Besides participating in a kayak roll clinic this past weekend, I opted for the 5K Teva X-1 Mud Fun Run and the beginner mountain bike race — both of which took place June 6 at the 2009 Teva Mountain Games.
As my “premiere” running race for the weekend, the mud run poised a couple anxiety-raising logistical questions: How long can I run, and at what speed when at about 8,000 feet above sea level? Secondly, how am I going to finish the mud run, clean off, change into my biking gear and get to that starting line at the mountain bike race within 75 minutes?
Neither question turned out to be much of an issue. Running the entire mud run “race” with some new friends in front of hundreds upon hundreds of camera-toting spectators who were heckling runners to get muddier was an invigorating experience.
Doing a somersault into the 10-foot-long mud pit, crawling on hands and knees through it, and slipping and sliding on the way out was just as fun as encouraging onlookers to give me a high five with filthy hands.
While some runners had no clean area on their body, knowing I had to get in the saddle shortly after for the mountain bike race, I stayed relatively clean — and understandably got heckled for it.
With shoes weighing twice as much from the taffy-like filth and legs covered in drying mud, I crossed the finish line with a huge smile and felt an overwhelming exhilaration from my fellow runners that exclaimed we all finished something really goofy and wouldn’t hesitate doing it again.
Next stop was the creek to wash off. Then I went to find my mountain bike and rolled it over to the start of the next event. Mercifully, that race would have less of the brown gloppy stuff to slow me down.