World Famous Mud Run

"Mud, mud, I love mud. I'm absolutely, positively, wild about mud. I can't go around it, I've got to go through it. Mud, mud, mud."

When I was little I would sing this while squishing around barefoot in the mud. Clearly, I've never been squeamish about getting dirty, so I was super excited when my client asked me to join their team for the World Famous Mud Run at Camp Pendleton in California.

My team picked me up bright and early this morning and we arrived at Camp Pendleton by 7am. I had no idea it was that big, it is like a town! It was a solid 20 minutes from when we went through the gates till we got to the race venue.

Our team, The Wet Dirt Junkies, was in the last wave since we were a mixed team. So we had plenty of time to wander around and check out the other runners. There were some awesome costumes, but some of them looked pretty uncomfortable to run in! Tight denim daisy dukes on a bunch of big guys, giant California raisin costumes, and fur cave men outfits.

Then we were running. About a 1/10th of a mile in we were blasted with fire hoses to make sure we wouldn't stay dry and comfortable for long. Then we hit the dirt trail and soon came upon our first stream crossing, followed by a long stretch of sand that they refer to as the Gobi. The deep sand was killer on the calves.

And then came the hills. I was not nervous going into this about the running, I mean it is "just" a 10k. I do that all the time. I'm a marathoner. These hills almost killed me. They were long and steep and there were a lot of walkers on them, so I did a lot of weaving. The sun was beating down, and I was out in the desert just going up and up. The landscape looked like Mars.

But eventually we hit the top, and then there was an equally long downhill. I wanted to just bomb down, but the footing was uneven and the trail was packed.

At the bottom of the hill was the first mud pit. I could smell it before I saw it. Given the smell, I really didn't want to get any in my mouth. But naturally as I hopped into it, I fell into a hole and face planted. Giant mouthful of mud. Nasto! I accepted a knee from a gallant marine to get up and over the first wall, just because he was a cutie and I wanted to hold his hand!

Then we went through the lake, around and loop, and then mud pit number 2. I hoisted myself over the wall this time. I had the strength to get myself up no problem, but the wall was so muddy and slippery that I almost did another face plant on the other side. They we had to crawl through these little tubes. I have never been so happy to be short. Crawling was murder on the knees, but I was able to do a little waddle and spare my knees.

Then came the last major uphill. They were blasting the hill with fire hoses, so it was a muddy mess. People were just inching up it, and so I joined the pack, trying not to lose more ground than I was gaining with each step.

After the hill we had another short run before the last mud pit. If anyone was still even a little clean, they weren't after this! The mud pit was covered with barbed wire, so you had no choice but to get down on your stomach and swim through. MMMM.

On the other side I expected to see most of my team waiting for me, as we had to cross the finish line. I was shocked to find I was the second one there. Eventually the other runners emerged from the mud, and we linked arms and crossed the finish.

Then it was time for the hog wash- giant outdoor showers. I stripped down as much as decency allowed, but there wasn't a real hope of getting completely clean. I did the best I could and then put on some clean clothes.

We spent the next 4 hours drinking beer, snacking, lying in the sun, and listening to music. Is there any better feeling than a great workout followed by beer, sun, and music??

And now my shoes get to sit in my suitcase for another week.

Tonight, I'm tired, sunburned, still a little muddy, and still smiling from ear to ear.