Into the mud!

Recently – although with a bleeding heart – I sold my tickets for this year’s Xletix challenge in Munich. Unfortunately I won’t be able to throw myself in the mud this year. 🙁

The lucky buyer had some questions for me, which leads me to provide a field report and some hints here – he is certainly not the only one who participates in one of the Xletix obstacle races for the first time this year.

Xletix obstacle races take place over the summer in several locations in Germany and one time in Austria. All locations have in common that there are three distances: S (about 6-8 km and 15 obstacles), M (additional 6-8 km with 10 obstacles) and L (another 6-8 km with 10 more obstacles). The tracks build on each other and no lap is run more than once.
You can compete as a single person – for this there are certain time slots in the morning and this runs under the name “Elite Heat” – but the real purpose of the event is to tackle the run and the obstacles together with a team. You help each other, not only in your own team, but also across teams.

I myself experienced four challenges – the first two three years ago and then one in each of the last two years.

Kühtai in Tyrol was my first run and I was pretty excited. Some of my friends were there for the second time, so at least I had someone who could answer my questions and give me practical hints. Kühtai continues to run under the motto “the highest obstacle course in the world”, as the event takes place at an altitude of approx. 2020 m and on the L-distance there are approx. 1500 m height difference to overcome. Since we were not quite sure how exhausting the run would be because of the location and the altitude difference, we decided to do the S-Distance here. Good call: Unfortunately it was quite cold that day and partly it drizzled, so we were glad when we finally crossed the finish line. All in all, it was still a lot of fun, although the atmosphere, as my friends who had already taken part in the Southern Germany challenge near Ingolstadt the year before assured me, was not so good: too “elitist” and hardly any party atmosphere.

Of course I couldn’t estimate that at that time, but after I had started one month later at Ingolstadt, I really could only agree with this statement. In the following two years we therefore stayed in Southern Germany, but went over to the M-distance, which definitely has the best ratio of running distance to number and above all quality of obstacles. 😀 (The S-distance was now too short for us, but towing sandbags over several kilometers, as it was demanded on the L-distance at that time, did not really appeal to us either, so we stayed with the golden mean and never regretted it).
For two years now, the Southern Germany challenge has been taking place at the Munich-Riem trade fair grounds. The advantage of this really great location is that spectators can often get right up to the obstacles and cheer on the runners. In one year I had my niece and nephew with me, for whom it was really exciting. Beyond that in Munich – as already in Ingolstadt – we were very lucky with the weather every time, it was always really hot, so that we threw ourselves on/in the water obstacles with a lot of energy.

Speaking of obstacles – here is a small selection:

Mud obstacles

I can promise you one thing: It’s really fun to just give in to the “mud-wrestling”. You crawl through mud under barbed wire, you dive through mud under car tires (or squeeze yourself through the gaps), you walk through a big deep mud hole (and here might lose your shoes – attention, make sure to tie your laces extra tight!!) The mud is indeed slippery but somehow also nice and cool, which is quite pleasant especially on warm days.

Water obstacles

Diving through ice water (and I mean ice water with ice cubes and yes, the head must also be under water), rushing down a huge water slide, swimming a bit through a cold lake – great. Then the mud is finally washed away, you think. But of course the next muddy obstacle will surely come… 😀

Physically challenging obstacles

Ever run up a 4.50 m high, muddy and very slippery half pipe? Or a 3-4 m high vertical wall? No? Let’s do it then! I don’t know how the lone “Elite Heat“ fighters do it – but as a team we have always managed it. 🙂 You climb, run, jump, scramble, crawl, drag your teammates around on car tires… there are also physically challenging obstacles. But don’t worry – if you don’t make it, that’s not really a problem – but you have to try. Or you will be penalised with 20 burpees.

I don’t want to reveal more at this point, after all, it should remain exciting. But I have some general tips & info for you. Although I only have experience with the locations in Tyrol and Southern Germany, I assume that the organisational work is similar at the other locations:

  • Registration: One person must first create a team, which all the other team members can then join. So he or she is the captain. 🙂 For all of you: Have your credit card ready when booking!
  • Each team member can choose the distance at the individual registration (because the distances build up on each other, you still start together) and must also indicate the desired starting time of the team, which is however not guaranteed. Approximately 10 days before the event you will be informed about the actual starting time and get some more information such as a track plan and the non-liability form via email.
  • Furthermore you can (also at a later time) pre-book a parking ticket (only with this ticket you can access the surrounding area by car).
  • Access:
    • Kühtai: Leave early enough! At that time – three years ago – there were not very many parking spaces, despite the previously booked parking ticket this was a real problem.
    • Munich-Riem on the other hand is super organised. There are enough parking places, but also the arrival by public transport is unproblematic.
  • On the day of the event, make sure you take this with you: passport, entrance ticket, disclaimer (best to fill it out at home), if necessary the parking ticket as well as clothes to change (in fact EVERYTHING, a complete set, because after the run everything is wet and muddy).
  • There is a tent in which you can put a backpack or a bag (with your change of clothes), but no responsibility is taken for the contents. But with us, nothing ever got away. Nevertheless, I would leave valuables at home if they are not necessarily needed on site.
  • Showers: There are separate shower areas for boys and girls. However, the showers are cold (not to say freezing cold). Nevertheless, I cannot advise you to go home without a shower, unless you want to leave several kilos of mud in the car, on the train and in the hallway… ;P (Speaking of mud – despite a basic cleaning in the washing machine fine sand still trickled out of my sneakers for weeks.)
  • Speaking of shoes: You shouldn’t take your best clothes or your best shoes, because as I said – it gets all muddy and wet and thus worn out… Better take a slightly older set, which would not be such a pity if you can’t use it anymore afterwards.
  • There are enough toilets (Dixi), especially in the start/finish area, but also along the track, from time to time.
  • Catering: There’s food and beverage available locally, but of course, it’s not cheap. We always took a little something with us and bought the rest on the spot.

Well, I think that’s all the useful information I can give you at this point. Just one thing remains to be said: These obstacle courses are a really cool thing and simply FIBEER fun. So – what are you waiting for?


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