Have you ever done a mud run? I’m sure you’ve heard of it at least. A few friends did one a few years back when I was no where near in shape or sick enough in the head to consider something so outrageous so I had a general idea of what it entailed. Apparently, the general idea is that you run. In mud.
Except you don’t just run in mud, you run a whole bunch and then you take on these crazy obstacles like climbing things, and jumping over stuff, and oh yeah, crawling around in the mud; A lot of gross, dirty, mud with some muddy water and rocks thrown in. It’s so glamorous!
I was talked into my very first 5k Mud Run by one of my bestest friends I’ve known pretty much forever, Michelle. She thought it would be FUN. She’s always been a little crazier than me if you can believe it or not. When she asked if I wanted to do it, I figured, why not. It would be great to see her and do something crazy again and this was the perfect opportunity.
In the days leading up to the race, I was trying not to think about what I had gotten myself into and the night before I was like, you are crazy! What were you thinking! It didn’t help that I was sick the days leading up to the race so I wasn’t very thrilled with my life choices.
We arrived at the park that the Merrell Down and Dirty Mud Run was being held. The whole place was buzzing with people ready to get down and dirty. We got our bibs, our Merrell shirts and headwraps for participating. (I just love headwraps and headbands for running. They are awesome.) We checked our bags in the free bag check area and we waited for our run time.
Once 10:00 rolled around, we got in line to run. The queue was full of nervous energy. They were letting the runners go in waves, so as not to crowd up the obstacles, which is smart considering there were so many people there to run the race. Right as we were waiting the last two minutes, I got really pumped up to run. Once they blew the air horn, I was ready.
This was a 5k race so there was a lot of running, running, running. Running down paths, thru tunnels, up hills, up a huge hill and there were obstacles randomly along the way. The first was the Monster Climb which is two levels of ropes you have to go up and come right back down. As you’re running up to it, you just see a ton of people climbing all over it like spiders and you think, “oh crap, I need to get up there too don’t I?”
And then you just do it. And it’s much easier than it looks because you’re much stronger than you think. That was pretty much my entire attitude during the race. First thought was self doubt and then all of a sudden, I just thought to myself, “Oh. I got this!” Finally near the end, I was thinking, “when is the next mud pit?!”
There was only one obstacle I faced when I thought, “nope, this is the one I won’t be able to do.” It was called the Slippery Mountain. It’s not at all mountain shaped but because they are pouring soapy water all over it as you’re trying to climb it, it’s pretty hard to get a grip. All you can do is pull yourself up and over. I have weak arm strength and after I had grabbed the rope I laid there and thought “well, this was just too hard.” Then another mudder started pushing my feet, giving me a boost. Another mudder was at the top telling me I could do it and holding their hand out. I started pulling myself up, pushing with all I had left and with the help of those people, I got over the edge. I couldn’t jump down without helping the person who gave me that push in the first place. As I ran to the last giant mud pit, I was so excited. I jumped right in, crawled through it, actually having to dip my face into the mud to get under the ropes and it. Was. So. AWESOME. I was determined to get to the end even though my knees were getting killed by tiny rocks and the mud was freezing.
Running to the finish line, there’s a giant line of people holding their hands out for high fives. I jogged past them all and got as many as I could because damn it, I had earned it. I was literally dripping with mud and I didn’t even care. As I crossed the finish line, I gave Michelle a huge hug, got my dog tags, and I couldn’t stop smiling. It was total euphoria.
I finished in 1 hour and 25 minutes.
Even though I felt sore all over the next few days, I’m absolutely doing this again. I can’t wait to find the next high that comes with finishing a race like this. The thing that I would change about this particular race would only be the fact that the bag check is soooo far away from their changing tents. That was a lot of walking for someone who just killed themselves in the race. Otherwise, I thought this race was very well organized and a great experience for anyone who is interested in doing a mud run. Michelle and I already talked about doing next years and maybe even going for the 10k. As much as that terrifies me now, I’m not going to let it hold me back.
I’m already signed up for 3 more in the coming year. See you in the mud!