I tried a new and adventurous thing today: a 5K mud run. Let’s be clear. I am a dreadful runner. When I go for a jog in the park nannies burn past me with their strollers. The only reason I agreed to 5 kilometers of such torture was the promise of obstacles and mud pits. And a beer at the end of it. There were five of us running today, Andrew (yes, he of the dislocated knee), Gigi, Liz, and Krista, all but one employees or former employees of my shop. They all enjoy running, though only Liz among us had ever done an organized run. I knew there was no way I would keep up with them, so I set very simple goals: finish (preferably not last), and don’t throw up.
We set out at 6am, found the event, signed in and got right back in the car. It was cold. Our event started at 10, so we sat around, warmed up a bit and applied war paint with blue and pink Zinka. Merrell and Subaru were hosting the run, which had been dubbed The Down N’ Dirty Mud Run and Obstacle Course. There were tents of various sponsors, a shower and changing area and a stage with speakers and music. I was so excited by the time the starting gun went off, I had to force myself to take it slow. As I predicted, I lost my friends in the first hundred yards, but I had a strategy: jog until you see the obstacle, then stop and walk quickly to recover before attempting it. The obstacles consisted of mud pits, low crawls, cargo net climbs, a rock wall, a pushup station and a water crossing. I did have to walk a brutal uphill stretch, and my hiking experience served me well. I ran all the way on the downhill stretch, and probably jogged 2.5 miles overall. I may not have finished first, nor did I finish last, but I do have the distinction of intentionally running through every single mud puddle. By the time I finished I was a mess. If I had come home like that as a kid, my mother might have sold me to a pig farm.
We all finished in sloppy, muddy glory, washed off with hoses and changed into clean clothes. We had lunch, drank some beer and sat in triumph in the sun. My feet were sore and my knees and elbows scraped from the crawling, but I had an absolute blast! Gigi is already talking about a tougher race next year, so I’ll have to put in some serious training. If you’re looking for a fun day and you love the satisfaction of getting filthy, try a mud run. It’s worth it, even if you stink at running!