Disclaimer: I do not like mud. I do not like dirt. I was the kid who cried when they got dirt under their fingernails (now I only cry on the inside). I don’t garden. I have come around, thanks entirely to running trails, to accepting mud on my shoes. My blog and twitter avatars are from the same race- my first on the trails. Plenty o’ mud. That was gross, but turned out to be okay. Also? This will be long, but picture heavy.
In my post Fitbloggin’ embrace-all-things high, a link for a discount magically appeared on my computer screen (thanks Gametiime!!) and I thought, why not? To know me is to know that is common phrase as I love to play the devil’s advocate. Always question your own motives. I still had my wits about me enough to know there was no way I was going to follow through without a buddy.
Enter Kari. My train buddy, Fitbloggin’ roommate, and newest social media- to IRL friend. We’ve spent the last two weeks trying to convince ourselves that this was a good choice.
I did the Warrior Dash two years ago, and the parking situation was unreal. In
a bad the worst way. I was paranoid about having enough time to get lost in rural Washington, find the parking, get to the farm, and pick up my race packet before the run. (The group hosting was short volunteers so there was no day before packet pickup. Which ended up being just the bib and a drink ticket.) Turns out this was the smoothest part of the whole process. Parking was right next to the registration tables/start area. I didn’t even get lost so the 20 minutes I padded my commute time with were unnecessary. I packed a book and sat in my car distracting myself from the growing mud-in-hair panic.
I had to buy these shorts morning of, since I didn’t have a pair I was willing to risk to the mud pits.
Kari got there, picked up her bib and we stopped for a before picture.
The first mud pit was maybe 50 feet past the start line. Total chaos (in a good way)! People were falling, children were screaming and crying, I was laughing…
Then there were climbing obstacles, going through giant tube-tunnel things, tires… oh, and the mud. There was definitely some of that. My favorite obstacle was the drainage ditch- there was a fairly steep drop into the gully and then a rope to help you climb back out the other side. It was above mid thigh deep on me. (so two feet deep?) I think the hardest-but-most-fun were the mud moguls. Dirt bike hills? I don’t even know what to call them. Shallowish holes had been dug, and all the dirt was pile up in between and then just enough water was added to make the pits like clay and the the mounds incredibly slick, 6 or so sets in a bunch. A few were filled with muddy water and they were all exhausting and fun!
The final obstacle started as a slide, but then things happened like they do, and it became a belly scramble down into a shallow pit of muddy water
Barely even muddy. But…
I did end up on the muddy side of things.
Quite the look, no? (the belly crawl down ripped the heads off three of my safety pins!)
Three face wipes and 90 minutes in the car later I looked more like this:
which only took two showers to get completely clean. Not so bad, right?
The race itself was fun, and I am eternally grateful for Kari being there with me while I (temporarily) conquered this issue.
There were a few organizational snags (no gear check?! it’s a mud run! no as-advertised pile of sneakers to be donated; bummer. food trucks was just food truck. no shirts- originally advertised but then opted to donate that money to charity instead so I shouldn’t be bummed about missing out on another cotton race t, but I am. no professional photographer. lame. On the other hand, I loved that they marketed it as a family friendly event, because all the muddy little half pints running around were super cute) I absolutely think these were just first year growing pains and imagine things will only get better next year.