What a blast today was. I did the USMC 5k Mud Run . I have to say even with looking at last years photos I was still unprepared for today’s race. I thought that I was in pretty good shape but this race kicked my butt. It was an off road race with about 18 obstacles sprinkled throughout. It rained pretty hard yesterday so I knew the course was going to be a hard for that reason alone.
Before the race the Marines got us pumped by doing jumping jacks, lunges and a few other exercises. Then we started down a hill that was covered in slippery grass. I started the race with my hubby and just as I predicted in a previous post he was soon leaving me in his dust or should I say mud? The grass was so slippery I really had to concentrate on where I put my feet. The course was full of twists and turns and LOTS of hills. We entered the woods and immediately had to start crossing quite a few muddy creeks. I wore an old pair of sneakers that I use to run in and I think that was a mistake. I have a pair of trail sneakers with cleats on the bottom that I think I’ll wear in the Warrior Dash in August. I just had no traction after coming out of the mud pits and was slipping all over the place.
The first major obstacle I came too was a thick log that was about chest high. To get to it you had to slip down a steep mud pit and then hoist yourself over. I scooted down into the pit behind another woman. She was having trouble getting over the log so me and the guy beside me hoisted her up and over. Then it was my turn. For some reason I thought it would be easy. I tried twice with no success. The second time I went down pretty far into the mud. I could see under the log and for a brief moment considered just crawling under the log. I decided to try one more time and the guy who had helped the other lady held out his hands and I stepped into them and he helped me over the log. Unfortunately I’m not a graceful woman and went straight down into the mud on the other side. I was covered literally from head to toe in mud. I jumped up and kept on running.
The course continued on like this. There were more mud pits than I could count and each time I got a little dirtier if that was possible. I came to an obstacle that I thought I wasn’t going to be able to do. It was ropes dangling from a steep muddy hill that you had to use to climb up. My upper body strength isn’t one of my best attributes but I didn’t see anyway around it so I just went for it. You know what? It was one of the obstacles I did the best on!
The course led us through a nice wooded section. It was so pretty and nice and cool. I really enjoyed that part. There were marines the whole way “politely” cheering us on. I will admit right here and now that I did have to walk parts of this race. Luckily for my ego most of the people around me were walking also.
I had been worrying all week about the wall obstacles. I had wondered how to best get over them and didn’t want to look like a wimp in front of the Marines. Well, when I finally came to my first wall there was no doubt in my mind that I was going to use the “sissy step” as the Marines call them. I lined right up behind the other girls and didn’t feel even slightly embarrassed. They were covered in carpet and I will say I got nice burn marks on my upper thighs as I slid over them.
After the three walls I had to go through the tunnels. I watched the guy in front of me do a running start and then slid through the tunnel with ease. I attempted to do the same but only slid about half the way. I tried to crawl but it was so slippery I just flailed about until I was able to grab the end of the tunnel and dragged myself the rest of the way. It must have been funny to watch.
I was coming to the end and I saw my husband waiting for me on the sideline. He started cheering me along and running on the edge with me. It gave me the boost I needed to finish strong. We ran the rest of the way together and he gave me tips on how to do the BIG mud pit. In this picture you can’t really see me but I love it because it shows my husband and son running along cheering me on. There’s nothing like having people with you at a race who are excited and supportive.
My husband was able to finish the race in 36 minutes only about 5 minutes slower than his normal 5k race. He did awesome. I finished the race in 45 minutes which is about 12 minutes longer than it takes me to do a normal 5K race. I’m alright with that because this was one hell of a race and completely different than anything I’ve ever done before. I really enjoyed myself and will be doing this again next year.
After you finish the race they had “showers” that gave you the impression of getting cleaned off but they really only spread the mud around a bit more. I must have been pretty muddy because I heard quite a few people say, “Wow, look at the mud on her face” as I passed by.
My husband and I are already planning out this race next year. He wants to do both the individual and team race. They run at different times so it’s definitely possible. I will probably just do the the team run. I like to think I’m a bad ass but I doubt I can do this race twice in one day! We might even wear costumes so you’ll have to stay tuned to see that crazy race. I’ll be doing a post later this week on how to prepare for a mud race so you won’t go into it as blindly as I did.