Monday, June 4, 2012

Getting Down and Dirty with the Girls—LoziLu Twin Cities Mud Run

Fellow Mud Rukker, Gretchen,
who convinced me to mud run
I'm learning that spontaneity is the key to life. Why else would I even consider running in a "mud run"? Of course I'll do it, and signed up a mere three days before the race. I really had no idea what all was involved with a "mud run" when I spontaneously agreed to join my friend Gretchen's team for a Saturday morning run. The name of our team, Mud Rukkers, clued me in. Even delving into the LoziLu website the night before the race did not quite prepare me for my first mud run.

I am traditionally a solitary runner—me and my i-Pod. Usually indoors on a treadmill. Not the case when you're running a mud run. In case you're like me and had never heard of such a thing, let me give you a few details. These races are run outdoors, off-trail (that meant in the hilly fields and through the woods on a bumpy unpaved surface), through mud pits (although you do have the option to go around the mud), over/through a series of obstacles, and it was hot out (no air conditioning on this run). The Twin Cities LoziLu was for women only, most were in groups in full costume, and of all ages and fitness abilities. And unlike some mud/obstacle runs, there were no live wires that gave you a zap if you messed up and accidentally grazed an obstacle. However, there was one mud pit that we all crawled through that smelled suspiciously like manure.

The pristine Mud Rukkers before the run
The 13 Mud Rukkers were in the 10 am wave of racers, and I'm guessing that there were at least 25-30 other runners in our wave. This nearly 5K race started off dashing around a lake, stepping carefully down a steep and sandy embankment to the first set of obstacles that required climbing up over fences and underneath other fences. No mud yet. Just wood chips.

The dozen or so obstacles on this course had amusing names like: "Bad Hair Day, Lost Earring, and Walk the Runway". The team favorite "Slip n Slide" was around the 1 mile mark and was exactly that. A huge slip n slide positioned on the down slope of a hill. This involved getting yourself a bit wet in one of the sprinklers on the slip n slide, then taking a running leap onto the wet plastic. I choose stomach first and went cruising into the wet, muddy grass at the bottom. Way too much fun!

I also really enjoyed the "Fish Nets" near the end of the course. This was a 15-20 foot climb up to the top of a fishnet rope obstacle then climbing back down. Exhilarating! Other obstacles included a couple of walks through some really nasty (and freezing cold) Minnesota ponds. Thank you to Gina and Lori for saving me from going under in that "Hot Mess"! A series of huge balance beams that were pretty easy to maneuver going up but coming back down on the narrow, slippery boards proved a bit tricky.

The LoziLu course planners saved the best for last. The "Mud Bath". The Mud Rukkers figured we did this course to get down and dirty so we did, diving face first into a pit of Minnesota mud and crawling underneath ropes to get out of the pit. We all experienced a new kind of dirty.

The mucky ladies after the Mud Run
The best part of running with The Mud Rukkers is that we were in this as a team. Complete camaraderie! We usually regrouped after each obstacle or at least stopped to do some dancing at the water holes. After our final dive into the mud and 55 minutes on the course, we all crossed the finish line together, cheering and pumping our arms in the air. We did it!

We stopped to pose for a few pictures from our crowd of fans then jumped into the nearby lake to clean off. Everyone ditched their knee socks as these were caked in mud and full of burrs from one of the pond obstacles. Time for refreshments . . . unlike most races I've run, this race had a beer and wine stand at the end in addition to the usual bananas and waters.

Would I do this again? Absolutely! So don't be surprised if I try to recruit you to run with the Mud Rukkers next June!
The author climbing up out of the mud pit.


alyssa said...

Sounds like fun! Except for the running part...

Christianna said...

The running part really wasn't so bad because it was broken up by the obstacles. It really didn't have that "race" feel to it. The run did take extra concentration though because the ground was so uneven.

Anonymous said...

I think it sounds like a hoot! Next year count me in, although I will need to get in far better shape. It will be great motivation and something to look forward to. You and I running in mud could end up being a family tradition. sally

Christianna said...

I know that you could do it Sal!