I did my my first mud run on Saturday. Did I tell you that I was doing one?
After getting a preview of the Reebok Spartan Race in Times Square back in January, I’ve been kind of intrigued by the idea of an obstacle course race. When my friend Meg suggested that a group of us do a mud run together, I said yes.
After checking our schedules, we decided to register for the Dirty Girl Mud Run in New Jersey. It’s a women’s only 5K obstacle course. It’s untimed so it’s meant to be a fun way to be active with your friends and to challenge yourself.
It’s kind of the opposite of the Spartan Race but it was exactly what we were looking for – a fun, kid-less morning and a chance to laugh, be silly and have fun.
The event took place at Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ, a motorsports park that usually features Drag Racing, Motocross Racing, Monster Truck rallies. It wasn’t the most scenic spot for a run but the facilities were well-suited for an obstacle course.
It was fun to see all the other women who came out to run, decked out in their matching uniforms which ranged from tutus and boas to Wonder Women costumes. We managed to pull together matching t-shirts and Sparkly Soul headbands.
Our wave started was 9:45am. We arrived about an hour ahead of time, giving us plenty of time to check-in, check our bags and visit some of the sponsors. My friends got their hair braided by the folks at Paul Mitchell which made me wish I still had long hair.
The course featured 12 obstacles in all along the 5K course, everything from wall climbs to mud pits to a rope ladder. We did every obstacle (you could always go around an obstacle if you didn’t feel comfortable doing it). Some of them were fairly easy and some of them were hard.
I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting but I thought that I might get a little muddy. I didn’t expect to be covered head to toe in mud.
There was one obstacle which was literally a shallow pool of muddy water. It has a net hanging low over the pool which meant that you had to get down on your hands and knees and crawl through the mud. As I crawled to the end, the net kept getting lower and lower.
I think that I tried to push the net up or was just forced lower and lower down but basically, my entire left-side of my face went into the mud. When I got out, I wanted to wipe my face off except that I didn’t have an inch of clean shirt to use. I ended up dumping water on my face at the water station.
There was a really relaxed vibe at the run and lots of laughing. I mean, wouldn’t you if you were swimming through mud voluntarily?
During parts of the run, I thought it was easy. During other parts, I wasn’t sure how I was going to get up and over an obstacle. It was a great mix of challenge and fun.
There was so much mud everywhere at the end of the race. It spilled out of my shoes when I took them off. (P.S. You can opt to donate your shoes at the end and volunteers will clean them up and get them to people in need.)
We rinsed off, changed into clean clothes and headed home. I was definitely more tired and sore than I expected to be by the end of the day. I also took two showers to try to get all the mud off of me. I think that we all felt a sense of accomplishment for doing something different and tough.
If you’re thinking about running a mud run, here are some tips that I learned along the way and that were suggested to me by some friends on Facebook.
- Wear clothes that won’t soak up water and mud i.e. no cotton. Otherwise, you’ll be carrying around a lot of extra weight. Opt for something that’s wicking and / or made of compression material.
- Consider wearing capris and/or compression socks. I kind of wish that I worn longer pants. My knees and legs got scraped up when crawling through or over some of the obstacles.
- Tie your shoes tightly. The last thing that you want is to lose your shoes in the mud. Some people even recommended duck-taping your laces and shoes.
- Tie you hair back. Kind of obvious but you don’t want to have lots of hair dangling around your face and full of mud.
- If you wear contacts, bring your glasses just in case. There’s a chance that mud and dirt will get into your eye. That happened to me and I rinsed it out with water at an aid station. But if you end up having to toss your contacts, you want to make sure you have your glasses so you can see after the event is over!
- Try all the obstacles. A mud run is a way to get out of your comfort zone. You never know – you might surprise yourself. The sense of accomplishment that you feel when you get up and over the obstacle is pretty great.
- Post-run shower is just a rinse. It’s not meant to be a full, scrub-yourself-clean shower. Make sure that your towel and garbage bag for your muddy clothes is near the top of your bag. You don’t have to have to rummage through your bag with muddy hands.
- Have fun! Duh.
Have you run a mud run? Do you have any other tips to add?
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