Saturday, September 7, 2013

Maverik Man Games Utah 2013

As someone who actively seeks adventure, there was no debate when I heard about the Man Games. An event filled with adrenaline, competition, and the chance to prove your manhood? Of course I was in. 

The first ever Maverik Man Games was held in Heber, UT September 6th and 7th, 2013.

Video by Michael Hancock. Subscribe for more awesome videos.

 Coming from someone who runs every obstacle race he can, this event could have gone a little more smoothly. That was to be expected however from the first event of its kind. Despite the lack of communication and a lot of last minute changes, it was a lot of fun and I'm definitely doing it again next year. There is a lot of room for improvement and I'm sure they'll get all the kinks worked out. The event was held at the Wasatch County Rodeo and Fair Grounds. It would have been nice to have a few signs up leading to the venue, but it really wasn't that hard to find. Our start time was 8-10am which made it difficult to invite friends and family since we didn't know exactly when we would start and we didn't want them to have to wait around for a couple hours had we started at 10. They ended up starting everyone in that time slot shortly after 8 which would have been nice to know in advance. They didn't end up charging for spectators or parking though which was a plus. We were divided into groups and started out on different challenges. There were a total of six challenges instead of ten, but it was still well worth it. 

Team "I don't believe in belts" in our cutoff plaid shirts. 

Our group started with the pig wrestle which was quite intimidating for all of us who had never done anything like that before. They pulled a pig into a pen that was roughly 30 feet by 40 feet. We were in our teams of three or four and were timed trying to pin the pig, each holding onto one of it's legs and raising our other hand in the air. There was not a lot of consistency as some of the pigs selected were twice the size of others and some pigs seemed to have a lot more energy and fight in them than others. There was a group of four that pinned theirs in 7 seconds seemingly because it was a small pig and didn't put up much of a fight (not to say they weren't capable athletes, but so were we). It took our group 18 seconds because our pig was easily 300 pounds and did not want to go down. In those 18 seconds, I cut open my hand, scraped my knees, bicep and shoulder pretty good, and got kicked in the face by one of the back legs. It was quite a battle. The key was not to hesitate. Go after that pig fast, wrap it up and don't let it get away.  


Next we went to the mounted spear throw. We got on a horse and rode about 20 yards at a gallop and tried to throw a spear through a target set up against some hay bales. The horses were very well trained but when it took off at a gallop you really had to focus on balance. The horse rode right by the target, but it wasn't easy by any means. No one fell off as far as I know, but it was hard to get an accurate throw. Three out of our four team members were able to stick the spear in the target.

Then we went over to the "Manly Course" which turned out to be four challenges combined into one: the obstacle course, all sports challenge, cross fit challenge, and sportsman's challenge. It was probably about 3/4 of a mile and consisted of (in order) a sand hill, horse fence jumps, dirt hill, mud pit, climb up and over a cargo container, hay bale jumps, army crawling under barbed wire, running through tires, one basketball free throw shot, one arrow shot, one hatchet throw, one 40 yard football throw, one tire flip, 10 burpees, one caber toss, one log power clean and throw, one 40 yard football punt, and one soccer penalty kick. I was hoping they would separate the challenges so we would get more chances on the sports challenges and the bows and hatchets. I feel like our team would have excelled at each of these challenges had they been separated and extended. They probably just didn't have enough volunteers to run all of these challenges separately. I'm not sure how they decided to score the "Manly Course" with all the different challenges, but they should have results posted soon enough.

After the Manly Course we rode buses over to Rainbow Bay at Deer Creek Reservoir. We rode the flyboards for a little less than 10 minutes which was the highlight of the event for my teammates and me. It was easier than I was expecting and I was even able to do a few back flips. For those without much experience on a board, it took a little more time to get the hang of it. A couple of us are even going back next weekend to do it again with our Man Games discount. Rocky Mountain Flyboard is the company that ran it. They are out of Deer Creek and Jordanelle. Check out their website

Next we went over to the water relay which consisted of about a 50 yard swim, kayak, and paddle board going from the shore around a buoy and back.  They had enough equipment that our whole team could go at the same time which made it easier to push each other. Luckily they found an area of the shore that was mostly clear of rocks, but they still encouraged us to keep our shoes on. The fastest person on our team finished in 4:20 which was much faster than the group in front of us but we're not sure still how it compares to the rest of the field. 

Last was the "giant" ropeswing which started on a platform about 20 feet off the water. It was a pretty slow swing that didn't go very high and was barely enough for a single back flip. I understand why they couldn't make it bigger. All of the real giant rope swings I've been on have seen their share of serious injury. Don't get me wrong though, it was still fun and I'd do it again. 

I was really looking forward to the human slingshot as shown in the Vooray video by devinsupertramp, but unfortunately they couldn't get it all figured out in time. 

They said results will be posted in a few days, so it will be interesting to see how they score everything. I assume they'll mail out the awards as well as the First Ever Man Games participant medals. Overall great event and I'll definitely be back next year.

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