Sunday, June 8, 2008
I've had my calendar marked for months now and yesterday was the day. My friend Marianne and I had been training for a few months for the "Mud Run" at Camp Pendleton. It's a world famous 10k obstacle course run that 4000 people signed up to do. You can run as individuals which is what we did although we stayed together, or you can do teams of 5. If you ran as a team you had matching outfits and let me tell you, some of those outfits were very creative. There were guys who were only wearing running shoes and speedos, naturally they named themselves the "speedos". Cracked me up! Then other teams wearing colourful nylons under their shorts, people with rainbow hair and mostly people with matching coloured t-shirts with their team name on them.
The race was to start at 9am sharp so we left my house by 615 so we had enough time to check in and know where to be. It was like a sea of people. All kinds too. Young and old, athletic and well, not. Married couples, father/daughter teams, friends you name it they were there. I really loved how everyone was so encouraging to each other. There were several army guys there showing us the way, handing us out water and gatorade, guys who were kneeling down in the mud allowing us to use their knee to get over the 5ft walls, those poor guys!
Some of the obstacles we did were....... you guessed it, the tires which kind of came out of nowhere but were a piece of cake. There was an ambulance right there in case anyone got hurt too which hopefully didn't happen. We went through a couple of very muddy creeks which REALLY weighed down your shoes but at the same time was refreshingly cool. There was a mud wall about 3 ft high to climb over and on the other side was a 50ft mud pit about knee deep leading you to the 5ft wall to climb, then another 50 ft of mud pit to get through and over the 3 ft mud hill. Then we made our way to this football fld length ravine that was over 5 ft we had to cross with an extremely muddy slippery bottom and seaweed to boot. You couldn't really swim it because your feet felt like they were 20lbs and luckily for me there was a rope on each side for us shorter people to grab onto. A few people had to be carried across because they were just too short. This other obstacle called 'Suicide Hill' was pretty funny (SIDE NOTE: it was definitely a different kind of marathon...... obstacles and laughing most of the way) leading up to it was this super-slippery mud pit and then an incredibly steep, steep muddy hill to climb with someone using a pressure powered hose (like a fire truck would spray) to shoot down the hill. So there was running water going down this hill as we're trying not to fall climbing up. Towards the end, actually right before the finish line was a tunnel to crawl through, more mud pits, mud walls, 5 ft walls and a 50ft 3ft deep muddy water pit with ropes and flags just above the water that we had to crawl under on our hands and knees then climbing another mud wall with the soldiers help this time and then was the finish line.
Being that this was my first time doing this I now know what to expect and how to train better too. My friend and I were told that there would be a major hill, but weren't aware that most of this race was hills. We're talking steep big hills that once you were on top and looked down it was amazing! Also, the way down ....... I wouldn't say it was easier than going up. It was SO steep that you had to be very careful not to fall and I'm glad to say we didn't. I'm very proud of my friend and I one for even trying this and two, for finishing it.
After we finished the race, we made our way back up to claim our bags and headed for the open showers which did help with the mud situation a bit though not entirely. Then luckily they had 2 canopies together that they called the womens changing room. That was an obstacle in itself! After that my friend and I headed home but not before stopping at our favourite breakfast place 'The Pancake House' which was such a reward. I'm told there is another Mud Run in October and can't wait to sign up for it. I'm looking very forward to it and hopefully other marathons in the future.