I don’t like running and I don’t like mud. Yet I paid good money to run five miles and get caked in mud. Obstacle course runs are popping up all over the place these days and they seem to be really popular. But why?
That was the question I asked myself yesterday as I joined the horde in the mass warm up before heading to the start line of Mudderella. “Remember why you are here,” the organisers shouted down the microphone as they built the crowd up.
Why am I here? I thought. “Are you raising money for charity, to challenge yourself, or to support a friend?” the organisers asked. None of the above, I thought. I’m here because my friends are here and I don’t like to miss out on a laugh.
So we donned our race numbers, painted our faces and set off. The first section was uphill and seemed to take forever. Reaching the first obstacle was a relief – a short break from running. The first obstacles were not too bad, crawling under nets and climbing over hay bales.
But it soon got worse than just muddy hands and knees when we reached the obstacle called ‘Fifty Shades of Mud.’ After sliding down mud mounds into stinking waist deep water and clambering up the other side we were completed caked from head to foot. And if I thought the running was tough already then I was in for a shock when I had a thick layer of mud, soaked through clothes, and trainers full of gunk to weigh me down.
Thankfully most of the mud was washed away at the final obstacle. However, it did involve descending a kamikaze style water slide into a pool of water mixed with the mud, sweat, probably blood, and who knows what else of all the runners before us.
We made it to the end and enjoyed the well-deserved complementary beer. So would I do it again? Well I still don’t like running, or mud, or being cold and wet but it was somehow funny and if my mates did it again then yes I would probably join them.