blazer-wearing, high-profile Kansas City business woman...but during Ruckus weekend, she turns out a muddy mess.

“We all achieved something individually during Ruckus, but we finished together,” said Julie.  “We sang songs, we got muddy and we loved every minute of it.” 

Her teammate and friend Willow (of InvenQuery), thought the same. 

“Ruckus is somewhat of a metaphor for life,” she said.  “In life, you come up against obstacles that look very intimidating.  But then, once you convince yourself to do the best you can and commit, you can overcome anything.”

So will the Adventure Girls come back for round 2 of Ruckus Kansas City next year?

“We all agreed the moment that Ruckus was over, that we would do it again next year,” said Julie.  “I would plan my schedule around something like this!”

Want a similar experience to what the Adventure Girls had?  Join us in St. Louis on May 5th for Ruckus!  Register today and prepare to bring out your inner-Tom Boy!   

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Winning with Pinning: Ruckus is on Pinterest

Did you know that Ruckus is now on Pinterest? We’re posting some of our coolest pictures, connecting with our fellow “Pinners” and are creating bulletin boards full of Ruckus information.  Visit us on Pinterest to learn about Ruckus training, recovery, health and nutrition, and the different cities we will be taking over this year.

Check it all out at Win and Pin with us today!  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Countdown Continues: 25 Days until Ruckus St. Louis

Can you even believe it?  We are only 25 days away from Ruckus St. Louis!  That means that you only have 25 days to get ready for muddy trenches, swinging ropes, mounds of tires and Mount Ruckmore—our coolest obstacle yet. 

Are you getting in Ruckus shape?  Here are a few quick tips on how to train for Ruckus when you’re just 25 days out:

25 Days Out for the 2-mile Heater: 
For all of you sprinters out there, the 2-miler heater may seem short, but it’s a toughie!  The 2-mile heater consists of more obstacles and less running, so we recommend trying out some of these cool exercises to prepare for your Ruckus experience:
  • Weight lifting:  During the Ruckus Heater, you need to be prepared for some heavy lifting.  Get those biceps and triceps in shape and hit the dumbbells at the gym.  Strength training is one of the best exercises you can do to prepare for this obstacle-heavy run.
  • Body weight exercises: Ruckus implements a lot of body weight challenges, so make sure to work on our pushups, pull-ups, planks and more.  The more body weight exercises you do, the more prepared you will be!
  • Playground exercises: Head to the school playground (hopefully not during recess) and try out the monkey bars, balance beams and slides.  Get your hands prepared for some blisters, because the Ruckus Heater will bring them out!

25 Days Out for the 4-mile Challenge:
Ruckus’ 4-mile Challenge takes all of the innovative obstacles from the 2-mile Heater and adds a little more fun (AKA running).  Therefore, in order to prepare for the Challenge, you need to get ready with:
  • Endurance: Be sure to prepare for the Challenge by beefing up your endurance workouts.  Go on long, slow-paced runs, but incorporate short sprint bursts as well.  Try running some hills, too.
  • Body weight exercises: Just like the 2-mile Heater, the Challenge will bring a lot of obstacles that require muscle.  Do pushups, pull-ups and planks every day and you might make your way to the Champions Heat!

25 Days Out for the 8-mile Champions Heat:
Ruckus’ 8-mile Champions Heat is a doozy, and it’s something you can’t really predict to be in or not.  If you’ve done a Ruckus Challenge before, we suggest that you come prepared for the Champions Heat—you might just make the cut!
  • Even more endurance:  If you qualify for the Champions Heat, you’re going to need a lot of endurance to make it through the day.  That’s because the Champions Heat takes the best of the 4-mile Challenge runners.  So get that endurance training going!
  • A lot of everything:  In order to succeed in the Champions Heat, a RuckStar needs a little bit of everything; sprints, endurance, body weight exercises, weight lifting and overall athleticism.  Do a little bit of everything this week to prepare yourself for muscle confusion! 

25 Days Out for the Ruckus Mini:
Like we said, Ruckus is for anyone from age 2 to 92.  And if you’re under the age of 15 and are signed up for the Ruckus Mini, it won’t be too difficult to get in Ruckus shape.  After all, you’ve had hours of recess and intramural sports to practice.  Keep using up your endless energy to get into the best Ruckus shape possible—try out some monkey bars, climb up the slide (if you’re allowed!) and get those running legs moving!  It shouldn’t be too challenge, because you’re a little ball of energy, aren’t you?

We’re 25 days out!  We hope you’re prepared to bring it on May 5th in St. Louis!   

Monday, April 9, 2012

Ruckus Kansas City 2012 Photo Recap: Some of our Fav Shots

If you joined us last weekend for Kansas City’s muddiest, craziest, most chaotic mud run yet, you may want to relive the moment.  Lucky for you, we are providing a sneak preview of some of the coolest pictures from Ruckus Kansas City.  Take a look below and be sure to Like us on Facebook to see more photos from Ruckus Kansas City.  

You've been warned: There will be mud.  
RuckStars face Mount Ruckmore head-on. 

When we said you'd get messy, we weren't kidding. 

That's one way to climb the Ruckus ladder.

Because mud really brings out your eyes.

Facing your fears.

Big or small, Ruckus is for all.

Finishing up the obstacle course with a slide down Mount Ruckmore.

Blazin' her own trail. 

The chance to compare bruises.

Start with a run.  Finish with a crawl.  

Don't just run Ruckus...slide Ruckus, too.

Teamwork makes the dream work!

Who says dudes can't enjoy a mud mask?

Sometimes, tires aren't meant to roll.

Ruckus KC: For ages 2 to 92.

Redefining "laydlike" at Ruckus KC.  

Hang in there, RuckStars!

Nothin' but net during this Ruckus obstacle.

The bruises will fade, accomplishment won't.

Sometimes, the path to enlightenment has barbed wire.

Mount Ruckmore: Redefining "slip and slide".

Ruckus Team bringing you the biggest, best obstacles in KC.

Prepare for Ruckus Mini!

Swingin' from rope to rope.  Tarzan would be proud.

It's a whole new take on "recess".  

Giving their manicurists a run for their money.

Pre-mud jump!

When obstacles are in the way, don't go around them. Climb them.

Spidercrawling through this Ruckus challenge.
Still glowing after ropes, trenches and monkey bars.

Because you and your friends should have something to talk about.

Overcoming obstacles...with leaps and bounds!

Pat yourself on the back (as soon as you can lift your arms again!).

Proving that life is short and it's important to stir it up!

Make some noise!

The bruises will fade, achievement won't. 

Making those reps mean something!

A victorious slide down Mount Ruckmore (Hey, nice pants!).

Ruckus: Because everyone should know the meaning of OMG.
Seem like an event that’s right up your alley?  Register today for Ruckus St. Louis!  We will have the same photo coverage for the St. Louis event—and it’ll be an obstacle course you REALLY don’t want to miss.  After all, how many chances to you get to slide down Mount Ruckmore?  Or climb up a mound of tires?  Or swing across a mud pit like Spiderman?  Come out and play on May 5th.