Sunday, December 6, 2009

Run at the Rock - 14 mile trail mud-run


My foot in the mud

......some more mud

Jimbo after the race

When I left home on Saturday morning, the weather was pretty close to my worst nightmare - wet and raining, and not too far above freezing. Some would say idea for some trail running. As a self-admitted 'wuss', this was my day to 'man-up', brave the conditions and go for it! What I didn't anticipate, was the amount of fun I would have. Of course, I expected the trails to be slick, wet and muddy - I wasn't however expecting about 7 of the 14 miles to be shoe sucking, up to calf deep mud.

There looked to be a good few hundred runners who showed up - quite a bit busier than I have been used to lately.

After the "GO", there was a couple of hundred yards of asphalt, and then we had to cross a field to get to the trail head. The field was totally waterlogged, and by the time the back-o-the-packers got there, it was well and truly chewed up. While many were trying to work their way round the mud, a few (me included) figured that the easiest way was just to plow through it. Being as the race was both a 7 mile run (one lap), and a 14 mile run (two laps), I suspect that there were a few runners new to trails. It certainly did seem to me that there were several people who appeared incredibly uncomfortable. I was having a blast.

Once out of the field and onto the trails, the conditions got worse (or better, depending on how you look at it). My trail shoes were getting a good testing, and I really did notice that I had better traction than those with road shoes. The course was muddy and hilly for the first 3 miles or so. After that, the hills remained, but the muddiness subsided -now there were plenty of rocks and roots to conted with. There was about 1/2 a mile more of mud in the last half of the lap. End of lap 1, my time was 1:25:34.

Roots during the second half of the race

Now out onto lap two. The number of runners had dramatically reduced after the 7 milers had finished (there were 360 7 mile finishers and 135 finishers in the 14 mile race), so there was a lot more room to run, and a lot less people trying (and failing) to steer themselves around the mud. As a result, I actually managed to negative split! Woohoo - I don't think I have ever done that before. My second lap split was 1:23:37. Overall time was 2:49:12.

I will definitely do this one again - especially if it is raining! :)

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like a blast! I LOVE running in stuff like that! Wish I had been there!