I’ve run a few races in the mud, and this was no different. A few small obstacle courses. A quick run into the James, waist deep. And a short, thick, sludgy mud pit at the end. I love running through obstacles, but this might be my last mud pit for a while.
This race was a part of the Dominion Riverrock festival which took place Friday night & most of the day Saturday on Brown’s Island in Richmond, VA. The Mud Run was at 6pm Friday night. It was a little humid at the start, but overall, not too hot, and the thunderstorms held off.
This is not your typical walk-in-the-park 5k. Just before mile 1 we ran out into the James River, water about waist high, circled around a buoy, and came back on land. Now soaking wet, we had to crawl through a sandpit, under a series of ropes. The water felt great because it cooled me off. The sand, not so much.
Welcome to Belle Isle
We continued on trails through parts of Belle Isle, and had to make our way up a steep, un-runable, hill made up mostly of large rocks. This was more of a crawl/climb. All 4 limbs were engaged.
On the top of Belle Isle was where we found the last little obstacle before the final mud pit. We hopped over a set of 3 one-foot tall, zig-zagged ropes. A pretty weak attempt at an obstacle, but better than nothing at all.
How the race got it’s name
The mud pit was located right before the finish line. This pit was much smaller than the Muddy Buddy pit a few weeks ago, but it was good mud. Only about 20 feet long, the beginning was very watered down, and the last 3/4 were pretty thick and sludgy. Diving head first into watery mud is a sure way to get it in your eyes. Then you crawl the rest of it blind. But hey, if that’s your style (it certainly is mine), than by all means, go for it.
My time… for having not run all week since the triathlon last Sunday… an impressive 28:14. 20/131 in the 20-29 age group. 49/295 overall. I’ll never learn how to put on the breaks in a race like this. At least not for a 5k.
Creativity & consistency were the themes for the 10k this year. Everything from Indiana Jones costumes to sandwich boards to kid drummers, this race has it all. It’s definitely one you need to experience.
Creativity & consistency
That was the theme for me this year. This race isn’t my favorite from a running standpoint, but I don’t sign up to PR. It’s the atmosphere and the people that suck me in.
Dress up and run contest
Lots of creativity here. The first place individual winner was Indiana Jones, and he ran with an SUV-sized boulder attached at his waist, following him for 6 miles. And he had the Indy theme song playing inside of the boulder.
I also saw the résumé man. This guy sandwich-boarded himself and handed out résumés to spectators. And I think he still finished in under an hour, despite stopping for several mini-interviews along the way.
Condo for sale
A creative couple printed a huge posterboard with images and a description of their condo, all in an attempt to sell it. They had flyers with more information in-hand. Why pay X number of dollars to advertise when you’ve got 30,000 people to market to for free? Since their place was 2 blocks from the race, they could even do a walk through.
Little drummer boy
He’s not really that little anymore, and I’m not sure how many years he’s been at it, but this kid sets up his drum set on the front lawn year after year. No amp. No guitarist. No lead singer. Just him and his drums. The 20+ bands that played this year might want to send a recruiter down to take a look at this kid. He was better than at least half of the band’s drummers.
Party on the balcony
Whether they’re college students or mid-20-somethings, you can always count on them. Small gatherings always take place on the balconies overlooking Monument Ave. Stereos blasting, spray-painted bed sheet signs that call out their friends (some borderline inappropriate), solo cups in hand. They wait for over an hour to see their 5 friends run by, each time yelling for 5 seconds, then it’s over. For some, the 10k is an excuse to start drinking at 8am.
And then there’s these folks. They have run this race for all 10 years of it’s existence. And for all the reasons above, and the many more I’m sure I missed, I know they’ll be some of the first to sign up again next year.
Oh, and just in case you were wondering, I finished in 48:50.
This is just an awesome race at Pocahontas State Park. The obstacles are top-notch. The mud pit is long, and the spectators get on you if you’re not face down in it. The team names are hilarious… and the costumes even better. I even witnessed a proposal this year.
For some, one Muddy Buddy is enough. But not me. I came back for round 2, this time with a different partner. Nate Raecke provided the bike, Pocahontas provided the park and we took care of the rest.
A little colder this year (mid 60s), and overcast, but overall, not bad. It rained quite a bit yesterday, which made for some slick spots on the trail. But it is the muddy buddy, so there’s no reason to wait until the end before we get dirty.
This year featured a:
- mini rock wall with a cargo net on the opposite side
- balance beam (which I always struggle with)
- 20 ft. military crawl under a cargo net (I was lightning fast)
- cargo net climb up an inflatable slide; slide down (which I also dominated)
- and the always popular stream crossing
Last year’s mud was like sludge. Definitely man-made. The kind you just get stuck in.
This year, I think the overnight rain changed things a bit. The mud pit was watered down. Liquid mud. The kind that splashes. And there were rocks on the bottom. Sharp ones.
For the second time in 2 weeks, I witnessed a marriage proposal at a race. Last week I saw a guy get on one knee before his race during the National Duathlon Festival downtown. Today, this guy proposed to his girlfriend right after they got out of the mudpit together. Maybe this is a sign for how I’m supposed to propose… who knows, but maybe I should find a girlfriend first. Let’s start there.
It was Nate’s first time, and he enjoyed himself, despite the 2 hours of sleep he got the night before. And I enjoyed round 2 more than I thought I would. And in less than 2 weeks I’m doing another mud run, 5k, on Brown’s Island. Hey, I just like to get dirty.
57:38, a few minutes faster than last year.