The Muddy Buddy race series will always hold a special place in my heart. In 2008, the Muddy Buddy Chicago was my FIRST EVER RACE! I was so nervous beforehand, but after crawling through the mud pit and crossing the finish line with my friend M, I experienced my first post-race high. Amazing.
This year, I wasn't exactly nervous before the Muddy Buddy...I was TIRED. See, the night before College Roomie and I were up until about midnight getting ready for the race (preparations obv included making a fabulous race morning playlist for the drive to the site...). I was crashing on an air mattress on Roomie's floor. It was comfy cozy at first and I passed out the SECOND I closed my eyes, but unfortunately that didn't last long! I woke up at 2am with the air matress almost completely DEFLATED around me...NOT COMFY. I tossed and turned the rest of the night...never falling asleep again. Needless to say, I wasn't exactly well rested and energized as we lined up in our color-coded waves...2 hours of sleep isn't part of my pre-race ritual! Oh well. :) That's life, right? Pre-race pics...(note how un-muddy we are!)
|You KNOW you are jealous of my butterfly temporary tattoo...|
College Roomie and I were together in our group until we were ready to start. Then, Roomie went up to the front with the other bikers. If you aren't familiar with the Muddy Buddy race series, here's how it works: 1 member from each pair starts on the bike and the other starts running; you are not racing with your buddy until the very end. The race is a little over 5 miles long, divided into 5 legs. At the end of each leg, there is an obstacle that needs to be completed before moving on. Then, you change sports as you start on the next leg. So, Roomie biked the first leg. When she got to the first obstacle, she dropped off the bike in the transition area, did the obstacle, then started running. When I got there later after running the first leg and completing the obstacle, I found our bike, hopped on, and rode leg 2. You switch off like that until the end of leg 5 when you find your buddy, complete the last obstacle, and crawl through the mud pit to the finish. Amazing, right? Obstacles this year were things like a climbing wall, a giant inflatable slide, and a little maze you had to crawl through.
My thoughts on the course: Muddy Buddy Atlanta was a million times harder than Muddy Buddy Chicago! Obviously Illinois is a super flat state, so I expected this race would be tougher, and I was right! There were a bunch of hills, some of which were really rocky. Roomie and I are inexperienced at trail running and mountain biking, so it was definitely a challenge. We even had to go through a couple tiny streams! I definitely got off my bike and walked both up AND down the crazier hills--my entire goal for the biking legs was "Don't FALL/DIE!"!! It was so. much. fun. though.
Leg 1--Run: This was one of the longer legs (they're not all exactly a mile), and it took me awhile to find my groove after my lethargic start...I think I kept a steady pace, but without my watch or garmin, it was tough to tell! Once I found my groove, this leg went great, minus getting used to keeping an eye on the ground for any rocks/roots/holes! I decided to just run the miles instead of doing my usual 3/1 run/walk intervals, and it went pretty well!
Leg 2--Bike: This was THE hardest leg. The course map labeled it as the most "technical" part of the race, and it definitely was. Thank goodness we rented that mountain bike, because Roomie's hybrid would NOT have been up to the challenge! I pretty much feared for my life the entire leg...
Leg 3--Run: BEST leg. I was totally into it by this point and just LOVING running through the beautiful forests. Although I seriously had to pee...again, I totally failed at pre-race preparation and forgot to go right before lining up! Oops!
Leg 4--Bike: This leg definitely wasn't as scary as Leg 2, but there were still plenty of bumps and hills! I remember at one point biking down a hill and gripping the handlebars so tightly that my arms were hurting!
Leg 5--Run: Last leg! I was happy to be running again, but by the end was TIRED! My legs are just not used to hills! A little bit of walking definitely happened this leg! There wasThere was no stopping, though, because I knew Roomie had already made it to the finish on her bike!
That brings us to…THE MUD PIT CRAWL!!!
Picture a gigantic stretch of soupy mud with ropes running across it, forcing you to crawl under them…Roomie and I plunged in, the cool mud a welcome relief from the hot sun! We booked it to the finish line, and crossed holding hands. The aftermath...
|You better believe I threw these shoes away...|
|Obligatory post-race beer...and chex mix??|
Definitely consider doing the Muddy Buddy sometime if there is a race in your state!
Have you ever done an obstacle/adventure/mud race?