Mud-Covered Sheriffs? Don’t mind if I do!

Here it is, the real reason I like to run: Eye Candy!  As the only single chick here, I’ll be the one to admit it, I’m an oogler.  There’s no shame in my game, I’m just not intrinsically motivated! Sometimes I need a little push to get me going.  And sometimes that push comes in the form of hotties in uniform. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department held the 9th annual 5k Mud Run at their training center in Devore, CA on May 18.  The race benefits many charities in the Inland Empire and you bet your cute little dooter I was there to partake in the shenanigans.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of my own as I didn’t have a picture taking device that would withstand the harsh conditions of the race.  So I kindly borrowed all these pictures from the race site or local news coverage.   There’s also this YouTube video I found!  See the race through the eyes of a badass (who’s not me).

If you’re at all familiar with Southern California weather, we have this thing called “June Gloom”. Basically, it’s cold and overcast in the morning but it burns off by the end of the day. Even after living here all my life, I can’t dress properly during these days. It’s annoying, especially when it comes to racing as I tend to run hot.  Race day started out pretty chilly.  This race has been held early in previous years but due to weather, they moved it to later in the morning to allow for warmer conditions.  I think this worked out perfectly.  By the second half of the race, the mud pits were a cool relief to the heat.

And the mud pits, they were a plenty!  I ran with my Ragnar buddies, Mike and Evalia.  Mike had participated in this race in years past and while he warned me it was a challenge, I scoffed at his warning.  Bah!  I’ve done mud runs before!  I can handle anything!  I am strong woman, hear me roar!  I grew up in the heart of San Bernardino County.   I’m familiar with the weather and the terrain and the elevation. And it was only $30 bucks.  Obviously race price indicates toughness, right?  I can laugh at my ignorance now, but this Mud Run, ladies and gents, was a beast!

Chaos right from the start.

Chaos right from the start.

I should have taken a hint at the start line.  Competitive runners were lined up in the front.  Teams lined up behind them.  And then there were us, the fun runners.   Bulldozers and tractors crushed cars.  Dump trucks poured loose, fresh mud onto the course and a helicopter swooped down to start the race.  Colored smoke filled the air and for a minute, the course really did look like what I imagine a war zone would be.  And then there was the explosion.  Yep, an EXPLOSION started the race.  Take that, starting pistols.

They lets us go in waves so when us fun runners got to the loose mud, there were little paths already carved out for us.   The first mile of the race was heavy on the running and light on the mud pits.  Oh, and then there was this hill.

Hill from Hell - It's only just begun.

Hill from Hell – It’s only just begun.

Mile 2 started to get pretty rough.  There was a stretch of constant shallow mud pits, each preceded by mounds of dirt.  The mud was loose and thick.  Many times, I’d hit a soft spot and I’d sink.  This was where Mike lost his shoes.  HE LOST HIS SHOES and had to run the rest of the race barefoot.

The second monumental hill  had ropes to help us scale.  And a downpour of rushing mud under our feet.  They had a hose at the top spraying down the dirt and what was left was a slide of muck puddling around our shoes.  I’ve had bad experiences with scaling hills in previous mud runs and I’m not going to lie, I was a little bit freaking out.  All I could think of was puking or falling and causing the line of people behind me to tumble down the hill.  But I made it, slow and steadily climbing out of harms way.

pits2

There were harder pools with mud so thick, we had to crawl across vertically so as to distribute body weight evenly across the pit.  Otherwise, you’d sink right down like quicksand, and it was energy zapping to try to get out of that.  There were super long pits that stretched dozens of yards and I found myself swimming those instead of trying to wade through them.  A few pits had tractors and cranes manned by evil volunteers who crashed the front arm into the pools of mud, splashing everyone in the pit.  I was carefully navigating the terrain at this point, the obstacles backed up against each other made running damn near impossible.  At one point, there was gunfire going off over our heads, a helicopter swooping over the course, and people hosing us down as we ran by.  It was utter chaos and I was loving every minute of it!pits3

I thought maybe the obstacles would ease up a bit in the last mile, like they couldn’t possibly go all the way until the end.  That would be crazy, right?  Nope.  Still to come…another huge hill, a field of tires, a tunnel, and a pool filled with pipes we had to climb over and crawl under.  When I crossed the finish, I was bruised, cut up, and weighed down by mud in my bra, shorts, and shoes.  I rinsed off in the community shower and it was only then that I realized I hadn’t brought any extra clothes or even a towel. Face palm!

Nothing like a community shower.

Nothing like a community shower.

This was one of the most challenging races I’ve done this year.  It was a constant struggle from the start to finish and epitomized a Mud Run in every way possible.  It was local and all for the low price of $30 bucks!  I’ll definitely be adding this to my repertoire of repeater races. It might be time to invest in a water and mud proof camera!

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