A Day Of Sweat, Blood, And Fun: USMC Mud Run Recap

Okay, so I have absolutely no desire to join the marines, but I do have enormous respect for those men and women. And going through their training course upped that respect even more.

I know I have been talking about the US Marine Corp Mud Run for months now, and it’s hard to believe it’s over. The good news for you is that this is likely the last time I will mention it… until next year anyways!

Here’s the recap of how things went down, and why it took me 15 minutes to just get mud out of my ears!

Friday Night Pre Run Shenanigans

Friday night, Dan and I had our other teammates over for a pre-run dinner. Since our other two members didn’t know each other, I thought it would be a great way to introduce everyone. Helping each other along the course can be quite intimate so we needed to break the ice!

Oh look, we’re all clean and pretty… won’t last long. From me going clockwise: Ashton & Cassie

On the menu: Phylo Italian Roll, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Salad. We had a glass of wine with dinner and the rest of the time stuck to downing water (and coconut water).

After that, it was time to hit the hay. 5am comes far too quickly and we all needed to have as much energy as possible.

Cassie lives less than 5 minutes away, so she decided to just meet up with us in the morning. Ashton on the other hand lives about 40 minutes away so it was best for her to crash on our couch. I wish I took a picture, but she gave me the BIGGEST potted mum plant I have ever seen! It was so sweet and now makes our home look a bit more “fall-like”.  So sweet!

You know I can’t do anything without a good breakfast. I made both of us vegan pancakes topped with sunflower butter and syrup with a side of apples (I miss my handpicked apples):

Sorry my photography skills at 5:15 aren’t so great. 🙁 

Then it was time to hit the road!

The mud run was in Columbia which is about 90 minutes from Charleston, and since the race advised us to get there an hour early, we hopped in the car at 5:45. Ugh. Of course a Starbucks trip was a must (green tea for me).

Once we got to Columbia, I think we were all awake! Ready girls!??

The 50-degree morning temperature of the upstate definitely helped slap me awake! It also hit me that I had to say my good-byes to these girls:

Adios, bright blue Pumas! We’ve been through a lot together, let’s end it on a good note! 

I remembered how smooth the set up was last year, and it didn’t disappoint this year either. We walked right in, signed our liability forms (in case of injury or death.. they are not responsible., hearing “death” in there is SCARY!).

Then we got our numbers temporarily tattooed:

Of course we had some time for a pre-run bathroom break and picture time!

Don’t worry Dan and I both took off our sweats. I love these people so much! I am grateful to be able to do what I do and meet awesome women because of it (both these girls are boot campers) and be able to call them friends!

Then, before we knew it we were called into the corral. Again, I can’t get over how organized this race it. Our race time was 8:20.45 and that’s EXACTLY what time we had the whistle blown.

5.2 miles and 36 obstacles lay in front of us. Here’s the course (from the mud run site):

The course we designed by a former marine drill sergeant and current marines were lining the course to motivate and instruct us what to do. Some of them were a bit too “In Your Face” but the others were really motivating. I think Dan wanted to push one into the water after they kept screaming for us to “MOVE IT FASTER, YOU’RE LETTING YOUR TEAM DOWN.”

He restrained himself. 🙂

What I love most about this course is the team work aspect. There is absolutely no way to complete it without everyone working together. When someone got tired, we helped keep them going, when an obstacle was too hard, we all helped lift, push and motivate each other to make it through.

There were a few times when one of us said “I don’t think I can do that.” As the team captain, I made sure to always respond…

“Yes you can, because we’re going to help you the entire time.”

Talk about awesome.

The one thing that no one could help out with was the cold. The morning chill was still in the air, and the water was freezing, plus the trails were all in the woods (no sunlight peaking in). During a tough obstacle my adrenaline would kick in and I would forget about the cold. But as soon as I set out running again, my teeth would start chattering, my arms were shaking and my hands were numb. I won’t lie, there were a few times I was contemplating if I had a mild hypothermia. I know it was silly, but damn it was cold!

Between jumping/rolling over logs, swinging on mud/sand covered ropes, crawling walking 1/2 mile in a stream with stumps and branches fallen there was no way to not come out with some scrapes and bruises.

But those are just battle scares. As our race shirts say:

Blood Clots… Bones Heal… Sweat Dries… Pride is FOREVER. 

The hardest obstacle for me: 

 Someone tried to help me, and while I appreciated the surprise extra boost, it turned me in a way that almost dislocated my shoulder. Luckily, I was able to stop his “rotational assistance” but it’s a bit sore today.

My Favorite obstacle:

 The over/unders. I felt really strong with these and didn’t need help so I was able to contribute to the team. I would do one, then go back and help my other team mates over, then do the next and repeat. I felt like that was my strongest part.

Will we do it again? 

You better believe it! This is my 3rd mud run challenge and it was a blast! Even though you end up tossing out clothes, and taking 30 minute showers it is worth it. I love road races, but the camaraderie with these is just different.

I have my eyes set on something bigger… like the 12 mile Tough Mudder!

Our team worked so well together, and I loved getting to do a fitness event with this guy:

(Yup, he decided to make a duck tape belt to help keep those shorts up)

My favorite part about the ENTIRE event was how proud we were of ourselves. Cassie just ran her first ever 5K about a month ago (with me here), and suddenly she found herself doing 5 miles of marine level fitness.

She kicked butt, and kept saying how she can’t believe she did that. I can believe it, I am so proud of her. Unfortunately she also ended up with the worst battle scars, but those heal!

Out Of Commission

We got home around lunch time, showed up, ate lunch and took a LONG nap! Then Dan and I watched 3 back to back movies, with a homemade pizza dinner and a glass or two of wine tossed in there somewhere. Then it was back to bed at 9:30! The perfect evening to a perfect race day!

Aside from a few sore bruises and scrapes on my legs, I was surprised that I am not more sore. My abs are a little, as is my shoulder from the pull, but other than that I feel great! Must have been the 10 hours of sleep I got!

  • Have you ever done a mud run before? 
  • Have you ever raced at all? 5K, 10K, etc… what’s your favorite? 


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