Muddy Buddy 2011

Muddy legs

So, mud runs. Pretty popular right now, as I was just saying. Shaun found out about two new ones just this week. The Muddy Buddy was a race that we did last year (where we = Shaun & our friend Matt and Erica & I) and it has the interesting twist that you do it as a duo who have one bike between you—you hand it off at the periodic obstacles.

I was really proud of Erica last year for stepping up to the challenge of the Muddy Buddy. And she was really looking forward to the race this year, with all of her triathlon training she figured she'd be able to really attack it, instead of just surviving. So she was really bummed (and I was, too) that her knee injury took her out of the running (literally).

So Sunday morning it was just Shaun and I driving out to Indian Hills Farm out in Gilberts, IL. Last year, we obeyed the emailed race instructions and got out to Gilberts frightfully early—arriving in darkness and enveloping fog. We got all of our pre-race tasks done in plenty of time and then spent a few hours waiting for our start time napping in Shaun's truck and slapping ravenous mosquitoes. This year we decided to roll the dice a little, even though we were in an earlier wave, and slept in an hour. There was a little bit of traffic just as we arrived at the farm, but when were able to get all of our check-in and prep tasks done just in time to start with our wave. One of those tasks was to find me a helmet—somehow I had forgotten that one of hard rules of the race is that both members of your team have to wear bike helmets throughout the whole course, even when running. Oops. Fortunately, the race organizers had a bin of bike helmets (I presume lost and found from previous events) that they were happy to loan me.

I have to admit that since we had just done the Tough Mudder, the run felt a little easy. The obstacles are all pretty easy—a few are literally bouncy-castle style inflated obstacles. I hadn't paid close enough attention to the course map and so during what turned out to be my last running leg I was holding back a little, 'pacing' myself for the (non-existent) miles to come. Also, in the Tough Mudder you're put in and out of mud and water throughout the course, with the last few water obstacles actually rinsing you off a bit. As long as you don't slip and fall after the electric shock obstacle, you can in fact finish the run grimey, but not totally mud-laden. By contrast, in the Muddy Buddy, Shaun and I noted that we were entering the final obstacles completely clean, then the course runs you through a (gratitous?) mudpit and then you're done. Not to sound prissy, but clean up is a pain. And, to whine a little bit more, something in the mud triggered an alergic reaction that had me sneezing and snotting for the rest of the day.

But it's a fun day, novel with the bike-switch-off, and I'd heartily recommend it to anyone as their first mudder.

After the disposable camera debacle of the last week, I picked up a waterproof disposable camera at Walgreens and it weathered the mud with aplomb.

Official results:

Time: 49:34.5
Overall place: 325 / 1124
Place in division (Male, 76-85*): 31 / 54

* Combined age