Position: 302/3193 Gender Position: 80/1757
‘Rachel’ position: 1/14
Medal: Yes! (and cotton t-shirt, and wrist band for free beer)
This was race 2 of 2 on Saturday, October 20th, and I had scheduled to run in one of the later start waves to give me time after the West U Halloween Dash earlier. By the time I arrived, however, most of the participants were gone or drunk, and the organizers didn’t seem to give two shits about when your wave was; when you were ready, you start. Instead of risking more bitterness that day, I opted to skip the costume contest and start straight away.
Obviously, my Garmin had issues starting, but I didn’t really care about pace, more heart rate in the mid-day Houston heat. It got going after a few minutes, and by then I was already hyperventilating in a ditch of freezing water. The course was definitely not congested by this time (it seemed like most people were trying to clean up by this point), and for the first mile I overtook about 5 people, and I was taking it relatively easy. The obstacles rolled by, but nothing near as horrendous or dread-inducing as what I faced during Tough Mudder Scotland. In fact, this was pretty much a walk in the park.
And then I reached the ropes that I was supposed to navigate over a pond of muddy water. I got to chatting to the photographer who was telling me about a half marathon in Dallas next weekend, whilst snapping ultra-unflattering action shots:
This isn’t so bad, I expected to get muddier, I thought, stupidly, to myself, tempting fate. And then came the mud pits. Whilst gross, they weren’t too difficult to navigate, and I jogged along in soggy shoes that weighed approximately 50lbs. more than when I started.
Eventually I scraped some mud from my Garmin to realize that I was over 2 miles into the 5k course, and that’s when we swerved around by the spectators. There was my brother, checking out the scantily clad girls, and my mother taking yet more unflattering photos of me hauling myself over a 6 foot wooden wall.
A couple more pits of mud, another wall, a rope web to climb over, and one final crawl through mud and I was crossing the finish line and accepting my (huge) medal. I was disgusting, and my brother seemed to want me to clean myself up before getting into his car for the ride home, so I joined the masses in a qiant queue to get hosed down by firemen. With big ass hoses. I can confirm that firemen’s hoses have exceptional cleaning power.
Cleaned up (kind of) and soaking wet, I sat on a couple of trash bags and we set off home, via Taco Bell for some (un)healthy refueling.
Overall, I felt that the volunteers had had enough by the time my wave time came around. The majority of water stations were unmanned and out of water by the time I ran, which was disappointing and would have mattered had the course been longer than just 5k. I also the feeling we were being ushered along like cattle, but whatever, I entered early so I got cheap rates. I doubt I would do the Mighty Mud Dash again because it didn’t really feel like much of a challenge, and I have discovered (for the second time) that it is a complete pain in the ass to clean muddy shoes and clothes thoroughly. And mud in your ears sucks.