Saturday, May 13, 2006

Muddy Buddy

I've been looking forward to the Muddy Buddy for months, because I knew it would be fun with minimal athletic expectations. The race format is: off-road/trail bike and run, where partners alternate and switch at various checkpoints. There were five segments, so one person was designated the runner (me) and one person was designated the biked (Terri-Lynn, who goes by TL). In between the 5 segments were obstacles to overcome, and then at the end buddies meet up and crawl through the mud pit together. :)

Here we are before the race, still clean:

Me and TL

We lined up by combined age, and slowly shuffled our way to the front as they launched the various waves. Within each wave, the bikes started first, and then about a minute later the runners started.

Muddy Buddy Sign

The run and bike was on the same course, which generally was dirt or gravel roads winding through forested areas on the Disney property. There were a few sandy spots, and some turns from harder packed earth to white rocks, but the course would certainly not at all be considered a technically challenging mountain bike course.

I ran segment one to obstacle one which was a large inflated mountain/slide with a cargo net for climbing. Once over it, I grabbed our bike and pedaled to obstacle two, an eight foot tall cargo net hill. Then I ran segment three to obstacle three which were monkey bars.

At this point I got to rest a bit waiting to TL to arrive, so I just watched people struggling with the monkey bars. ;) TL showed so I took the bike and sped off to obstacle four, a four foot high barrier to climb over. The final run segment was tough since part was along a road embankment - the kind of terrain that would be easier to run if say your left leg was an inch or two shorter than your right leg.

I arrived at the Muddy Buddy holding area and waited for TL since the race rules specifically say buddies must crawl through the mud pit and finish together.

The Mud Pit!

Ah yes, the big draw of the race. The pit was expertly prepared, with a net on the entry side which forces you to crawl in, and flags crossing the pit you have to go under. There was a nice inch or two of water on top of the mud so we got real dirty. I didn't have my camera with me at this point, but some coworkers at the finish did (they didn't race) and took a picture. I'll try to get a copy of that... let's just say the last time I remember getting that muddy was in 2nd grade!

Crawling through the mud pit

We did it!

Afterwards we went to the wash area where we waited for our turn at one of the hoses. Mud oozed out everywhere I sprayed, and then I'd move my clothes a little and more would ooze. I cleaned up as best as I could, knowing I'd need a shower plus maybe a dip in my pool when I got home.

This event was tons of fun. Total distance was 6 miles or so, not too hard to get in shape for. The obstacles added some fun and how can you not look forward to the mud pit! The race offered a free Mini Muddy Buddy event for kids, which was basically a 50 yard run and U-turn into the same mud pit we crawled through. I stayed and watched a few waves of kids, and every one looked like they were dying to get in there. Hehe.

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