ROCKINGHAM — Competition at Rockingham Dragway is about survival this Saturday as the record-setting dragstrip is transformed into a challenging obstacle course, without motorized vehicles.
The occasion is the third annual Rugged Maniac Series in which more than 4500 participants crawl, climb and jump their way over, under and around 25 obstacles erected over a 3.1-mile course.
Those obstacles include “The Ringer,” a test of grip strength and hand-eye coordination which requires participants to swing like a monkey from ring to ring; “The Gauntlet,” in which “Maniacs” are challenged to walk a narrow plank over water while avoiding swinging sand bags; and “Jacob’s Ladder,” a climb up and over 12-foot-tall wooden pyramids.
Competitors also leap over flaming logs, use their trampoline skills to gain access to climbing ropes, scale 14-foot walls and cargo nets, vault over four-foot tall barriers, tote 25-pound sandbags, climb towers of shipping containers and crawl through drainage pipes into muddy water under barbed wire.
Before and after, contestants can socialize with other Maniacs, ride mechanical bulls, challenge others to pie-eating and stein-hoisting events and dance to music at the main stage. The reward for all of that mirth and mayhem is an event T-shirt, free action photos of oneself on the course, a Rugged Maniac medal and, for those of age, a free beer.
The Rugged Maniac Series, which has fostered a number of imitators, sets itself apart by requiring no spectator fee or other additional fees. The ruggedmaniac.com website offers additional information about this event for Rockingham Dragway and for Richmond County.