Saturday, April 23, 2011

Muddy Mayhem

The Muddy Mayhem is an 8k run through cow pastures littered with mud pits, hay bales, tractor trailers, and mud pools that runners must take on. The race is held on a ranch in southwest Bexar county and benefits the Wounded Warrior Project. I feel the WWP is a great program. It helps severely injured service men and women transition back into civilian life. My good friend Liza Howard held a fund raiser for the WWP last year when she ran 12 hours to raise money for the program. Many of our San Antonio H.O.T.rockhoppers running group pledged money and joined her for portions of those 12 hours.
The fact that this race helps our service men and women, and that some of my friends were registered (two who have a nephew who was severely injured in Afghanistan) convinced me to enter this race late last week.
The race started at 10 AM under overcast skies but soon the sun would break through. And although there was a stiff breeze, it would get hot and humid before the end of the race. Some runners were there purely for fun, dressed in wacky outfits. A group of guys were in dresses! A short trek on the road after the start from the ranch and we were back running through open cow pastures. I've run on many trails in many parts of the country and let me tell you, the most difficult trails I've run on are much smoother than a cow pasture. There wasn't a single area that was smooth at all. Those rolling hills, and fields were littered with holes and ruts of all sizes. And the grass made it difficult to see the uneven surface. Orlando said he rolled his ankle at one point. I'm sure he wasn't the only one. I ran in some PUMA flats and that was a good decision.
The first obstacle was a mud pit. We had to crawl under ropes about two feet off the ground over this pit. The next obstacle were tires, then Hay bales stacked two high and two deep, this was about 6 feet high and 8 feet deep. The obstacles were set up about every 3/4 mile. Next was a flat bed trailer. followed by more stacked hay bales and the final obstacle was a mud pool! The pool was about 3 feet deep and 30 feet long. When I entered the pool I was beat and was wading through it as young kid passed me high stepping it. Just before he exited the pool he went down face first.
I exited the pool and dashed for the finish line, crossing it at 40:36. Good enough for first in my age group but I was awarded the first Masters award. They goofed. The guy awarded first in my age group was the first masters.
I had a fun time and felt good about helping the Wounded Warrior Project.

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