As an event director (and athlete) for over 20 years, here are some tips for a successful edMUDton!
First Things First - ITS FUN!
The first thing to keep in mind is that this is a fun run. It is a special type of ‘muddy’ fun, but a fun run all the same. edMUDton is a 5k event with 10 (or more) obstacles to overcome. So if you can’t run that far you need to start getting in some runs.
Despite what many people will tell you, the best way to get better at running is not to lift weights, but to RUN.
If you’ve never attempted a running race, or been able to run 30min or more consistently. Start off slow! Once you’ve gotten to the point where you can run pain free, and easily for 30 or more minutes at a time, it’s time to start our actual event preparation.
Tip 1: When at an event with more than 300 people in a wave start, no one really "takes off" from the starting line like you see in movies. Everyone just kind of tiptoes forward until they find enough space to take a full step. It's really anticlimactic. Either be at the front of the group ready to sprint for the first 400m, or relax and let everyone go! You’ll catch, and pass them when the group has sorted itself out.
Tip 2: Once the race starts, any nerves you had about the event melt away in the first few minutes.
The reason your nerves regain their composure after the first few hundred meters is because you realize that the first obstacle is still a few more hundred meters away! Nobody mentioned that part, and by the time we finished the initial run, we were looking up a large hill with a tire obstacle staring right back at us. This was immediately followed by a few other overcrowded obstacles
Tip 3: Don't jump feet-first into the mud pit. As it turns out, the top is a manageable liquid, but the bottom is a bit more like the pile of industrial glue that Wile E. Coyote would find himself in after almost catching the Road Runner. I’ve found more than a few pairs of shoes stuck in the muck after the race! You will have a better race wearing your shoes so tie them up tight and watch your footing as you make your way through the pits!
Tip 4: As it turns out, the guy wearing only a loincloth was probably the best-dressed runner for the mud pit. It's a bold statement and heck - it’s great to be bold! Those athletic, lightweight, wicking, stretchy, breathable shirts and shorts will be hanging down to your knees and the neck was somewhere around your belly button.
Tip 5: You will have mud in every little crevice of your body. Yep, even there! You'll wonder how little kids can possibly deal with a messy diaper.
Tip 6:It's a long walk back to the car. Regardless of how close you are to the start/finish line, once you’ve crossed the finishline, gotten cleaned up as best you can, and enjoyed the festivities, the car is never close enough!
Tip 7: Be prepared to shower with 50 of your newest friends. Trying to remove the mud from your shorts and very personal nether regions may be a surprisingly awkward situation for some…..
Tip 8: Take it all in and HAVE FUN! Revel in the glory when you're done. It's even better than you think and you're surrounded by countless others who have just been through the same life-changing experience.