I originally toyed with the idea of doing the Merrell Down & Dirty Mud Run several months back, but then I was concerned about running with wet, mud-caked shoes, not knowing how I would fare. But being part of the Go Green Get Fit Challenge has encouraged me to try out new obstacles – so why not an actual obstacle course!
The Merrell Down & Dirty Mud Run is a 5K (or 10K for the brave) course with military-style obstacles, mud crawls, and strength challenges. Thousands of people turn up for this event – older people, families, children doing the one-mile adventure run. It was definitely not just for athletes.
It turns out that it was significantly easier than running a straight 5K race – the stops for the obstacles really keeps it from being boring or exhausting. And the obstacles really weren’t terribly difficult. The only one where I really “cheated” was a wet ramp where you were meant to pull up your body weight using a rope and not use your feet. I used my feet. It was also awesome to do an actual trail run through a nature path versus the city streets.
Call me a girly girl, but the only part I did not love was the mud. Once your shoes are drenched it’s like adding a 10 pound weight to your run. And I was pretty sure that mud had several strains of influenza in it but I’m still waiting for a virus to hit.
It helped tremendously to have a few friend from my CrossFit gym on board to be my running buddies. We waited for each other at obstacles and pulled each other through – it really felt like true army training.
But I do have to admit one thing. I know this is supposed to be the Go Green Get Fit Challenge but the only thing green about that race was the scenery. Plastic-coated paper cups at water stations overflowed the trash cans. And I myself was culprit in some very bad green behavior. I through a plastic water bottle at the start line and left my mud-drenched shoes and socks in a giant pile destined for the landfill. So while this race was a total plus for fitness, it was a bit of a minus for the environment.
Ending on a positive note, my score of 42 minutes was in the top 25% for my age group. 🙂