If you’ve been following along since the beginning, you know that Melanie, I and a few other friends ran in Mud Run last year. We had such a good time that we almost immediately began making plans for the next one.
Fast forward to 2011. The response to the pictures and stories from last year led us to create two teams this year. Because the Mud Run changed the categories, we opted for a five-man competitive team and a five-woman competitive team.
Once we arrived at the course, we found out that the categories weren’t the only things that had changed. In fact, just about every aspect of the race this year was improved: better parking, better start/finish area, better course, better spectator consideration, better food and better organization.
They still need to work on orientation/check-in. We wandered around for a while before we figured out where to go. The equestrian center is a large piece of property that can easily swallow several thousand people in its wooded bowels. This year they had changing tents (no more hunkering down behind your car after the race) but they were located halfway between anywhere useful. If they really want the community to get behind this event they need to do even more to make it spectator friendly. I would suggest a short dry spectator trail to get them to the key points of interest along the course. I’d also give them a map. Finally, they need better results reporting. At any other race I’ve ever participated in you get the results almost in real time. As of the time of this posting, I still don’t have our official time or a listing of the top finishers.
That is the end of my belly aching. Everything else was really great. We even got free Bubba Burgers at the end of the run. Yum!
As for the race itself, it was comparable to last year but wasn’t as hot out of the water, not as cold in the water, the sticky mud was much shallower and the course was a little easier. My trusty $13 boots came through the race just fine again (although I’m noticing a small amount of upper and sole separation on the right one). Unfortunately, running in those things hurts my feet. I noticed the next day that my feet were a little swollen and the bottoms hurt a little. I also got shin splints on my right leg. I think both of these are directly related to the lack of padding in my boots. I’ll heal up just fine I’m sure and it is a small price to pay to have this much fun.
On a side note about the boots, we were not allowed to duct tape our boots closed as we said we would last year (see 2010 post). It turned out to be a non-issue. There wasn’t gravel in the water or mud pits so none of us ended up getting junk stuck inside our boots this year.
We will not be doing the Donna Breast Cancer Marathon next year so that means we’ll be able to dedicate time to training specifically for this race. The advice I got last year is still good for this year: run stairs. I think that is the best thing you can do to get ready for this event.
I can hardly wait for next year.
The following pictures are copyright Sam Moore (Thank you so much for doing this!) and are used here with the artist’s permission. This is not the entire course but gives a good overall impression.