A couple weekends ago, Rob and I headed to Larkspur to do the Muckfest MS Mud Run. Muckfest is put on to support MS research and the event organizers encourage everyone to fund raise.
After arriving an hour early, watching a few people go through the obstacles, and then stretching out, we lined up for our 12:30 start time. The MC did a good job getting the crowd excited, and muddy, before we even started.
Since Rob has a bum calf at the moment, and I had run 16 miles before we headed out, we were not in it to win it. We were happy to walk, talk, and get muddy at our own pace.
Out of all 19 obstacles, I had 5 favorites. I’ve done a Warrior Dash before, but these 5 obstacles were a bit unique. (Rob and I both HATE jumping off of things, so the pictured obstacle below will not make the favorites list.)
1. Spider Web. While trying to navigate our way through all these ropes, while other people were as well, we were being sprayed with a fire hose. Not only was it completely disorienting, and freezing!, it was easy to get tangled up if you decided to go over a set of ropes while someone else decided to go under.
2. Big Balls. So I may have been shamelessly giggling the whole way through this obstacle because of its sheer ridiculousness. Not only was shoe-sucking mud underfoot, but the giant swinging balls were heavy and almost knocked me off my feet. I’m sure it didn’t help that Rob pushed a few into me as revenge for me accidentally getting mud in his eye in the first 100 yards.
3. Tight Rope. This obstacle took some serious concentration to be able to balance and move forward. If your breathing quickened, or you bent slightly to one side or the other, you would be a gonner. Thankfully, Rob and I both got through with no mishaps. Though I was happy to be a muddy mess, that water was cold!
4. The Spinner. I was probably most nervous for this obstacle as my upper body strength is not where it should be right now (marathon training). The volunteers were super encouraging and encouraged us to just jump right on. I was so happy it was a short loop because I wasn’t going to be able to hold on much longer! The hardest part was actually getting off the rope; you had to step on a large, slippery, muddy mound while the rope kept going. My balance skills were definitely put to the test!
5. Swing Set. Jumping off things is not my thing, but this one was fun! With a swinging start, you had to take off into the water. The tough thing was timing it correctly so you didn’t jump when the swing was furthest from the water. It seemed like everyone was having a blast on this obstacle.
I had a ton of fun playing in the mud and mountains with Rob, but there were a few things that were vaguely annoying.
1. The obstacles felt crowded together at the start and end of the race. There was a pretty long walk between obstacles on some really steep hills that was a bit dull. I realize there are restrictions to where mud pits and structures can be made, but maybe rerouting a bit would work better.
2. Many of the obstacles were drying out. It was a warm, sunny day and the mud just wouldn’t stay put on some of the obstacles. On the second to last obstacle, where you have to slide backwards through some tipped over scaffolding, it was like sliding over wet gravel. Lots of people ended up scraped.
3. Since Rob and I were the second to last wave of the day to start, by the time we finished, the post-party was out of food and everyone was heading home. This has nothing to do with the race directors, but the party feel was definitely coming to a close by the time we got our post-race beer.
Regardless of these things, I would highly recommend Muckfest to anyone who enjoys mud runs. Plus you can’t beat FREE race pictures. It was a great afternoon being active and silly!
RQ: Mud runs: yay or nay? If you’ve done a mud run, what has been your favorite obstacle?