May 24, 2014
This is my third year doing the Dirty Dozen Fun Mud Run. I do this with a group of coworkers and we have such a great time that we’ve made it an annual thing. This year, there are 10 of us running together and we have custom shirts for our team, the Kegel Mudd Runners (I don’t know why we spelled mud with two d’s).
This race is a two mile run with a dozen obstacles along the way. Most of the obstacles aren’t too difficult; think walking through a trench of water, jumping over tires (like football players), climbing over a sand hill or two, etc. It’s really more of a fun run but it can be challenging as well.
This run is at the National Guard Armory in Sebring; actually between Avon Park and Sebring. It’s about an hour drive from my house. I arrive and park and immediately head to check in. I pick up my race shirt and my drink ticket. This race doesn’t use bibs but each participant is given an armband. You must have an armband to get on the course.
After putting my race shirt in my car, I head over hang out with everyone and wait until our wave time. There are some food and drink vendors and a DJ is playing music. I find all of my team as I have shirts for many of them. Once we’re all ready to go so we have someone snap some pictures for us.
It’s finally time for our wave to go. I am using my Garmin to time me but I am not going to do intervals because of the obstacles. I will run when I can and walk when I need to. The first obstacle is some tires. It’s hard to ‘run’ through them because there are quite a lot of people and I’m in the middle of the pack. The second obstacle is bypassed. It was supposed to be a water slide that we had to climb up and then slide down; like an inflatable bounce house type water slide; but it wasn’t staying inflated so well and was more of a safety hazard.
Other obstacles included climbing over a sand hill into a ditch of water and then up another sand hill, a belly crawl through the mud, up a rope ladder and over a bar and then back down the rope ladder, an inverted wall (I had to bypass this one because I couldn’t reach over the top of the wall; I had nothing to grab hold of), a couple of fox holes to crawl through and a pool of water where you swim under the ropes. The inverted wall was by far the hardest and many people had to bypass this obstacle.
The other part of this course that is extremely difficult it the sugar sand. There is a long stretch of the course that heads out into an orange grove. The path the course uses is sugar sand. Sugar sand is by far one of the hardest surfaces to run on/through. It will burn your legs out quickly. I find it more efficient to walk through the sugar sand. In fact, I was walking and passing people that were running. Unfortunately, this is also a section of the course where many people will cheat the course. There are no course monitors so many people will just walk past the water stop a little ways and then turn around without going the full distance. I saw quite a few people doing this.
The final obstacle is a huge slip and slide. There is a fire hose spraying water basically raining over the slip and slide. Runners dive on their belly and slide as far as they can. It’s really quite funny and it’s a chance to rinse a bit of the mud off (although in all fairness, there really isn’t a lot of mud on you; it’s more dirt and sand).
As you pass the finish line, your told your time and you record it with the volunteers at the check in table before you exit the course. Even though you may start at the back of the pack, your time is clock time. My time (fro my Garmin) was 36:19.
My team waits for all of our runners to cross the finish line and then we pose for a few additional pictures. We’re all soaked and dirty but we had such a great time. Once we’re all done, I head back to my car and dry off some. I have light tan cloth seats in my car, so I brought some clean shorts to put on. Besides, I’d rather not drive an hour home while soaking wet.
I was a bit peeved about having to walk around that one obstacle. I don’t have the upper body strength to pull myself up like that. And, since I couldn’t reach over the top lip of the inverted wall, I had no way to grab to even try. I was hanging from the top board at one point and finally just let go because I was holding up the people behind me that wanted to try. I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to pull myself up like that but I will certainly keep building my strength in my training!
Dirty Dozen dollars:
Since I do this run with a group of coworkers, our registration and shirts are sponsored and paid for by the company I work for. My only real expenses were gas to get to the venue and parking.