The XTERRA 10k Mud Run

Posted: June 12, 2010 in running
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So I have survived!  No injuries, mission accomplished!  My time, 1:25:03.  This is just a brutal course, and that’s that.  It doesn’t help that it is June in Alabama.  But just to give you some idea, my fastest 10k time is right at 56 minutes.  Heck, I ran 7 miles just this past Monday in 1:09.  But it took over 15 minutes more to do about a mile less on this course.

I cannot overemphasize how brutal the humidity was today.  I’m still sucking down Gatorade even as I type this, I lost so much liquid out there.  I dropped a good 5-6 pounds of water weight.

That said, all-in-all I had a pretty good time.  I was afraid of going out too fast, so I paced myself running with Russell, another friend from work that runs.  He is a little slower, but he keeps a nice steady pace and I thought that would be good for me!  And it did work out well because I had more left for the “yellow trail” part.  I was able to run more on the flat parts and the downhill sections than I was able to last week.  But I just didn’t have much for going up the hills, and I don’t think I would have much for that even if I was allowed to start right at the “yellow trail”!  Those hills are just so steep!

As an added bonus, I found out why it is called a “Mud Run”.  They mentioned at the beginning that we would be running through a mud pit.  Having ran the course the previous weekend, I didn’t know where they could possibly create a mud pit.  Then I had my “duh” moment as we were finishing.  Yeah, that big lake over there at the end?  It just might have some mud in it!  So the course turns toward the lake and I finally get to the “mud pit” part.  I look at it and I’m thinking the water is about knee-deep, no problem.  Fatigue had obviously set in, because I misjudged that!  More like waist-deep!  Well at least my…er…”graceful” entrance into the pit earned major applause from spectators!

I was bunched in with the same group of runners for a lot of the race, and I think that’s why we ended up being more talky than most races I have entered.  That was fun.  I started to crack some jokes like “Hey, it’s another hill.  Just what I was hoping for!”, where another runner immediately responded “You too?!”  And as I was passing another runner and approaching yet another hill I asked “Are we having fun yet?” and laughed.  He said he wasn’t sure if he was having as much fun as I was because I was still laughing.  I realized at that point that I WAS having fun.  The course was tough, but I was doing it.  May as well have fun while I’m at it!

As far as the race itself goes, the race organization itself was awesome!  The trail was clearly marked, and even if it wasn’t, volunteers were at every possible place where you might go wrong to direct you.  We received our times and placements within a minute or two of finishing.  The post food spread wasn’t super awesome, but it was OK.  They had bananas, oranges, grapes, muffins, cookies, and bagels.  Actually this one of the rare times I’m not sure I could have handled much in the way of food, at least right after the race anyway.  I needed fluids and lots of it!  The technical shirt that we got is very nifty.  It is also very black, so it won’t get much wear during the summer!

Drawbacks included the supposed “expo” which as far as I could tell consisted of two tents, one with sunglasses holders and one with overpriced running shirts.  Getting into the park was a huge pain!  Not only was the XTERRA races scheduled for this weekend, but also the Buster Britton Triathlon.  So it was a major traffic jam at the park entrance, probably made worse by the fact that the park opted not to open the back entrance until 7 am.  I would have thought considering two major events were occurring at the same time that they might open all entrances into the park early, but apparently not.

But the big thing for me was the June weather.  If they were to schedule this in March or April, I could probably talk myself into taking another shot.  I should be in better shape by next year barring injury.  But that course is just so tough in the heat.  If it is June, I will probably take a pass next year!

I won’t have to wait long for my next race.  The Race To The Courthouse 5k is in just two weeks.  I’ll have my running partner back and we will be ready to kick some butt!

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Comments
  1. Well done!!! Hats off! Don’t you just love humidity?

  2. Eric E. Poe says:

    We must have been very close together. My official finish time was 1:25:04. I must have been one of the guys exchanging comments with you on the last few hills.

    This was my first 10k, ever. I didn’t realize it was a trails run until I was already committed. (I was in town just for the weekend, for a family reunion.)

    I have to admit that the hills after the two mile point were torturous. In fact, the first hill was the worst of all. I kept expecting to reach the top and every bend found more uphill. I pressed ahead, however, until the very last uphill. I had to stop and take a short breather on that one. I kept going, and mercifully discovered it was the last hill.

    This was the most challenging thing I had done to that point in my life. (I did a triathlon later this year, which was absolutely exhausting.) Hopefully, I will be able to take on this challenge again next year. Now that I know what I’m up against, I can prepare.

  3. gesvol says:

    Wow! Yeah, probably not the ideal race to do as the first 10k! But what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, right?

    And I know exactly what you are talking about in regards to that first hill! I had did a practice run on the course the week before, so I knew what to expect during the race. But that was exactly how I felt doing that hill the first time. There was a point where I was 100% sure it was the top. And then it wasn’t. I was pretty much ready to just shake my fist at it and scream “Why?!!! Why do you torture me?!!!”.

    Congrats on the triathlon! I have a lot a respect for anyone that can complete a race that involves running, biking, and swimming!

    I may give this another shot. I am in much better shape right now than I was then (doing a half-marathon in 2 weeks). I’ll probably need to stash away some fluids for myself on the course if it’s as hot again! I think we would both improve on our times quite a bit!

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