It’s 9am on Sunday and I want to post (not blog) about what I did this weekend. On Friday I stayed in and read my book. On Saturday, I woke up early and got my hair cut, bought some new polos from the outlets in Pottstown, got my race packet for Sunday, went to the driving range, played a weak round of golf with the Wagon, and then sat in and did nothing but read my book again with some online poker mixed in. There was absolutely no drinking and no fun whatsoever but I feel like a million bucks now ready to enjoy a perfect Sunday, most likely golfing.
I woke up today at 6am to do a 10k Mud run at Belmont Park. Most people don’t really know much about running but Belmont is a hilly, trail run. This course was hosted by military personnel so they had military obstacles at each mile of the course. There were about 4,500 people there and about 1200 did the 10k. My initial feeling was that most people were there to have a good time and not to compete by time. They started people off in waves which was smart because the course is really narrow and there would be major problems if everyone was clumped together. The first group that went off was the military and I was part of the next group. I started off in the back of the pack but once we were underway it was pretty clear that I was in much better shape than the people around me. About 100 meters off the line my right foot drops in this 2 foot hole and I hit the deck on the “hole in the ground” obstacle. Fortunately I was fine. I ended up leading my wave after about half a mile. The first obstacle was a cargo net which proved to be no problem. There was this really steep hill at about 2 miles, followed by a jump over 3 hurdles each which got progressively higher. This wasn’t too bad either but I was really winded after the hill so my pace was almost at a crawl after the jump. I regained my strength through some flat trail area and then there was about a 20 foot net that you had to crawl under which isn’t difficult but these obstacles take some energy out of you. After the net it was a nice flat mile, and then another nice half mile or so on black top with a gentle downhill which allowed me to regain my composure. Next were some hay bails that had to be climbed over which was a breeze. There were no mile markers on the course which was really dumb in my opinion so I wasn’t sure how much was left but once I made a right turn and saw all the spectators, I realized I was almost at the end. From what I could tell only one person from my wave was ahead of me and I was passing military personnel throughout. The last obstacle before the “mud pit” was a 8 foot rope climb over a ramp. The ramp was covered in shampoo and slippery as an eel. I grabbed the first knot of the rope ok, then the second, then the third, and I had to move my leg over the top. So I tried to reach my leg out and missed the top and wiped out and slammed my shoulder into the ramp. The spectators let out an “ohhh” and amazingly I didn’t let go of the 3rd knot so I stood up and reached my leg over the ramp successfully. After climbing that I had, unknowingly, only 50 meters left and then the mud pit.
I stagger to the mud pit a bit unsure of how to proceed and dive right under. It’s about 25 meters and there are ropes above to get under. This picture is a little generous. I splash through the first couple and get muddy water all in my eyes while I’m down to the last dive. I’m sort of taking my time because I have contacts and can’t see anything and I hear the fans going nuts because there is this guy hauling ass through this pit to my right. Well naturally I don’t like to lose so I get moving and we exit the pit at the same time with about a 25 meter sprint and lord knows that I’m not going to let this guy out kick me so I busted a move, got my right shoulder in front of his and took the spot.
I wasn’t in the best shape going into this and I’m sure the time isn’t good as the race is really hilly and the obstacles will slow anyone down, but I think I was 2nd in my wave and felt ok throughout. It was pretty fun and a nice change from the standard. If anyone reads this and wants to do this race next year or anywhere else, let me know because I’m in.