September 16, 2010

Marine Corp Mud Run 5K Race Report

Twas the night before the mud run, and all through the home two creatures were stirring trying not to aimlessly roam.  But instead they had their sites set out with a goal, they'd find clothing that was old and worn - something they could get dirtier than coal.

Okay as badly as that sucked - it was hard to write so we're switching back to my rambling style 'kay?

Jay easily found an old muscle shirt of his that he no longer cared about, and a pair of almost too short shorts that had paint stains on them (how is it men's shorts keep getting longer and longer while women's shorts keep getting shorter??)  "No draw string?" I questioned but he insisted that he had chosen the right pair.

My mother gave me a pair of her shorts that she didn't want any more.  In my house you just don't throw clothing out - she was excited to hand them over because it meant she finally got to throw them away.  Not sure why she needed a reason, but I went with it.  They had a draw string, so I didn't care that they were a couple of sizes too big.

Jay hunted out an old tee of his from the box I consider rags, and doctored it up some. There was an empty spot, so he filled in my name.

He then added a special surprise.

Notice that scratched out part?  Apparently this tee had belonged to Aaron Barone before Jay rescued it from a thrift store.  A little blue sharpie and suddenly the shirt is mine again.  Along with a sweet little message.

We had about an hour drive, so we headed out early.
And were greeted by rain showers that weren't expected until later in the day.

The race hadn't even started and we were soaked.  There were some pansies that were wearing ponchos or carrying umbrellas, but we didn't really see the point.  Isn't a mud run supposed to be wet and messy?

Due to the obstacles, the runners were divided into 9 separate waves.  Jay was a wave (or 2 minutes) behind me at the starting gate.  His speed plus my difficulty on the first obstacle made it easy to catch up with me before the 2nd obstacle.

(That's me in the green shorts.)

The first was a series of 3 barrels about 3 feet high.  Not sure why, but I had difficulty getting over the first barrel.  It was slippery from the rain and as I tried to hop over I slid right back off.

Over and over and over again.

Until the Marine Corp dude watching over the obstacle came over and gave me a hand.  The second two barrels were the exact same as the first, yet I managed to make it over each of them on the first try.

A few feet after that were some logs about 2 feet off the ground that we were supposed to hop over.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Shortly afterward I heard someone yell 'Aaron Barone' and turned to find that my darling non runner, non training husband had already caught up to me.  He asked if I wanted him to stay with me.  I told him it would be more fun together, but I would drag his time down.

I secretly suspected he wanted to use me as an excuse if he didn't get the fast time he was hoping for.

The course wound around until we had to enter the lake for about 200 feet.  Jay and I enter locked arms and trudged through the water, passing a few racers along the way.  Then it was back on land for a muddy up hill climb.

As the course leveled off, we were greeted by more logs.  These were about 2 1/2 feet high and hovered over a lovely pit of mud.  We had to keep our feet moving, even when the competitors in front of us were at a stand still.  Otherwise the mud sucked our feet down, making it more difficult to move.  We marched in place awaiting our turn, but Jay's shoe was lost in the processed - suctioned off by the mud creature below us.

The brave knight battled the monster for the shoe - we had attached our timing chips (as instructed) to our laces, and the shoe in question meant the difference between Jay having an official time.

The Marine Corp recommended crawling hands and knees style and of course they were right.  It made battling the mud creature easier, although it wasn't without its own challenges.  As we quickly discovered, there was also gravel in the mud.  I'm not a big fan of pain and this was more than slightly uncomfortable.

Once we made it through that particular challenge, we were greeted by another.  A jungle net that we had to crawl under.  It was a slick mud surface, so most of us just slid under it like a slip 'n slide.

Shortly there after (and yes it felt like we were being bombarded by obstacles one right after another) there was a 3 foot hill of mud.  We climbed up it then slide down the other side.

Then it was back in the lake for another 50 foot walk and then we were back on pavement.  One thing I'll say write is that when obstacles are added into a 5K, it becomes difficult to know how far you've gone.  With the pavement under our feet, I thought we were nearing the end of the course.  Instead they just ran us around on the other side of the park.

We ran up and down hills until Jay asked to walk up some.  Finally his lack of training was catching up with him and it was me having to slack back for him.  Sorry.  I don't mean to gloat, but that rarely happens.  And while I love my husband it does give me a sense of satisfaction when he can't just rely on his athletic nature.

Then there was the 4 foot wall. 

The wall made me very thankful that we'd stuck together.

With a boost, I was up and over the wall quickly.  Something I wouldn't have been able to do on my own.

Then he jumped over, wishing he'd listen to me about shorts with a drawstring.

More mud, more hills, more Marines.

Our two final obstacles were the high knee tires and the low crawl ropes.  Once again we had to crawl through mud/gravel but this time under ropes about a foot and a half off the ground.

The last couple hundred yards took us downhill towards the finish.  There was traffic, and I could tell Jay was tired, so I really pored it on at the end.  This was my one and only shot to cross the finish line before him.

Only I didn't. But at least it was together, not him before me.  (Remember his 2 minute later start?)

We sought out my friend/training buddy who in her current pregnant state couldn't participate as more than our photographer, and got our celebratory picture made.  We'd survived!!

We headed back to the lake to rinse off before changing clothes and heading home.

Or so we thought.  What started as a grassy parking area became the 2nd muddy mess of the day.

We stuck around for a couple hours as Jay helped push people out of the mud.  Some had managed to get themselves so stuck no amount of Marine muscle was moving them.  Of course that's when the Jeep rode in to the rescue to tow them out.

My official race time ended up being 47:49 - as predicted my worst 5K ever.  Jay's time didn't register, so he carried his shoe the entire race for nothing!  Figuring a minute per obstacle (it was more on some - having to wait for others to clear out) and walking part of it to stay with my hubby, I figure that's not a bad time at all.

Don't worry, I washed and saved Aaron Barone so I'll have my hidden note of encouragement for next year.


  1. WOW! What a race! I loved the pictures and I think your shirt is so sweet. You did good in spite of the conditions.
    PS - I loved the poem!

  2. That looked like it was so fun! You really did great. I don't know if I could get over the "girly" aspect and actually get down in the mud :D

    PS: Dr. Seuss has nothing on you :)

  3. Love the story! I'm so glad you enjoyed yourself!

  4. That is soooo awesome! I bet it was a blast! I wish we had something like that around here!!!

  5. Loved your race report, SuperBoo! The poem was awesome! And the race sounded like a lot of fun. I think the wall would have been a show-stopper for me without a boost, too. (And the short shorts fail picture was priceless! LOL!)

  6. Love the story and all the pictures. That is a crazy race.

  7. That is an interesting race. That's pretty cool to have all those shots of you both in action. I don't know if I could handle all that mud though.

  8. That looks like a lot of fun, more than anything. :D

    Angela/Pretty in Orange

  9. so fun!!! those pics. look like you had a blast!!! love it!

  10. Ugh! MUD! Good for you for doing that but I don't like dirt.

    And you wouldn't have been able to do that without your strong quads and hammies.


  11. i SO don't think i could have handled that!

    but the shirt is ADORABLE. how sweet!

  12. Oh my are a hot mess! what a fun thing to go thru together, so glad he hung back with you. Even if it meant you hanging back for him in the end.

    Love it...great job!

  13. Congrats! You two looked so cute!

  14. WAY TO GO BROOKE!! I hate to say it but playing in the mud looked like a lot of fun. And who knew you were a poet to?


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