Try Out a Mud Run This Fall

RunningInRainWith the booming mud run craze, it’s easy to see why many runners have changed out their standard 5K “run around the park” to mud runs complete with obstacle courses. They make you feel like a kid again and give you the perfect excuse to get dirty and burn calories at the same time. Here are a few tips to know before you click on that registration button:

Bring your friends. Often mud runs allow for team events–this is a great way to bond with others and even bring co-workers for some fun team building event.

Buy tight clothing at a discount store. Because of the level of muddiness you will incur, you probably don’t want to wear your nice, expensive running outfit. Save the apparel you buy from First to the Finish for your training runs and regular races. You don’t want to ruin those clothes! You’ll end up so dirty you’ll probably just want to toss out what you have rather than bring it home and ruin your washer and dryer.

Volunteer at an event first. Because most know little about mud runs until they actually do one, you can acquaint yourself with the race by volunteering. It’s actually a very smart way to acclimate yourself to race conditions and lend a helping hand in the process.

Train. Although a mud run sounds like something you’d do “just for fun,” it still requires you complete the full mileage–along with plenty of obstacles to boot. Some mud races require you scale walls, jump over hurdles and practically swim through mud under low-hanging wire. It’s actually HARDER than a standard 5K.

Don’t worry about time. Because of the difficulty of the obstacles, you really need to go at your own pace and not care about your competition.

Try adding one of these to your autumn schedule. Whether you’re in high school or you’ve been running for decades, anyone can enjoy a mud run. Who doesn’t love to play in the mud?


Mud Runs: A First-Person Perspective

cropped-cross-country_1.jpgSpring is right around the corner–for some anyway, depending on where you are in the country. This means races draw near and you can start looking forward to filling up your weekends with hard-core marathons and those races offering a bit of silliness–such as mud runs.

Not too long ago, I decided to participate in my first event at the original mud run spot—Camp Pendleton near Oceanside, Calif. just north of San Diego. I arrived early in the morning at the military base and watched as thousands taped up their shoes to keep them from falling off. I was unaware that they would, so I too grabbed some tape and wrapped my shoes several

We then took off for a 10K course that had me falling into mud pits, scaling walls (of which I needed the assistance of the military men just to get up—not that I’m complaining), crawling through mud under electric wiring, getting drenched from a firefighter’s hose, running through dirt up and down hills, and jumping into mud pits as if I were five years old.

I ended the race covered in mud. I even had mud on my teeth. Luckily, the race finished with outdoor showers we could all walk through, but I can’t say it got rid of all the mud. I brought a change of clothes, but still had mud all over my body. My shoes were ruined, my socks shrank from all the water and my car was covered in mud after I arrived home, despite sitting on a towel.

If you’re going to be participating in a mud run sometime, I highly suggest going to a thrifty clothing store such as the Salvation Army or Goodwill and purchasing an old T-shirt and shorts and then throwing them in the trash after you’re done. Don’t ruin your good running clothes!

Be prepared to get diiirrrrttttyyy…Really dirty!