Saturday, July 27, 2013

4H Mud Run

Today I did a 4H Mud Run in Mullica Hill, NJ. It was being held at their local county fair. I got the entry for free through Active Advantage, and, to be honest, I wasn't expecting much! I now humbly apologize to the people at Mean Guy Running!
I arrived about an hour early for packet pickup, and got through the process quickly. Bib, pins, shoe tag for chip timing. No bag check, though, which really upset me for about 2 minutes. I went alone, and luckily I had brought a running belt and a ziplock bag to hold my WW Active Link. I threw my key in there as well, and left everything else in the car.
The waiting area for your wave was a lovely roofed picnic area with fans to keep you cool. I only had to wait about 15 minutes, and kept myself entertained by watching the Mechanical Bull riders. Very amusing!
When our wave time approached, we all lined up and had to take an oath. Part of it was to not cry. I laughed at how many didn't repeat that part! It was a 5K course, and these pics are all from the facebook page!
We ran down a dirt road and into the woods, to the first obstacle. It was a military crawl. Through coffee grounds. No. Really. Coffee grounds. It was surprisingly difficult! There were elastic ropes across the area and logs in the way, to keep you flat and moving. It.was.nuts.
Off through the twisty, gnarly woods. To the monkey bars. I have no upper body strength. This would be no big deal, if not for the layers of old rotting sweet peppers all over the ground underneath. Again, not kidding:

Yuck. My shoes were wet after this, and the smell was not bad, but....odd.
Back into the woods, and then out again. We ran past the horse show and up a hill to the next obstacle. This was a wall about 6 feet high, almost like a raised ramp. They had a rope to help you but you didn't really need it. You ran up and then climbed down the other side. Easy peasy. More running, with piles of hay bales to climb over. Fun!
More running, and into the swampy area. Yum! First were the balance logs, and each one was lower in the water, until finally, you were watching each step, because the log was under water! After that were the little ponds you had to wade through! The water was dyed yellow, there were tadpoles, and dragonflies, and butterflies. I worried about the tadpoles, and hoped the dye was not toxic!

My legs were tired after this, so I walk/jogged to the next obstacle.
Noooooo problem. Except they led you to the first big wall! It was about 10 feet high, with some cheater bars, but they were too far apart for my stumpy legs. A nice guy helped me up, and there was a rope on the other side to slide down into some more yellow water! You waded through this. ducking under tubes, while the firemen sprayed you with cold water. It hurt. It also felt amazing. It wasn't super hot, but the exertion definitely heated you up!
More running! This is where I am unsure of the exact order of the obstacles, so I will do my best! You cross the entry road for the fair and into the Conservation Area. Hmmmm.....
First, you climb over a hill of more coffee grounds! yum! Ahead of us was a pit of yellow water with ropes to swing across. It looked sooooo high. Once I stepped down it was easier and I swung across. 
We also had to run through some lovely, warm, fermented peaches. They smelled good for about 30 seconds, and then they were nauseating. And all over my shoes!
Next was a pit of muddy, gooey water. You could swing across using rings. Totally scary. Remember, no upper body strength, and my tall wall savior didn't make it over. I grabbed the first ring, swung out, swung back, swung out. Dropped. Gooey!
More running! Zig zagging through a field. Running through the woods over gnarly, hilly ground. I felt like I had been doing it forever and wondered if it was mile 2 approaching. Not so much. A woman told us we were halfway done. Yayyyyy.........
I could hear a DJ though, and he was telling people they were almost done. Confused!
I came out of the woods and saw....

I was actually behind those people in yellow. I must not have entered the frame yet! The DJ at the top had a great vantage point of those coming....and those going. He was cheering for people who had already done the whole area and were on their way back. That was soooo not me yet!
Up the slidey, crazy, dirt mountain. I used footholds from previous runners and at the top was fabulous, wonderful, refreshing, cold water. It was magnificent. Down the mountain, through a corn field, and up a hill to another wall.
This one was about 8 feet high with no cheater boards. So i used a cheater volunteer, who vaulted me up so I could drop down grounds. They were surprisingly soft!
Down the hill, back up, back down. SO tired. The next hill we were given a tire to carry. Yayyyy.......
Around a bend, and a lovely mud pit! If you crawled through, you didn't sink. So I crawled. Back up another mountain. Really? Did I mention I was tired?
There were 3 women working together, and I caught up to them here. We entered the woods to the sound of the DJ *finally* cheering for us!
Through the woods, and into the parking lot. OMG I recognize this! We.are.almost.done.
We had to vault over 3 really high, wide hay bales. Around a corner and the final obstacle.
On the other side was a slide, into muddy water. I really wanted to slide down that slide. 
All of the super sporty people who were ahead of me? They were all there. Because the first 86 times they tried, they slid back down. After watching for 10 minutes, I walked around.  I'm not proud. I will shout it out loud. I skipped it!
Ran up the hill to the finish!
So many people skipped the walls, etc so there was no guilt there! It was the only obstacle I didn't do. I was beat!
I hosed off, got my tee, donated my nasty muddy Brooks, and headed home!
I was happy with my race, and am awaiting my final chip time, which was about 90 minutes. It was, by far, the hardest mud run I have done! The ground was uneven the whole time, the obstacles were totally crazy. and I loved that it wasn't all mud! I will post event pics if they become available!
starting at top left: coffee hill, my socks after I hosed them off, my bib, tee and Kind bar, tractor for Bryce to see, final obstacle, and my boy Bryce's sign :) I run 4 him!
What did you do this weekend to keep your body moving?

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