Today, I woke up at the crack of dawn to meet up with 4 other guys with one goal in mind. We were gonna get dirty, like covered head to toe in stinky mud type of dirty. No I wasn't having a midlife crisis. I finally got a chance to participate in the World Famous Camp Pendleton Mud Run. A buddy of mine named Steve asked me a couple of weeks ago if I wanted to join his team. 2 of his 5 member team dropped out at the last minute. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance.
Here we are in the parking lot after arriving at Camp Pendleton. Take note of how clean and minty fresh we all appear. Yeah, that doesn't last very long. Our elite adventure racing team is made up of the following fellas from left to right: Mike Wallace, Tom Ulrich, Steve Eng, Jed Dalton and yours truly. I have to take this moment to thank my awesome wife Sandy and daughter Megan for waking up super early to come watch daddy get dirty. Sandy took all of these great pics.
Walking around the camp, I was amused at the festive Halloween atmosphere that many of the participants exuded. So many of the teams had themes. I ran across teams made up of superheroes, cavemen, boxers, a rock band, California raisins, cross dressing men/women and so many other silly costumes. It was awesome. Everybody was just out to have a good time. It was so different than typical road races where everybody is tense before the start of the race.
Here we are lined up for the start of the race. There were tons of people as you can see. Luckily we start in waves to prevent congestion. To quote the official website, "the Mud Run is a challenging 10K run with hills, tire obstacles, river crossings, two 5-foot walls with mud on both sides, tunnel crawl, slippery hill climb, and the final 30-foot mud pit." I would have to say that 90% of the race is trail running. The mud obstacles only make up a small portion of the race. The rest is running up and down hills. So if I were to give advice on how to train for this race, I would say focus on running hilly trails because there are lots of them on this mud run.
Did I mention that people like dressing up in costume only to get covered in filthy mud? Huge props to Team Ghostbuster. Simply epic!!!
Ok finally some mud pics. Seriously, I think I was at mile 3 and wondering, "where the heck is all the mud that we were promised." Oh little did I know what was waiting for me around the bend. After working up a nice sweat running up the endless hills, it was nice to go for a dunk. It was a bit smelly but refreshing nonetheless.
I'm done! Woo Hoo!!! What a feeling! It was such crazy, silly, down right dirty fun. If you want to recapture the fun of your youth, then I highly suggest you find a local mud run and get dirty. Btw, anyone have a wetnap I can use?
Since we registered as a team, they require you to finish as a team. That means that all 5 of your members have to be present when you cross the finish line. During the race, we all got separated at one point. So when you come into the home stretch, there is an area where you can pull over and wait for all of your teammates. Once everyone is back together, you join arms in a sign of camaraderie and cross the line as one. Look at the expression of sheer joy on these girls. You know they had a lot of fun.
This was my very first mud run. I did a bit a research and got advice from some friends who have done these mud runs before. I would suggest the following tips:
- Avoid cotton. Cotton soaks up mud and water like a sponge and weighs you down. Go for nylon. Underarmor and Dri-Fit clothing works well.
- That goes for underwear as well. Leave the tighty whiteys at home and wear compression shorts under your running shorts. They won't get all saggy when wet and will not chafe your sensitive bits.
- Tight fitting clothing works better than loose and baggy.
- Avoid clothing with pockets unless you really want to weigh yourself down with mud.
- You will see people with duct tape around their ankles. I did fine without it, so I don't recommend this practice. The tape will chafe your ankles and will eventually come off anyways. It also may make your shoes more slippery and cause you to lose traction while climbing up muddy hills. Just lace up your shoes tight and double tie the knot. You are gonna get mud and rocks in your shoe no matter what you do so just accept that fact and keep running!
- Run! Run! and then Run some more. Like I mentioned before. This course is 90% running up and down hills. The rest is the muddy obstacles. If you don't train up your hill running stamina, you will already be in a world of hurt before you even see your first muddy obstacle.
That was ridiculously fun! Where can I sign up for more you may ask. The World Famous Camp Pendleton Mud Run has been around forever. Now a days, mud runs/ obstacle races are popping up left and right. There's The Warrior Dash, The Spartan Race, and of course the Mt. Everest of all mud runs, The Tough Mudder.
Isn't mud suppose to be good for your skin? Clears up the pores right? And yes, I have mud on my teeth. Yum! Who wants a kiss?
A shower never felt sooooo darn good. Definitely bring a towel, change of clothes, a pair of flip flops as well as cash for food and beer afterwards. You also might want to check in your modesty with your baggage because you will be showering with lots of other muddy people. This was my first ever mud run and I was very impressed with the efficiency at Camp Pendleton. I didn't have any problems with traffic getting in there or getting out. There were plenty of parking spots and the shuttle buses were prompt in getting you to the starting area. They had baggage check ins, showers and changing areas. Definitely two thumbs way up for the Camp Pendleton race organizers. I'm looking forward to doing this mud run again next year. Who wants to join me? =P
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