Gettin’ Dirty

Last Sunday, while my dear husband slept in and then went to a cast preview of Cars Land at California Adventure, I woke up before the crack of dawn and drove down to Oceanside to meet up with Deb, Xuyen, Eric, and 6,000+ other people to run in the World Famous Mud Run at Camp Pendleton.

I’d never run a mud run before and I figured that I should add one of these to my race log soon. And since I was going to run a muddy race, I figured that it should be the “big” one down here – it’s world famous, after all:-)

None of us really knew what to expect during the race. Sure, there would be mud and water and obstacles, but we hadn’t run the race before, so it was all new to us.

All Nice and Clean Before the Race

When the gun went off at the start line, well, we all just stood there. Over 1,600 people started in our wave, and it took a minute or so before we made our way to the actual starting line. And then it was kind of stop and go for a little bit after that until the crowds broke up. The first “obstacle” was a water hose that soaked us within the first 1/4 mile of the race. Then we ran through sand and began a loooong ascent uphill(s). Xuyen and Eric paired off and Deb and I stayed close to each other. Miles 2-4 were pretty much all uphill – some of the terrain was a gradual incline and some of it was steep, but it mostly just felt like a traditional trail run. Deb and I turned out to be perfect running buddies and we just kept chugging along.

There was only one mile marker (at mile 3), but I’m guessing the major obstacles didn’t start until after mile 4. That’s when we ran through 2 feet of disgusting (seriously – the stench of it made me want to puke) muddy water; hauled ourselves over 5′ walls (twice); ran about 50 yards through a lake (there was only 6″ of water in it); crawled through tunnels; ran through thick mud; ran (okay, walked!) up a steep, rutted hill while a marine at the top sprayed a fire hose directly in our faces; ran down a steep, rutted hill; and swam/crawled through 30 feet of mud where only our faces/heads were above water. 6.2 miles later, we all crossed the finish line at about the same time. My official time was 1:11:08 (32nd out of 207 in my age group). We had all decided that our goal was to finish in 1:30, so we felt awesome about totally beating our goal time. We felt awesome about the entire race, though – it was a fun challenge and it definitely made us feel good (until the next day, when we felt bad – oh, my thighs burned then!).

After the race, we were ushered through a human car wash to hose the mud off of us, so, sadly, I don’t have any muddy pictures of us. Here’s a very wet picture of us though:

Wet and Dirty Post Race

I received some great advice from my friend, Liz, about running a mud run and it was very helpful during my race. She advised me not to tape my shoes and she warned against getting on my knees at any point. So, if you’re planning to run a mud run, too, I’m passing along that good advice.

I would definitely run another mud run again. I like running longer (longer than 5K) races and I like to challenge myself, so I’m game for running this, or other challenging mud runs, in the future.

I have no upcoming scheduled races planned right now, so I’m not sure what’s next on my running schedule. I’d love to race in a duathalon and some more trail runs, so perhaps I’ll sign up for those this Fall.

About Carrie

I'm a Midwest transplant in SoCal...spending my time exploring, questioning, reading, writing, baking, skiing, running, and raising my family of four kids.
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4 Responses to Gettin’ Dirty

  1. mizwrite says:

    Wow, good goin’, Carrie!!!! Your time is sooooo impressive! Sounds like you had a ton of fun, too. Where are other mud runs? Is there one at Irvine Lake? (… not that I want to know for myself! But my hubby and cross-country daughter might think this is fun!)

    • Carrie says:

      Thanks, Laurie! Yes, there is a mud run at Irvine Lake – my friend, Liz, ran in that race last year (it’s a 5K). Chris and Rene should definitely run in it – they will have a ton of fun!

  2. Diane Chambers says:

    Very impressive. Congrats! Though, for the running illiterate me, why do not tape shoes and why not get on knees? Actually why tape shoes anyway?

    • Carrie says:

      Some people tape their shoes in mud run races so that their shoes stay on their feet when they’re deep in the mud and muck. My friend, Liz, told me not to do that because it will make the soles of your shoes smooth and slippery and you’ll lose traction. I also saw firsthand that a lot of the taping fell off during the race, annoying the runners and forcing them to stop, or it made the shoes too tight on the runner’s feet. The mud and muck wasn’t bad enough that my shoes were going to be ripped off (in this race, at least). As for getting on your knees – if you get on your knees (instead of staying on your feet) while moving through tunnels with grit and stones and dirt, then there is a pretty good chance that you’re going to scrape your knees up pretty bad. Staying on your hands and feet keeps you safer and helps you to move faster. And now you know:-)

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