Yesterday, we got dirty. Really dirty, as we ran through Charleston marshes, crawled through thick, deep, smelly ponds of pluff mud, and jumped into debris filled creeks for 3.1 miles.
It was the Charleston Mega Mud Run, and we had a blast!
This morning I have the bruises, scrapes and tight muscles as reminders of the 31-obstacle course.
The Mega Mud Run, is a local event held at Legare Farms, a huge family owned farm located on John’s Island (one of the largest barrier islands on the East coast). I was blown away by the property size and topography, over 350 acres!
To be honest, when the website stated it would be over 3 miles, I was doubtful. But as we started weaving in out of marshland, woods, and farmland, I realized my doubts had been wrong.
As for the Mega Mud Run…
We signed up somewhat late, so Dan, Amanda, Anne (a boot camper) and myself had a 12:30 start time. However, we got there early, signed in quickly, and learned that it was a very relaxed event. We were able to jump into the 12:00 start line and off we went.
Obstacles ranged from mud crawls, rope climbs, monkey bars, cargo nets, to a broken water bridge run (which was my favorite)… all together there were 31.
I loved the relaxed feel of the event, as it made it a great run for anyone training for a timed event or someone worried about being rushed throughout the course. There was no chip or even a clock at the end to know how quickly you completed the course.
Because of this, when we got to the monkey bars, my mud covered hands had me slip off the first wring which of course pissed me off. I thought about just running past to keep going but instead I wiped my hands in the grass and covered them with dry sand to act like chalk and tried again… success!
Repeating events like this isn’t possible when you’re in a big event with dozens or even hundreds of people around you.
While the course was laid out really well, the volunteers weren’t.
This, and the fact that they ran out of water before we even got started, were my only big two criticisms.
Because so many come to these events, and because it’s so easy to get hurt, I am a big believer that there should be a volunteer at every single obstacle. Twisting ankles or throwing out your knee is too easy.
In fact, when we were on the 28th obstacle, we saw a guy fall off the climbing wall and possibly break his ankle. Because no one to help was around, I took off running to find someone. I ending up having to run all the way to the finish line (about 1/2 mile) before I was able to get help.
Other than that, we absolutely had a blast!
Watching our client Anne cross the finish line with a smile on her face was the best feeling ever and made me excited for more races.
After it was all over, my body was shot. I had gotten up early to get in a 5 mile run before the race and I had had enough. So Dan and I settled in for an evening of X-File episodes, a glass of wine, and homemade vegan gluten-free pizza.
While I love mud runs, they aren’t for everyone. To do well, definitely takes some training. And even people that think they’re in great shape have been known to walk across the finish with a feeling of defeat.
So, I thought I would share some exercises that I think are helpful to master if you plan on racing in a mud run!
5 Of The Best Exercises For Mud Run Training
- Running. This might be an obvious one, but some people think that because there are obstacles lining the course to break it up, they don’t need to master running. Big mistake. In fact, every event we’ve done, Dan always tells me he needs to start running more. His stomach bothers him at the end, and his body yells at him for going from 0 miles to 3+ miles overnight. Whether it’s broken up or not, you’re still running the distance of the race.
- Pull-ups. In every mud run I’ve done, there have been stations that required me to pull myself up and over walls, bars, and logs. Having pull-ups in my training has always helped.
- Lunges. Crawling through mud that is waist deep is hard. Your hamstrings burn as you attempt to pull your leg out of the suction of the mud. Having strong glutes and hamstrings is essential! Lunges are great because they help with hip mobility and muscular strength, both of which will help.
- Army crawl. Again, a move I’ve had to do in all runs. This time was the first time I had to stay low to the ground to avoid being shocked. For about 10 yards, they had barbed wire linked up to a battery… touch the wire and you’d get a quick jolt. Learn to crawl with your butt down!
- Grip Strength. Just practice holding heavy weights for a set time. This will help to improve your grip strength so when it’s time to do monkey bars, climb ropes, or swing like Tarzan, you have the physical grip strength to hold on, even when you’re tired and covered head to to in mud!
Have you ever done a mud run before?
Want to do one?
This was my 5th mud run event, and we’ve got some goals for 2014!