Gladiator Rock’n Run: Orange County

A few months ago a couple of my college bioengineering friends and I signed up for a mud run. At the time it seemed like a great motivational tool for us to get in shape and gauge where we were at fitness wise. Why we decided a mud run over a half marathon or bike event, who knows. Unfortunately, we lost one of our members (Mike Lau) to an ankle sprain and he wasn’t able to join us on race day. The event snuck up on us and before we knew it we were in car heading up to Irvine for a 5K mud run.

This was an event organized by Dan “Nitro” Clark (one of the cast from original American Gladiators) and I was really impressed how organized it was. It was the first annual event in Irvine and there were people ranging from first-timers (like us) and seasoned veterans. It had the same vibe as marathon events and it was great seeing people enjoy a healthy challenge.

The course started out with a 1-mile run from the Irvine Wild River park to the Amphitheathre. There we ran up the full flight of stairs in the amphitheatre, down, up and back down again (Stairway to Heaven). Heading back we grabbed a 50 lb bag of rice ~20 yards (Buddha’s Burden). From there it was a series of mini-obstacles and tire courses which were not too difficult. After ~2 miles we began to hit the mud obstacles and thats when the fun really began!

Slipping, sliding, and swimming in mud was more challenging than we had expected and running after the mud pools felt like we were carrying an 3-5 extra pounds. Had it been a hot day it would have been a bit more enjoyable, but the mud was thick and freezing. To top it off the mystery nightmare obstacle were a couple of guys with football pads crushing us into the bushes on the side. Never underestimate the difficulty of running in mud with mud filled shoes, it’s a face plant waiting to happen and boy were there a few close calls.

1.Stairway to Heaven. 2.Buddha’s Burden. 3.Terrible Tires. 4.Wrecking Ball. 5. Bonus Tires. 6. Fools Spools. 7. Rope a Dope. 8. Skid Marks. 9. Wall of Fame. 10. Cargo Congo Climb. 11. Mad Madness. 12. Mystery nightmare obstacle. 13. Hell’s Hills. 14. Mud Pit. 15.Gladiator Barbecue

It appeared as though most people who came in a group ran together and encouraged each other through the obstacles. Us being a little more competitive, we decided to go for time and push ourselves to our individual limits. Either way would have been fun and gratifying.


Gladiator Rock'n Run: Orange County
Not bad out of 2000+ participants, but definitely room for improvement. The fastest guy was a 39 year old dude who finished in 22:12!
All in all this was a fun, challenging, and empowering event and I would definitely recommend the event to anybody who may be interested. Some groups dressed in matching costumes and some were incredibly unique. Check out their facebook page for more images. for information on events near you.
Dan Nitro Clark
Dan Nitro from the American Gladiators. Past and present.
Gladiator Rock'n Run: Orange County
Goodbye shoes =/

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