- Tues-Wed – rest
- Thurs – CrossFit with trainer, 45 mins
- Fri – rest
- Sat – 3.16 mile run, 34:57 (11:03 avg mile), little less than 2 mile bike ride (1/2 pulling Fin in the trailer)
- Sun – 2.5 mile bike ride pulling Fin in the trailer
I’ve been wanting to do the Mud Run for a very long time but it took me a while to build up the courage, find 3 other crazies to do it with me and to train for it. Basically, this particular run is 5.0 miles with 36 obstacles out in the middle of nowhere where the marines train. And did I mention that the marines are screaming at you the entire time you are competing?? At first I was intimidated but by the end, I was slightly over them.
Our start time was at 9:33 that morning which gave us plenty of time to find the place, warm up and get rid of our jitters. The weather was nice, even a bit on the cool side which was perfectly good with me. You have to complete the race in teams of 4 and all team members must complete the obstacles together. We were told there were 1600 teams that day. The first team set out at 7 am and the last team departed at 2:30.
The basic gist of the course is a lot of poles to either climb over or crawl under, quite a few hills to run up, several very tall structures to either climb like a ladder or to heave your teammates upon and MUD AND DISGUSTING WATER EVERYWHERE!! And I’ll let you in on a little secret…I LOVED IT ALL!!!
A couple of highlights from my experience:
- There was an incline/decline set of monkey bars that you had to cross. I tried first and fell flat on my back. The marine stationed at that obstacle asked me if I was ok, I said I thought I was and then he yelled for me to do two minutes worth of push-ups. NO JOKE!
- We had to walk what felt like a mile down a stream which sounds easy; however, there were so many fallen trees and limbs hidden within the water that we were constantly running into them and banging our legs. We basically walked hand-in-hand down the stream trying to stay upright.
- There’s a Mud Pit. Surprise, right?? Only, it didn’t smell too much like mud…more like mud mixed with cow poop. It was so thick and disgusting that it was a job just to pull yourself through it. And then getting out of it took a lot of help and you pretty much ended up looking like a penguin sliding on your belly across the exit point. Funny story…about 5 minutes before my team reached the obstacle, a water moccasin slithered into the mud amongst all those folks ahead of us. Luckily, the marines pulled it out and killed it before we got there. Almost positive my team would not have gotten in that mud if they’d heard what went before us.
- I conquered a fear that day. I’m deathly afraid of water that I can’t see the bottom of. It probably has something to do with the fact that I can’t swim. Unfortunately, one of the obstacles is jumping into a pool of 8-ft deep, nasty, muddy water and swimming about 15 feet to the other side. I actually started to panic when I got to the landing. Luckily for me, there was a very nice marine in the water just in case people struggled. Also luckily for me, I made serious eye contact with said marine and explained I couldn’t swim. I jumped before I could have a full-out panic attack and just as I touched the bottom, my marine from heaven reached in and yanked me out. Triple lucky for me was the rope stretched across the pool of water that I held onto to get to the other side. You seriously have no idea how big of a deal this was for me!!!
One of my teammates thought it might take us an hour to complete the course. I KNEW that was out of the question because I can barely run 5 miles in an hour. It ended up taking us 2:23. And I was only slightly less exhausted after that than when I finished my marathon in May. My legs were completely bruised and scratched up from all the obstacles but those were some pretty awesome battle scars to go with my story the next Monday at work. 🙂
One thing’s for certain, that race took a lot of teamwork to get through. And not just my own team. Everyone was helping everyone. I’ve never had so many strangers grabbing my body and hoisting me in so many directions in all my life. Totally cool, right?? A little less cool was taking an outdoor shower with 50 of my new muddy buddies right after…but no one needs to hear those details…
I’d highly recommend this race to everyone but only if you are in shape. We saw many people being taken out on gurneys and heard a rumor that one man died of a heart attack during the race. I’m not sure if that’s true but there’s enough risks involved otherwise that you need to take it seriously and make sure you’re safe.
Now, what to tackle next….
Has anyone ever done the Mud Run in Columbia, SC before?