Over a celebratory beer after the worst race of my life, I quickly said “Oh that sounds like fun” when the talk of creating a team for a local mud run was brought up. After further investigation (on a well hydrated brain), I realized what I had got myself into by saying YES! – An 8k Mud Run that looked to included some sand dunes, a few obstacles and a few mud pits.
I reluctantly signed up a few weeks before it sold out after secretly hoping it would sell out before I got around to registering – no such luck!
As I waited for the rest of my team to pick me up Saturday morning, I actually put some thought into running this race. What did I sign up for? I haven’t run in the sand in over two years. I have barely ran on trails this summer. I have to climb up and over a wall? My upper body strength is nonexistent. What I signed up for included mostly sand, a few mud pits, and a few fun obstacles.
We got there right before the last wave headed out (darn traffic! If you run this next year, leave REALLY early!) There was no turning back…
Everything I didn’t know about the course, I learned very quickly. It was not a mud run. It was a sand run. The first 2+ miles were in sand – not the easy to walk in compact sand that is along the shore line, but the oh my god can we please get to the place were I can put down my beach chair kind of sand. The ground was sloped. I had the hardest time getting my left foot under my body (weird?). Thank goodness my ankles survived.
After the beach portion, we hit the sand dunes. Sand dune after sand dune, I wasn’t feeling optimistic. What did I sign up for again? I will not run this race again. The first water stop couldn’t come soon enough. (Next year I will bring a throw away bottle for this first portion.)
Mixed in between the sand dunes and the rest of the course were a few spots on a sandy trail and a quick visit to a paved road (where I felt like I could fly after running on the sand).
Once I rehydrated and said good-bye to the first 2 miles, the rest of the course became fun. It did include a lot of sand, but it also included a wall, two fun mud pits, a belly crawl, and tube, and some crazy sand hills (as if the sand dunes weren’t enough torture!).
Our team finished the race together – and then quickly celebrated with another celebratory beer (where I almost had myself convinced that I could do a tri in September. Post race celebrations and beers seem to get me into trouble.)
It was definitely a fun race and a fun day. It was nice to take a break from all my training runs. It was nice to not care about time or performance.
If I did care about time (maybe a little) – and if we did followed the rules and had 5 woman on our team instead of 4 (Rules require 5 for a team) – we would have placed 6th among the all women teams.
Back to normal training this week. Three more weeks until the first of three half marathons this fall!
Considering running this race: Do it! But give yourself plenty of time to get there especially if you don’t have a military sticker on your car. Know where you are going. There are no signs directing you to the race once you get on the military base. If you obsess about water (like I do) while running, consider bringing a throw away bottle with you. And if I could change one thing about the course it would be to include mile markers on the race. Had I known we were less than a half mile from the finish line, I could have stepped it up a notch.