Well, today was the Kalamazoo Mud Run. The run was a 5k with some obstacles and of course MUD. The proceeds went to building a well in Uganda in a village that doesn’t have access to clean water. Knowing this, I should have been chipper and ready to roll at 6:45 am this morning…
Okay, so you can’t see my face but I was only mildly amused to be at one of my bestie’s front door at that early hour. Yes, I am wearing pants and a long sleeve. No, this was NOT a smart choice (just a bit of foreshadowing there!)
We drove out to the course and it was recommended we get there one hour early. We stayed in the car for as long as possible since it was chilly (seriously, MI, WTF?! It’s JUNE 2nd! Why is it only 50*??) and then boarded the bus to be taken to the start. Since it was a school bus, of course I had to do the obligatory, “Can’t sit herea,” “Seats taken” (Forrest Gump anyone?).
The race started pretty much on time. Here is the scoop… when I signed up for the race – it was Emily’s idea btw, she said it would be fun – there was a competitive option and a team option. Later on, they added a “just for fun” option which would have been way more my speed but oh well. I was nervous. I had no idea what to expect and my wittle t-rex arms were not prepared to haul myself over walls or climb ropes. They released us in waves which really helped and this was the first obstacle we hit
Yep, our feet were wet right off the bat! Luckily, the obstacles weren’t terribly tough, thank goodness. The trail run, on the other hand was NOT easy! I guess I expected the run to be milder but man, those hills were aplenty and steep! Of course it was also a trail so it was uneven, slippery and the downhills were hard too. I was decently huffing and puffing and after the first go around, I sent Emily on ahead and Nate had forged ahead awhile ago.
Umm… yeah… the course was 1.5 miles so you had to go through it twice! Since I completely failed to prep for this race I didn’t read that you had to do it twice. Whew! There was one swamp mud pit that I made it through the first time but the second time around I got stuck. Massively, incredibly stuck, like for 2 mins at least. The volunteers were laughing at me (loads of fun) and as I kept falling and getting more stuck they laughed even more. Finally, when I was doing some kind of weird move that only behooves you when playing “Twister,” one of the volunteers helped me regain my balance so I could wriggle out. I was now super wet and very muddy so my pants weighed about 2 or 3 lbs more than they had before. As I was trudging up the hills, I just kept thinking, “you will be done soon!” – with possibly some added colorful language!
This was another obstacle – the first time I went down the slide I didn’t go super fast and landed fine in the water. The second time I zipped down that sucker at warp speed and was almost completely submerged! Haha, if a photographer caught my look of sheer “HOLY *%#@! that is COLD” then it’s a total money shot. Haha, we’ll see.
Other obstacles included trudging through more water/mud pits that were up and down some sandy hills, jumping some logs, climbing a small wall (sort of like a ladder), crossing over different size tires, going through this big pipe thing and then soldier crawling through water/muck under some logs.
My time wasn’t anything for the record books – 41:40 but I was very happy I finished since I had serious doubts about even starting (if you can’t tell from the tone of this post). At the end, you could donate your nasty shoes, which volunteers would clean up
My shoes are in there somewhere!
When I got home, I took the LONGEST shower of my life! I could not get clean! For some reason, when I got dressed this morning, I failed to realize even my undergarments would get dirty
So, there you go! The race organizers did a nice job of sending e-mails and facebook messages out, having volunteers on the course, and getting us started on time. There were a ton of volunteers all around and for a first time race it went over very smoothly. There were approximately 1000 racers and the different rounds of runners – competitive, fun-run, teams and kiddies, were all spaced apart. Since I was in the first group, I have no idea how the course held up for the rest of the groups. I think what could have been better was maybe doing something about how stinkin’ cold it was. Obviously, you can’t do anything about Mother Nature but it has been cold and rainy here for the last several days – so maybe even hot chocolate? There was an ice cream truck there instead…
I did have fun, although it was that kind of fun where you keep asking yourself, “why am I doing this again?!” Now that I am dry and finally warm again, I can say I enjoyed it. Buuuttt… not quite sure if I would do it again. It did make me realize my fitness level still has room for improvement (okay, I didn’t need to get my trash kicked by the hilly trail to know this) so maybe it could be easier. My legs are tired for sure so tomorrow I am going to push it for at least 6-8 miles since guess what?! Ragnar is NEXT WEEKEND!
*these pics were from the Kalamazoo Mud Run facebook site. They didn’t have a photographer to attribute the pictures too so I sited their website