Sunday, June 03, 2007

Here's the Gory Details of the Mud Run

First off, it's been reduced to just the Teva X-1 Mud Fun Run, instead of a 5k. Three loops around the course might have been 2.0 - 2.25 miles...maybe...but that is ok...for an old fart like me two loops were plenty.

I've got to give alot of credit to my brother for finishing all three loops and Teva says his time was 22:25 which at that elevation between 8,100 and 8,450, he did great for a flat-lander from Houston. He told me several times that once he was "up the hill" the rest was a piece of cake, all downhill. What he fails to mention are the rocks and boulders and uneven surfaces and other things hidden in some of the taller grass.

There appears to have been 144 of us mountain crazy people that entered the event. The timing is a bit skewed because they apparently show the time that you decided to quit, be it after three loops, or two loops (like me), or maybe after 1 loop. So as an example they indicate that my time was 19:27, ok enough with the giggles. That is what it took me to do 2 of the 3 loops. Adding another 12 minutes had I gone around again, mostly walking and maybe doing a breast stroke thru the mud pit on the last effort thru it, I would have finished somewhere in a 31 or 32 minute time frame, no way this was a 5k event, but at this point who cares...WE HAD FUN!!!!!!

Up to just before the start of the race I was skeptical about whether I would run or not because I had a gear bag with me that I didn't want to leave just anywhere. Finally I heard a lady asking one of the officials if this was where the Mud Run would start, so I asked if she was just going to watch and she quickly said oh yes, no way I could run that. So I asked if she would watch my bag for me, then it was her turn to ask if I was a runner, and I said yes, crazy but a runner. She agreed as long as I could assure her that the bag was not a bomb and that I wasn't a terrorist, posing as a runner. I did what I could to reassure her that I would have looked for a better event than a mud run to inflict pain and mayham if I were a terrorist....perhaps I can accuse the race officials of that title as there was certainly some pain associated with the run and mayham...well it was there from start to finish....

So they counted down from three to one and we were off....right away we were climbing, I actually ran half way up the trail on the first loop before my lungs took over my thinking and I was reduced to a huff and puff walk, at this point I was dead even with a woman that...well....was fluffy and she was taking the hill pretty hard....but we got up to the top at about the same time. Then down we started.....after a couple of winding turns we run thru a tunnel. Why is there a tunnel located on a ski resort? I have no idea and don't know if they ski thru it or not...but none the less the runners and the bikers were all using it. After the tunnel there were more winding turns as we descended back towards the completion of the first loop. As we got lower we got treated to some awesome bike acrobatics, but I was too busy watching for boulders and holes to give them the attetion they deserved. They did take time to cheer us on as we went by though.

Around the final corner of the descent and up ahead there was something blocking our path...oh good was a child's delight..a HUGE mud hole. Over the top of the mud hole was laced yellow barricade tape from one side to the other that was about 3 feet above the gooey, mucky, sticky, wet, mud. So we had to go under the tape which worked fine for me doing a duck walk until I lost my balance about half way thru and I went down on all fours. I managed to save my bib, for anyone wanting a photo opportunity. After crawling out of the mud bath I had a choice to either finish then, or go around again.

Something said do it again, adn it certainly wasn't my lungs speaking. As I started up the mountain again my lungs took over again and I walked most if not all the way up this time and even walked on some of the descent this time....I know, I know...what a wimp. While I'm walking up I'm spitting mud out of my mouth, not sure how it got in there, but it wasn't about to go down and there were no water stops on the course. I was also trying to get the face of my Garmin cleared so I could see it as well. NOTE: As of now it still appears to be working....we shall see...but yes a lesson learned....never take your trusty Garmin on an advertised mud run...especially where ZEST is one of the major sponsors....they wanted us dirty from head to toe for a reason...I'm sure there was a Candid Camera pointed at us as we publicly bathed after the run was over and it looked like at least 100 bottles of ZEST bath soap was put to the test and mostly one.

Anyway back to the run as I approached the mud the second time...I had pretty well decided that I was a two lapper and would call it quits. So with that in mind...I thought surely there is a way around the mud to quit...but no there were fences up and the crowd was cheering and heckling on either side so there was no choice but to work thru the mud a second time....this time a bit more carefully and I didn't fall....but someone behind me got a tad too close and caught my heel as I was exiting the mire and she went down face first...but came up laughing...and I still apologized to her.

We tore off the lower part of our bib, that part that I've seen used for gear drops in the past and somehow they came up with our times from that. I had to get someone to get the lady's attention who was guarding my bag as I was so muddy I didn't want to get her white blouse dirty by tapping on her shoulder. She turned around to me and said that it looked like I had a great deal of fun...I laughed with her and said more than I had imagined.

Now here comes my brother on his third loop and I'm scrambling to get my camera out of the double ziplock bags in my fanny pack, yes it stayed dry along with my phone. I did get a couple of pics of him at the finish line but wish I had seen him in the mud pit with the three girls who decided to start mud wrestling in front of him. He gets all the luck. I was headed towards him when another woman walked close by me and suddenly realized how muddy I was...and she jumped...oh please no was good for another laugh.

Standing in the shower line was fun too, rubbing against others that were as muddy as we were, even touching a few bystanders that got too close....oh well....and then the cold....cold...cold...cold...shower, actually it was more like a drenching. I'm a former volunteer fire fighter and I never had as much fun as these guys were having. The lucky one that got the great show that I mentioned earlier was all grins and seemed to be enjoying the "work". Our robes from ZEST turned out to be nice and very appropriate. Another piece of the great SWAG that these Teva Mountain Games served up to the crazy participants.

To answer several questions from the earlier post...yes I do believe my Garmin survived....perhaps a testimonial for shoes....well they went from white to black to white again...I'm sure there is mud still imbedded in them...and they were a former pair that caused my planter's faciitis so I've not been using them at all.

It was a fun run, it was a muddy run, it was a tough run (at least the uphill part), it was a trail run (of sorts), it was a good experience and I'm glad I participated. Next year....I think if I go back I would opt out to do the 10k Trail Run...a true timed event.


J~Mom said...

Great report!!! I love all the detail. It does sound like a fun event if you know what you are getting yourself into. You did awesome! I think we all need to go out more often and just run to have fun! :>)

Marcy said...

OMG!!! That sounded like a BLAST!!! Great race report!! I'm so glad that the ole Garmin is still ticking! And NO you are not a wimp!! You could've finished, but you chose to do it again, right? ;)

runliarun said...

144 children at a mud party, complete with after-fun showers and robes! Where was I?

Just kidding. I am not sure I would have been thrilled with getting all my gear dirty. I know, I know, I am peculiar this way.

But it must have been a great frolicking bash.

Mendy said...

Funny! Great detailed report. Sounds like you had a good time! I think I really wouldn't mind doing one of those one time.

Scott McMurtrey said...

i'm catching up on your posts and i can see you had a great couple weeks. congrats on the 10k and the mud party. it looks like you're having as much fun as anyone. :)