What are your thoughts on obstacle runs? I was recently asked if I wanted to participate in a Tough Mudder. If you are unfamiliar with the event, it is one of the most challenging and demanding of the bunch. It can be quite intimidating to be honest. As luck would have it, my schedule does not line up and I am unable to participate in the event, and I found myself disappointed! It’s June 6-7 in the New England area and I am in Vegas for a Bachelorette party.

I need to have a race or goal to work toward. Right now I’ve got nothing, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity. I don’t think I’m alone, though, in being slightly intimidated by the Tough Mudder. The goal is to have fun and just finish. I knew I could run 26.2 miles on April 20, but the goal I gave myself to run it in under 4 hours took the fun right out it for me. I sprinted across the finish line, missing my family in the stands at the finish (something I regret).

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While running has seen a huge surge in growth over the past decade, non-traditional runs have gained even more followers. In just 5 years, the number of people who participated in these kinds of obstacle events went from low six figures to over 4 million in 2013a 40-fold increase according to Running USA. For comparison, 2.5 million people total ran at least one or more marathon (or half marathon) that same year.

What is driving the growth?

Well, I like to think America is enjoying getting healthy while having fun, but also, more women— including tough moms—are jumping into the ring! With three (plus one on the way) nieces and nephews, I’ve witnessed first-hand that motherhood can feel a bit like an obstacle course built on a lack of sleep. Without training, moms need to have speed, agility, flexibility, organization and preparation. Maybe you don’t have the time to train for a marathon, but an obstacle course? You basically do one every day.

To celebrate the launch of Ziploc® brand bags with Easy Open Tabs, Ziploc® brand is partnering with Tough Mudder. Ziploc® brand is forming a “Team Tough Mother,” made up of national and local influencers, who are present in markets around the country, participating in Tough Mudder events to honor tough mothers everywhere. Watch these tough moms run our real-life obstacle course with the help of Easy Open Tabs for some inspiration and, most importantly, mom laughs.

How Ziploc® brand can help tough moms start the day off right!

Ziploc® brand sent me a few samples of their new Easy Open Tab bags to test out.

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I now use Ziploc® brand bags with Easy Open Tabs to put my smoothie ingredients in a freezer bag, ready to pop into the blender when I’m short on time. They make my life a little easier!

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I love the new tabs for opening. Often in the morning, my hands might feel a bit greasy after putting on lotion and can be hard to open. These new, larger tabs keep my morning frustrations away. This smoothie was just a simple banana and mango one. I would have added spinach, but I ran out!

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It literally takes one minute to make my breakfast when I do this. I also added in Unsweetened Vanilla Milk and Whole Foods’ new nutritional shake mix, Vanilla Caramel. I went through this tub embarrassingly fast. It tasted identical to my favorite Vega Vanilla Nutritional Shake mix but costs less. It just tastes like Vanilla, so I’m not sure why the caramel is even on the label but, whatevs.

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The finished product is always perfection to me. I’m simple. I don’t need fancy ingredients. I need things to work quickly and taste good. I know moms have trouble finding the time to make their own healthy meals when taking care of their kids. A little meal prep like this goes a long way when you have only one hand!

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Have you completed a non-traditional run yet? If so, let me know below in the comments.

I did run three separate Urbanathlon races with Men’s and Women’s Health about 5 years ago and had a blast. I don’t know why I haven’t tried another one since. Maybe Tough Mudder will be my next goal – given no conflicts next time!

This post is sponsored by Ziploc® brand. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Tougher Mother + The Rise of Obstacle-Based Runs

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3 Comments

  • Amanda N.
    Reply

    Hey Sarah! I’ve run a handful of TM’s as well as a Spartan Beast before, and can say that Tough Mudder is my favorite, without a doubt. The sense of camaraderie is unmatched at any other obstacle race I’ve run. While you can’t make the June date work, you should look into the race in Maine, “The Great Northeast,” in September! I ran it last year, and am signed up again this year because it’s such a great course!

  • Jen K
    Reply

    I don’t do mud…I’m a city girl. I do obstacle races though. The Spartan Print is my favorite, especially when it’s held in a baseball stadium, you get to run up and down the stands, do push-ups in the visiting locker room and run on the field. It’s awesome! I also like doing The City Challenge, I live near NYC so we have a few a year, great for beginners.

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