Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Causing a Ruckus during Summer Vacation: Why Kids Benefit from Doing the Ruckus Mini

It’s here! After months of waiting and dreaming of the endless possibilities and countless opportunities it would bring, summer vacation has finally arrived. Kids everywhere are pulling out their swim suits, cleaning the cobwebs off of their bikes and waving goodbye to the long days of school.  Little do they know that this may not be a typical summer.  They may not realize that this is the summer to cause a Ruckus.   Ruckus has one of the coolest events for kids—the Ruckus Mini.  It’s a muddy obstacle course made just for kids.  Here are a few ways your child will benefit from the muddy magnificence of the Ruckus Mini:

Soak Up the Sunshine
Kids need to play outside. It’s essential. They need the sunshine and more importantly, they need the exercise. Nowadays, it’s far too easy for kids to spend an entire day sitting inside playing video games or watching television. It’s up to you to encourage and inspire your child to get outdoors. Physical activity is as important for a child as it is for an adult.  

The Ruckus Mini is perfect for this. Get your little ones out of the house and into the mud. The Ruckus Mini will have your child climbing, crawling, running and laughing.  They can run the course as many times as they want, until they’re covered in mud and exhausted from all of the fun. You benefit from knowing your child is being active and your child will gain the benefits of a day full of playing.

Everyone is a Winner
Children require a certain amount of positive reinforcement. They need that pat on the back and acknowledgment after they do something that sets them apart. The Ruckus Mini is the perfect opportunity. The course is 100% spectator-friendly which means you can cheer your child on the entire time.

But the Ruckus Mini takes it a step further.  Not only is the Mini spectator friendly, it comes with a prize for participation. Each child that plays gets a t-shirt and a medal upon completion.

Make Lasting Memories
All parents want to give their children memories that last a lifetime. Participating in the Ruckus Mini is an experience your child will never forget. The memory of crawling through the mud and running with reckless abandon through the wild and crazy obstacle course is one that will stick with your child for years and years. The memories will last far longer than it takes for them to outgrow the t-shirt they receive at the end of the run.

The Ruckus Mini isn’t just an event, it’s an experience. It’s an experience your child will want to relive again and again. Who knows?  It might encourage them to create an obstacle course of their own in the backyard. 

Ruckus is all about creating memories and inspiring action. Give your child the opportunity to be inspired.
Let this be the summer you encourage your child to get muddy and have a blast! Sign your child up for the Ruckus Mini today!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

How to Have Fun on Every Run (Even the Tough Ones!)

Running can be...monotonous.  The same trail run, the same pace on the treadmill, the same routine over and over again can get...well...boring.  So how can you have fun on every single run you do (even the ones that are challenging, difficult, even excruciating?).  We’ve got the four best ways to stay positive, happy and challenged during every single run you do while you train for Ruckus:

Give yourself a challenge
Have you been running at a 6.0/mile pace on the same 3-mile route for a few weeks now?  No wonder you’re bored—you’re not challenging yourself!  Hard work doesn’t just make you fitter, it makes you happier, too.  In a 2011 study conducted by scientists at the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences in the UK, recreational runners who rated their enjoyment after a steady 50-minute run weren’t nearly as exhilarated than with their performance at a higher intensity.

How can you challenge yourself?  Try mixing a few sprints into your normal run.  This simple change of pace can help you accomplish the challenge you need. 

Run with friends
Although many runners enjoy the peaceful, serene solo run, it’s important to run with friends and family too.  Running with others provides greater satisfaction with exercise, increased motivation to reach goals and greater consistency to perform.

Give yourself a reward
A run will feel even more satisfying when there is a reward involved.  If you hold a certain pace, reward yourself with a yummy dinner.  If you run the furthest you ever have without stopping, treat yourself with a massage the next day.  Give yourself incentives and you’ll find running to be even more fulfilling and more fun.

Switch up the course
If you run the same course over and over again, your brain will no longer be stimulated and your body will no longer be challenged.  Every so often, opt for a different course—explore new trails, drive out to the countryside or discover a new neighborhood.  Find your route using beforehand so you know exactly where you’re going.

Make running fun again!  Give these four tips a shot and you’ll not only get in Ruckus shape, but you’ll smile while doing it. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Phenomenon of the "Adult Playground"

There is no denying the popularity of mud obstacle courses, but what is causing this new phenomenon? What is inspiring people to cut loose, get dirty and run wild through these challenging adult playgrounds? We’re here to tell you why people ages 2 to 72 can’t help but sign up for these chaotic, rambunctious, ΓΌber-fantastic mud runs.  Here are the three best reasons why people love to get down and dirty with Ruckus:

Primal Instinct
Climbing, crawling, racing—it’s all a part of our animalistic nature. The instinct to compete and survive is embedded deep inside our DNA. These muddy obstacle courses give us a chance to get in touch with this primal side.

Ruckus puts everybody on an equal playing field. No longer are you a CEO or a student.  You’re an athlete participating in what can only be described as an adventure. These adult playgrounds give you the opportunity to get primal, run wild and be a muddy mess. You’ll be happier than a pig in the mud. Pun intended.

Pure Nostalgia
As children, it’s a normal occurrence to come inside covered in mud after a day of hardcore play.  As an adult, however, you don’t have as many excuses to play in the mud (apart from a mud mask perhaps).  In our opinion, that’s a cryin’ shame. But mud obstacle courses give you the chance to experience your childhood all over again.  Climb across the monkey bars, jump over the “hot lava”, run across the playground, repeat. Sound familiar?

As adults, we need to maintain that imaginative, child-like mindset that we seem to be so fond of.  Ruckus allows us to play. It appeals to the inner-child in each and every one of us. So go ahead— experience the feeling of dried mud on your skin and the excitement of running with reckless abandon. Ruckus is recess from your everyday adult life...and who doesn’t love recess?

Positively Unique
We all strive to be healthy and fit, but let’s face it; running can turn into quite a snoozefest after awhile. Adult playgrounds (like Ruckus) add excitement and fun to the normal marathon routine. Ruckus is the edgy and unique cousin of the marathon (the one you want to hang out with at family reunions). While mud obstacle courses are challenging, even to the fittest people, they’re still undeniably entertaining.

When was the last time you were smiling as you were running? After viewing many of the pictures from Ruckus, it’s obvious that the people who are running it can’t help but enjoy it.  What’s more; Ruckus lets you run with the entire family. With a Ruckus course for every member of the family, anybody can participate in an event.  Even the kids are sure to remember Ruckus for the rest of their lives.

Now it’s our turn to ask you.  Why do you run in mud obstacle courses?  Why do you cause a Ruckus?  

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ruckus St. Louis Sets Record for Most Shoes Donated to Barrel Aid

I’ve never had an experience quite like this before. 

I’m being dunked multiple times in thick, cool mud.  I’m balancing on swinging ropes.  I’m climbing up muddy walls.  I’m sliding down Mount Ruckmore.  And finally, I’m gently being placed on a tarp with other mud-stained friends.

Yes, I’m a shoe, and yes, I survived Ruckus St. Louis with you.

At first, I was upset that you gave me away.  After all, we’ve been through a lot together—the cool nightly runs, the endless treadmill jogging, the intense agility training.  Through it all, I have stuck by your side.  And to hear that you were giving me away after one of the most chaotic mud runs of our lives made me feel sad and a bit betrayed.  But then I learned about where I was going.  And now, I’m happy.

Because of your big heart, you decided to donate me to an organization called Barrel Aid after we competed in Ruckus St. Louis together.  I have quickly learned that Barrel Aid donates used muddy shoes (just like me!) to schools in Haiti.  And now, 381 other pairs of shoes and I are headed to Haiti to make the world a better place.

Not only are we doing some social good, but we are breaking records too!  My 381 new friends and I broke a record during St. Louis Ruckus—it was a record donation for Barrel Aid!  I would give you a high-five if I could, but I don’t have hands.  Instead, I’ll just smile and drive away with my new buddies and reminisce on the memorable Ruckus experience that you and I shared—even though I was completely blinded the whole time with mud.  

Thank you for donating me, you Ruckstar.  After sticking by your side, I am looking forward to making a difference in someone else’s life now.  Good luck to you—and good luck to the next pair of shoes you decide to put through the ringer!

Follow Ruckus on Twitter! @RuckusSports

Boston, are you up for the challenge?  Let's see if you can beat St. Louis's shoe donation to Barrel Aid!  Bring it on! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Congratulations to our Facebook Photo Contest Winners!

We were overwhelmed by the crazy, muddy and downright hilarious pictures that you all submitted for the Ruckus St. Louis Facebook Photo Contest.  We’ll be honest—choosing just 5 winners was a challenge!  But we have narrowed down our top 5 pictures and are awarding our winners with a free registration to Ruckus St. Louis 2013:

Josh Foster: Starting them out young...3 year old Ruckus. I was told he did the Mini ~25 times! 

Kelly Lepert: This is a "before" photo of the Tootoo girls of St. Louis for the Photo Contest. 

This is the is the "after" photo of the Tootoo girls of St. Louis for the Photo Contest. Notice they are still friends!

Lara Embree: Team Ruckin' Awesome rocked the Ruckus. It was the first time for all of us and we all finished! We love the mud and can't wait until next year!

Alex Paz: Photo Contest: Midwest Viking member Kevin Johnson washes the mud off of team mate Janice Gibbs Brown to reveal a fitting quote.

Niki Hoerner Gomez: My favorite part of the Ruckus is seeing the smile on my sons faces when they finish the mini! (4 yr/ 2 yr)

How can you claim your prize?  We will contact you via Facebook message with information about how to claim your free ticket to Ruckus St. Louis 2013—so check your Inboxes!

A huge thanks to everybody who submitted photos into the Ruckus St. Louis Photo Contest—we hope you cherish all the muddy memories.  Until next year, St. Louis...

Follow us for more information! @RuckusSports

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Win Free Registration to Ruckus St. Louis 2013!

You know you loved running in Ruckus this past weekend—and you know that you’d love to do it again.  And now you can...for free! 

We’re looking for some of your favorite photos that you took during Ruckus St. Louis this past weekend.  When you upload those pictures to our Facebook page and write a caption about your experience, you could win a free registration to Ruckus St. Louis 2013!

There are only 2 days left to submit your favorite photos.  So get social with us and share your favorite Ruckus memory—and we’ll see you on the course next year. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Top 10 Tips for Your Next Ruckus Race

Ruckus St. Louis was a lot of things—muddy, thrilling, exhausting, hot, intense, fun, and even a little scary. 

But most of all, I would say that Ruckus was a learning experience.  

Although this blogger has participated in half marathons, swim competitions, 5Ks and triathlons, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was in for when I pulled into the GCS Ballpark parking lot for Ruckus St. Louis this past weekend.  Would I get worn out?  Was I really going to get that muddy?  Was I going to enjoy the obstacles, the atmosphere and the mess? 

Yes, yes and yes.

But while I was swinging from rope-to-rope like Tarzan, climbing nets like a spider and crawling through mud Shawshank Redemption-style, I learned a lot.  And that’s why I’m writing today—to tell you the top 10 things I learned while participating in Ruckus.  Use these tips for your next Ruckus race, and you’ll be sure to enjoy yourself, stay safe and maybe drop a little time.

1.  Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

One of the biggest mistakes I made wasn’t during my Ruckus race—it was before the race even began.  I completely failed to hydrate myself the night before the race and by body seemed to suffer from lack of water.  If I could do it all over again, I would definitely drink more fluids the week before the event to ensure that I was being good to my body.

2.  Tie your shoes...tight!
During Ruckus, I noticed that a few people actually finished the race completely barefoot!  Why?  Because their shoes weren’t tied tight enough and they lost them in the mud along the way.  From the very beginning, I saw many participants literally run right out of their shoes, then have to turn around and search through the mud to find them.  My suggestion: wear the right shoes (comfortable, but old enough that if they get ruined, you can always donate them at the end of the race) and tie them extra, extra tight.

3.  Wear snug clothing
Along with tying your shoes tight, I also recommend wearing snug clothing.  I made the mistake of wearing shorts that seemed to weigh me down and a t-shirt that was extremely absorbent and loose.  My clothing definitely got in the way (not to mention, I have a gnarly burn on my legs from sliding down Mount Ruckmore!  Oh the things we do for Ruckus!).

4.  Bring your sunscreen
Even though Ruckus St. Louis took place on a beautiful early-May morning, it was over 100 degrees and the sun was definitely blazing.  No matter what time, day or city your Ruckus race is in, I suggest bringing sunscreen.  You never know when the sun will come out.

5.  Bring flip flops and a towel for the car
After completing Ruckus, I made sure to donate my old Nikes to Barrel Aid, an organization that donates shoes to benefit orphans in Haiti, Zimbabwe and Africa.  Lucky for me, I brought some flip flops to wear to walk back to the parking lot.  My boss (who participated in the run with me) wasn’t so lucky.  He had to sprint across the parking lot to avoid burning the bottoms of his feet!

In addition, I suggest bringing a towel for the car.  Although Ruckus does provide a lot of hoses to clean yourself, I guarantee that no one leaves the Ruckus obstacle course completely mud-free.  Bring a towel for your car so your seats don’t get too muddy!

6.  Gloves could help.
When I first saw some participants wearing gloves, I didn’t exactly understand.  Why would you need gloves during Ruckus?  But then I attempted the monkey bars.  The moment I grasped the first bar, my hand slipped and I fell right into the mud pit.  Gloves would have come in handy, but only for a few of the obstacles.

7.  Take the plunge!
Ruckus is full of mud pits and challenging obstacle courses.  In the beginning of the race, I thought I would be able to finish with minimal mud stains and semi-clean hair.  Boy was I wrong.  Eventually, I decided to stop avoiding the muddy areas and to just take the plunge.  I slid on my stomach and purposefully went through the muddiest parts of the course—why not? Take the plunge and get dirty.  Chances are you’ll go faster!

8.  Take it an obstacle at a time.
Although I ran the 2 mile heater, I had to take the course an obstacle at a time (and trust me, it still wore me out!).  Each obstacle was challenging, so make sure to mentally and physically prepare yourself ahead of time.  You may see an obstacle in front of you and think “there’s no way I can do this.”  Give it a shot.  You never know what you can accomplish if you don’t try.

9.  Get there early.
Ruckus recommends arriving to the course an hour before your heat—and I would agree!  It does take some time to sign in, drop your stuff off at gear check, attach your number and time chip to your clothing and make your way over to the starting line.  But if you need some time to kill before your race, I recommend watching the kids participate in the Ruckus Mini—you won’t be disappointed.

10.  Bring your friends.
Unfortunately, I was by myself throughout most of the Ruckus run.  Although I still had an amazing time and would totally do it again, I wish I had some of my friends beside me to help me stay motivated and keep me laughing.  I recommend bringing as many friends to Ruckus as possible and forming a team—the more the merrier (and the muddier!).  

Follow us! @RuckusSports
And don't forget to enter into our Facebook Photo Contest to win a free Ruckus St. Louis 2013 registration! 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Here’s What You’re In For: A Sneak Peek of the Ruckus St. Louis Course

When we said that we’re obstacle-running, wall-climbing, mud-throwing athletes, we weren’t kidding.  That’s why we’re bringing St. Louis our muddiest, craziest, most downright adventurous obstacle course yet.  And it all comes together this weekend at Ruckus St. Louis.

St. Louis, are you ready to get down and dirty and cause a Ruckus?  Here is an exclusive sneak peek of what team Ruckus is putting together for you this weekend at the GCS Ballpark in Sauget, Illinois!

A web? A pyramid? What could this obstacle be?

Our forklifts are out and ready to set up! 

Could this be the sign of another Mount Ruckmore?

GCS Ballpark: the perfect location for Ruckus St. Louis!

We hope you trained by running a few stairs! 

Awesome view of downtown STL and the arch. 

Barrels of hay? Would you expect anything less from Ruckus St. Louis?

Plus, we’ve got great news!  The forecast for the day of Ruckus St. Louis (Saturday, May 5) is 91 degrees and partly cloudy.  The perfect weather to get running, get muddy and get competitive!

Care to join us?  Come cheer on the RuckStars throughout almost the entire course (we have the best spectating capabilities of any other obstacle course out there!).  Stop by on Saturday, May 5 at 2301 Grizzlie Bear Boulevard in Sauget, Illinois and get your Ruckus on!

Follow us on Saturday too at @RuckusSports

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ruckus Cheerleaders Wanted!

It may be almost too late to register for Ruckus St. Louis, but it’s not too late to cheer your favorite RuckStars across the finish line!  We can’t help but brag...Ruckus has the best spectating capabilities of any other mud run out there.  So if you can’t participate in Ruckus, why not cheer from the sidelines?

Ruckus is looking for cheerleaders to help us support and encourage our RuckStars over walls, through mud pits and all the way down Mount Ruckmore.  So if you have a family member, friend, loved one or colleague running in Ruckus St. Louis this weekend, why not come down and cheer them on?

Ruckus cheerleaders, we have another task for you too.  We recently announced our Ruckus St. Louis Facebook Photo Contest —a contest that is looking for our participants’ best authentic photos.  How can you help?  Why not take some pictures of the race for your loved ones and post them to Facebook for them!  Because Ruckus has awesome spectating capabilities, you can participate in Ruckus without getting too much dirt under your fingernails.  So what are you waiting for?  Bring your camera, line up by the course and snap a few pictures of your favorite RuckStars while they cross (or crawl across) the finish line.
Click here to learn more about our Facebook Photo Contest.