For some it may be a strange way to celebrate, a muddy obstacle 5K, when most are rushing to the store to grab a card and flowers. It is very nearly the opposite of a dressy dinner, putting on comfortable running shoes and an outfit that is destined to get dirty and wet. My girlfriend and I thought it was a great date, even though I am a competitive runner and she is an ex High School sprinter who hasn’t run in years. We were just looking forward to having fun while getting very dirty and completing as many of the obstacles as possible.
When I got my morning run in it was a chilly 35 degrees but by the time we arrived at Lee Farms it was 40 and steadily getting warmer. We were lucky to avoid rain, but there were puddles everywhere, and that was just the parking lot. There was music going and a handful of booths to check out if you got warm enough to wander away from one of the bonfires. Packet pickup was in a barn, located near the gear check. I passed on getting an armband that would allow me to chug the beer on the course, but my girlfriend got one. I knew they had root beer and weird as that may be, it is my preference.
We were in the second wave, which seemed like it was close to or at the maximum size of 75 they were allowing. The plan was to jog at the pace that my girlfriend preferred and walk easily. The terrain varied from pavement (very little), to packed dirt, to varying depths of mud or muddy water, not to mention the potentially thigh deep swamp. So, speed was definitely not of the essence.
One of my favorite obstacles was working with my girlfriend to push a yoga ball up a large muddy hill. We also enjoyed the large see saw and running up the inclined ramps. The most difficult one may have been clambering over a wall that was about 5 feet off the ground. A few times we had to wait in line to attack an obstacle, which was a fun break to chat with the other participants and study how to successfully conquer it.
After the exciting finish (she beat me by a second) came the task of attempting to clean off enough to sample some of the great food available. The bonfires felt really good at that point and the trickiest part was getting into clean dry clothes without making them filthy in the process.
As a competitive athlete, it can be hard to pin on a bib and restrain the urge to make it a race. However with the right company and atmosphere, it was a total blast to take it easy and enjoy the experience. From sliding into a large puddle to scaling hills made of hay bales, the challenges were fun and interesting to both the novice and experienced athlete. I’d definitely return to this one next year, as there were no negative aspects and it was such a good time.
You can find the full results on the Terrapin Events site.