CONYERS — Thousands of runners of all ages came together Saturday at the Georgia International Horse Park for the Rugged Maniac 5K Obstacle Race. Released every 15 minutes in “waves” of 200, the runners followed a path through the Steeplechase area of the park, taking on more than 20 obstacles along the way.

The Rugged Maniac wasn’t just a fitness and fun party for those involved. It was also a fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society and part of its DetermiNation event endurance program.

The obstacles on the 3-mile course ranged from mud pits covered in barbed wire so you had crawl or go through on your hands and knees, to pits filled with water you had to try to swing or run over without falling in, to the final obstacle, a 30-foot-high water slide that you had to reach by a jumping wall and cargo net. The obstacles also had memorable names such as Commando Crawl, Off The Rails, Iron Curtain, Feed The Beast, Hell and High Water, and Antigravity.

When the runners finished, there was a festival featuring a mechanical bull, dance-offs, stein hoisting, pull up contests, music and a huge party. Each participant who finished the course received a medal and T-shirt and free photos. Those over 21 received a beer.

Senior Reporter

Born and raised in Decatur, Ga. Graduated from Shorter College in Rome, Ga. in 1979 with B.A. in Communications. Worked in community newspapers for 26 years. Started at Rockdale Citizen/Newton Citizen in January 2016.