Race Recap: 2016 My Muddy Valentine 5K

A little muddy, but all smiles after My Muddy Valentine 2016

The sun was actually shining as we headed out to Lee Farms for My Muddy Valentine 5K on Saturday. After several days of rain, it was a pleasant surprise. Although the morning was dry, we were about to get wet and muddy on this run. 3 of us ran this race last year and we had recruited one newbie to join us in the fun. We quickly picked up our packets which included a nice, soft t-shirt. We were told to put our timing chips around our ankle, perhaps because too many shoe chips got lost in the mud in the past. Unfortunately, I was wearing shorter socks, so I knew right away the plastic strap holding the chip around my ankle was going to be a problem for me. By start time, the sky had clouded over but the rain held off.

We headed out in the 10:20 group twisting and turning our way around Lee Farms. Part of the lead group started to head left when we were supposed to head right, but enough yelling ensued to bring the crew back on course. The mud seemed to be thicker in many places than last year. I’m not sure if that was due to recent rain, the race organizers, or a little of both. We made our way along, slipping and sliding and soon were making our way through shin-deep cold water. That was a shock to the feet/ankles!

As we continued, we encountered a variety of obstacles from walls to climb over, tires to run through, hay bale stacks to climb, a teeter totter to run up and over, and so much mud! Arriving at the infamous “swamp,” I saw one girl stuck thigh-deep in mud on one side and multiple people struggling with various methods of traversing the mud on the other. I decided to take a different route and hope for the best. As I made my way past the stuck girl, I offered her a hand, but she was clearly to caught up in her current situation to accept help from strangers, so I slogged on. I managed a route that didn’t get more than shin-deep and kept both my shoes on my feet. Others weren’t so lucky. Several people ended up with just one shoe after that obstacle.

There were mud hills to get up, water crossings, slant boards, a treacherous slip and slide, and muddy tunnels before we made our way to the finish line a little wetter and muddier than when we began. But with smiles and laughter.

Once again, the race was fun and great for all ability levels. None of the obstacles were too terribly intimidating, unless you don’t like to get dirty. The volunteers at the various obstacles were supportive and encouraging. Overall, it was a positive, enjoyable event. The one negative for me was the timing chip around my ankle. My ankle was scraped up and a little bruised and swollen where the strap had been. Throughout the race, I had repeatedly kicked the plastic strap that stuck out with my other foot, causing my discomfort. I would love to see the race organizers move the timing chip to the race bib for future events.

Afterwards there were booths to check out, a free beer for those 21 and over, and several fire pits to warm up next to. You could purchase a shower, but my friends and I – being OCR “veterans” – chose our usual cleaning method of each bringing a gallon of water to rinse off with. I changed using my Undress (a full report on this coming soon,) and was soon in dry clean clothes. And, as usual, my friends and I followed up this fun event with a post-race lunch to recap our adventure.

Racers gather around the fire pit to warm up after My Muddy Valentine.

 

About Annette Vaughan (489 Articles)
Annette Vaughan is a runner and personal trainer in Canby, Oregon. She began running at the age of 30 and became hooked after her first race (even though she is a self-proclaimed slow runner.) She enjoys small local races from 5Ks to half-marathons, with a 30K on the books as her longest run ever. She has also become a huge fan of obstacle course races and just can't get enough of them. Annette is a certified personal trainer, who believes in promoting movement since our bodies were designed to move. The more we move, the better we move and function in everyday life.

2 Comments on Race Recap: 2016 My Muddy Valentine 5K

  1. Nice write-up! I’m just curious – why are timing chips put in shoes or around the ankles for mud runs, as opposed to the usual back of the bibs?

  2. Good question, Tung! I’m guessing it is based on the timing company they choose to use. It is risky to use re-usable chips at a mud run. Guaranteed some are going to be forever embedded in mud! 😉

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