I don’t know how many articles I’ve written for Mudstacle over the last five years but each one has had an overriding emotion. Reading through the list of the eight basic human emotions (Joy, Surprise, Anticipation, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, Fear and Trust) many articles and videos spring to mind. However, with this one, my last as Editor of Mudstacle, I feel every single emotion to a degree.

Pete Rees MudstacleWhen I took an afternoon off from work in early 2012 to start writing a blog I had no idea where the path would lead. Looking back at that time now, I just seemed to lose control. The development of Mudstacle’s content and community happened suddenly and organically; every innovation felt like the obvious thing to do and, before “I” knew it, Mudstacle was very much a “we” and the website didn’t resemble the blog I first intended it to be.

In August 2013 I realised that Mudstacle could never reach its potential unless I could devote myself to it full time. So I made one of the most terrifying decisions of my life and handed my notice in at work, with no guarantee of future income.

Thankfully that decision is not one I regret. Over the last few years I’ve had to pinch myself on many occasions. Watching our community grow and our initiatives fly has been more rewarding than I could ever have imagined. I’ve broken through many layers of comfort zone and, along the way, have met friends for life (including my wife).

Although the path has felt obvious, it hasn’t always been easy. There have been many professional and personal challenges, but Mudstacle has been a labour of love and that’s what has kept us moving onwards and upwards.

Over recent months I’ve had a niggling desire for change. That’s partly because I miss the stability of being employed and partly because I feel that others might be better placed to take this amazing organisation forward. Over the last six months I’ve been focusing more and more on promotional video work – you may have noticed that I’ve produced a few of Rat Race’s latest videos as a freelancer.

And so, on that note, I’m very excited to announce that my work with Rat Race has led to a full time position, where I’ll be producing a large chunk of their video and written work. I’ve had a close relationship with Rat Race since the very early days of Mudstacle and they have continued to capture my enthusiasm, with their ever-developing range of events, so this feels like an obvious and comfortable transition to make and I can’t wait to get started. I’ll be running around Man Vs Mountain with a camera at the end of this week, so really it’ll just be business as usual!

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As I mentioned before, Mudstacle hasn’t relied on just “me” for a while. As well as being propped up by the most amazing community, we have some very special people at the core of what we do. Phil especially has been a huge help, in fact he’s practically run the company over the last year. I can’t thank him enough for everything he’s done. As well as helping with the Mudstacle transition over the coming months, he’ll be working to set up his new business, which we’re all very excited about!

Making a decision on who should take the reins at Mudstacle has been extremely difficult but I’m sure you’ll be as excited as I am by the plan that we now have in place. Although myself and Phil will be taking a step back and joining all of you on the community side, I couldn’t be happier to announce those who will be taking over.

Ami Sawran – Editor

There couldn’t be a more perfect choice for Editor of Mudstacle than Ami Sawran. Every article that I’ve ever received from her has been an absolute dream. She gets what Mudstacle is and is an incredibly talented writer. She’s far too humble to notice that I’m not alone in my admiration for her - there’s a HUGE Ami fan club who will be delighted to hear more from her.

Andy Parry – Webmaster / Contributor

Does Andy Parry really need any introduction? He’s one of the most recognisable figures in our community and has been working at the heart of Mudstacle since the early days. You’ll know him best for his kooky articles and his activity in our Facebook community group. From the outside, nothing will change but he’ll be doing a lot of the technical website stuff, as well as sending out your t-shirts. I can hear the new chant of “T-SHIRT!!! ANDY!!!” already.

Tom Littlewood – Video Editor / Designer

Tom LittlewoodVideo has taken the forefront of Mudstacle’s content over the last couple of years and Tom has been my right-hand man. He’s produced some of our favourite episodes, from Mudstacle fun-wave coverage to his Unknown documentary. I’m excited to see how Mudstacle TV develops with him at the helm, with his silky editing skills and amazing eye for aesthetics.

Doug Spence – Managing Director

Here’s the bombshell! Can you believe it? We have the one and only Doug “The Beard” Spence captaining the Mudstacle ship. Over the last few years I’ve grown very close to Doug. As friends and confidants, we’ve supported each other through the highs and lows of both of our businesses. Although Dirty Dozen’s story didn’t end how most of us hoped, Doug’s passion and drive is undeniable.  He has so much more to give to the obstacle racing community and I know that he can continue to make a difference through Mudstacle. I couldn’t be happier that my baby has landed in such safe hands.

As I pass the torch, it seems appropriate to hear from the Great Bearded One himself. Here’s Doug’s thoughts on the transition:

Wow, what can I say? I never thought after winding up Dirty Dozen that I’d ever have anything to do with obstacle racing again, so it makes me feel incredibly honoured that Pete has entrusted me with Mudstacle. I know how hard it is to start something from scratch and then walk away from it; pulling the plug on Dirty Dozen was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, so I totally get how difficult this decision must have been for Pete.

During my time at Dirty Dozen, I learnt a huge amount about how not to run a business. That’s right, how not to run a business. My main mistake was not protecting the business. It’s all about balance. Putting everything into the product is great and I’ll continue to do that but making sure the business gets what it needs, and that is profit, is critical. Profit seems to be a dirty word but if there is no profit, there is no business. That doesn’t mean not looking after the customers, far from it. It just means striking a balance. By not protecting the business side of Dirty Dozen, I let everyone down, the customers, the team and myself. If I’d charged a couple of quid more per runner, I’d still be organising races today. My role is to create a sustainable business that will make Pete proud!

I thought it would be useful to share my priorities with you all:

  • Remain great friends with Pete. We’ve become genuine friends over the years and it’s very important to me that the running of Mudstacle doesn’t interfere with that.
  • Keep Mudstacle, Mudstacle! I love what it stands for.
  • Give more to our members!
  • Support our races more.
  • Support those entrusted with me to run this great brand. Ami, Tom and Andy are all amazing people with huge drive and determination. I’d like to thank them in advance for their patience! They might not know it yet but I’m a huge pain in the butt 😉
  • Take part in some races, it’s about blooming time!

I would love it if you can all embrace this change and help me make it better. Your feedback is key so email me at doug@mudstacle.com. I might not take you up on every idea but I will consider them all. Looking forward to seeing you out on the course!

Doug

So, that’s it from me. Thank you all so much for your support over the last few years, it has meant the world to me and so many others. There will, of course, be a huge leaving/transition celebration at this year’s Mudstacle Awards. I’ll see you all there, if not before!

Over and Out. Pete x

Thanks to MyBibNumber, Hell and Back, Mud Monsters Run and Tough Mudder for the profile pictures.

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Mudstacle's Founder, Publisher, Editor and Chief Tea Maker. A complete obstacle race obsessive who'll be chest deep in mud most weekends of the year.

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