Race 2 of 2 for the weekend of June 5th and 6th!
Last Sunday, June 6, Kevin and I participated in the Columbia Muddy Buddy race in San Jose. We had originally seen the event advertised at the San Diego Rock 'N Roll marathon expo last year, however, I think at that point the race for 2009 had either passed or it was was scheduled for a weekend we already had plans. At any rate, after talking with the reps at the booth decided it would be something fun we would like to try sometime. I love do the more "non-traditional" races from time to time to mix things up.
The race consisted of teams of two traversing a 6.3 mile of-road course with 4 obstacles. At the start one team member would be on the bike and the other would be running. At the first obstacle, the rider would drop the bike, complete the obstacle and then start running. Conversely, at the first obstacle the runner would arrive, complete the obstacle and then pick up the bike. Then teams would continue to leapfrog throughout the entire course. At the end team members waited for each other and then together went through the mud pit.
Our specific race had 5 legs. Thus, the person who started biking biked 3 legs and ran 2. The person who started running ran 3 legs and biked 2.
According to the course map the first leg included a steady climb for the entire leg. It was determined that Kevin would take this leg on the bike so he biked 3 legs and ran 2 and I ran three legs and biked 2.
The race started at 7:30 am and we got there around 6:50 am since we still had to get our packet. Leave it to a boy - our team name was "Doin' It Dirty." Luckily, packet pick up was a million times easier than it had been at See Jane Run. The race directors had people broken down into waves based on age. I think there were 10 or 12 waves and we were in wave 6 so we didn't actually start until a little after 8. I will admit I was pretty nervous about what we had gotten ourselves into. I had never done a trail run before nor had I ever actually taken a mountain bike "off roading." I also didn't have any of my normal race "security blankets" on me (garmin, fuel belt, i-pod, etc) since I knew they would not survive the mud.
I am mad at myself for not doing team shirts. There were A LOT of people dressed up in costume. I wish I had gotten some pictures. I had wanted just to get plain white t-shirts and write on them since they were most likely going to be thrown away after the mud pit anyway. We both ended up in clothes that we would try to salvage but if we had to throw them away we wouldn't be heart broken. Additionally, they had a shoe donation at the end where you could donate your muddy shoes so I wore my oldest pair of running shoes with the intention of donating them.
When it was finally time for our wave to start, the horn sounded and the bikers took off. They staggered the biker and runners so the runners would not start out getting run over by bikes. 2 minutes later the horn sounded again and we were off.
About, oh, a tenth a mile in the climb started. There were parts that were so steep I had to stop and walk. There were many bikers who were actually off their bikes walking. I knew if I had been on the bike I would have been one of them and was SO thankful that Kevin was biking right now. The hill was hard enough just having to run/walk up it. I can't imagine having to have pushed a bike up as well. One team actually had the wife on the bike and her husband was pushing her up - now that is teamwork!
The first leg was exactly a mile according to the map but of course, I didn't have my Garmin to actually get the distance. Kevin was actually waiting for me at the top cause he was worried I wouldn't find the bike. I told him not to worry and just go. The first obstacle was a wall climb. I climbed the wall, grabbed the bike and took off. I was glad to see they had a water stop since it was getting hot and the only water we had was a water bottle on the bike but that was for both of us and we still had 5.3 more miles to go.
What goes up must go down and I lucked out having my second leg be mostly down hill. It was kinda nerve racking at times because the trail was narrow and I was dodging runners and other bikers. At the very end of my leg I cam up on two hills - nothing like the first one - but hills none the less. We were using Kevin's old mountain bike that has seen better days. It was so weird not to have the added benefit of being clipped in when trying to climb. I reached the transition, laid the bike down, completed the obstacle which was a balance beam about 4 feet off the ground and took off running. Leg 2 had been 1.3 miles.
While I was running my hand was throbbing. I looked down and saw I had a huge splinter. When I got to the next transition I sought out the EMTs to see if they had tweezers which they didn't!! They said the only had more "serious" medical supplies. I tried to pull it out but it was too embedded in my hand. Oh well, there was nothing I could do. Kevin arrived about a minute later on the bike. We both completed the obstacle, a giant blow up slide where you climbed up a rope on one side and got to slide down the other and I took off on the bike and he took off running.
Leg 4 was 1.4 miles. When I reached the final transition I dropped the bike, did the last obstacle which was army crawling under a net and took off on my last leg of running.
Running this race really made me want to try trail running! It was so peaceful and calm out there and I was really enjoying the extra challenge that came with navigating an uneven path.
The last leg was 1.3 miles which meant when I finished I was at the mud pit. Kevin pulled up on the bike no more than 30 seconds later. He racked the bike and we made our way over. I was instantly regretting doing this as it looked positively disgusting but at that point we had no choice.
Here I am saying "do I have to?"
The minute I got in I got splashed in the face and I felt it go in my ear - ewww. We had to crawl under the flags that got progressively lower and lower and everyone was yelling, "your too clean, your too clean." It was crazy.
This is my "yes, I just paid to do this to myself" face!
Team "Doin' It Dirty" Totals:
Distance: 6.3 Miles
Age Group: 69/99
My parents had come out to spectate and one of the funniest things was when we finished my dad had mud down the back of his back. Apparently he had been on of the hecklers telling people they were too clean and someone threw mud into the crowd and he got hit!
They had a bunch of hoses set up to rinse off with so I made a beeline towards those. I ended up throwing away my tank top, socks and donating my shoes. My shorts were salvageable since they were the dry-fit material and easily rinsed off.
Overall, it was an awesome time - even the mud and I am so glad we did it. We had no idea what to expect and just went out there to have fun and not worry about a time, etc. We definitely want to come back and do it next year.
I HIGHLY recommend this race to anyone who wants to go out with a friend and have fun. There were people of all abilities out there and except for a few people, most people were out there just to have fun.
Unfortunately, the minute we got home and showered I had to hit the books but this was a great was to start the day and a fun race to cap off a great weekend of racing!