As much as I had grown into running the last two years, the real athlete in our family is my sister. So it was no surprise when for Megan's 29th birthday, she found an obstacle 5K and asked for anyone who was interested to join her for the run. After a few weeks, the group of seven was set: Megan, her boyfriend Tommy, her really good friend Kalah, another great friend Janie, Run Club friends Jeremy and wife Yvonne, and me.
We met in Salem at eight and broke up into two cars. I rode with Janie, Jeremy, and Yvonne. We made a short stop in Austintown to pick up Kalah and then continued on for about another hour and a half.
We parked in the grass, picked up our bibs, and watched the wave before us start. Janie shared the cupcakes she had made for Megan's birthday.
Very yummy with gummi worms and Swedish fish on top :)
We got ourselves ready for the 10:30 wave. I was surprised at how quickly it was only five minutes to start time. We found space a little ways behind the starting sign (we were running as a group not for time so we were fine with not being up front) and counted down from ten.
This course is the most fun obstacle mud run I've done yet. The obstacles were spread over the 3.1 miles; they added challenge to the route but were not hard to overcome. The mud ensured that no one would finish clean (and Tommy helped our group out by cannonballing into streams and stomping hard in nearly every puddle) but no one in our group lost a shoe :)
The first obstacles were called puddle jumps, basically deep potholes filled with muddy water.
sort of muddy shoes
I had wet shoes here but wasn't looking too bad until we reached the second obstacle Under Wire where the fastest option was to get down on hands and knees to crawl underneath the barriers. My hands were mud-covered from here out. The Black Hole was a tall tunnel with Christmas lights throughout the inside and maybe six inches of water to trot through. Jeremy lost his footing at the end of this one; it had been a little hard to feel steady on your feet. The Corn Maze was fun and safe to run--no stalk stumps to trip us! It wasn't really a maze, only one way to move forward. We ran across/through a canal-like part to approach the mystery obstacle: a set of ladders to climb, ring the bell, and then come back down.
Tommy and Megan post race
I was a little worried about how slippery the metal rungs would be from all the mud and water but I held on and stepped up carefully. From here we went back into the woods for the You Turn obstacle, a deep water pit that did a 180. Three levels of hay bales required us to climb for our next obstacle and then we were heading downhill and past the water stop. Tire trauma involved avoiding tires swinging at us. Back uphill we added our names to a board covered in red, green, and black signatures. Less than a football field away we encountered the best obstacle: the Redneck Water Slide. This long slope was covered in linoleum. We sat down at the top two at a time as water lightly showered overhead. A third of the way down, a volunteer aimed a hose at the slide (and runners). Janie was the first of our group to go and somehow she managed to twist around and go in face first. My ride was smooth; I was the only one to not go under the water when I landed, my legs just went in enough ahead of me to let me get my feet under me. Jeremy and Yvonne were behind me; the splash from Jeremy got me at the edge of the pool. We all agreed that the slide was awesome. Another creek and we were at the last obstacle which really was just a very steep hill. The last little stretch had us climb through the mouth of a monster (rat-like critter, I think) and then run to the finish. We completed the course in under 50 minutes and finished in the top half of runners, pretty good :)
We asked a bystander to take an after photo of us. Megan and Tommy were deemed the two muddiest in the group. We got hosed down although there were still traces of mud on us. We pulled off changes into dry clothes by the cars and loaded back up in the light sprinkling rain that had started while we raced.
Lunch was at Denny's in Hubbard on our way back into Ohio. Even though it was after noon, most of us enjoyed breakfast foods as we re-fueled.