Age: 26 State: WI
Experience: Iron Woman
Age: 46 State: NY
Age: 29 State: NY
Age: 22 State: CO
Age: 26 State: CO
Age: 25 State: WI
Age: 34 State: WI
Age: 32 State: WI
Life's a circus for Kim. Her days are spent juggling work, family & friends and, at times, squeezing in a little "me" time. It's a good week if she leaves work in time for yoga class. Growing up in rural Wisconsin, she has no problem getting dirty. She's counting on her strong, country work ethic to help her train for her first 5k.
If you were at the Mud Run on Saturday and didn’t have fun, something must be wrong with you! There might have been a few hiccups (true for any first-time event), but there were so many fun and cute parts of the race that far outweighed anything else.
So let’s recap. I was scared out of my mind (just ask the girls I had a slumber party with the night before the race!). I kept thinking about all the obstacles, how long I’d be able to run and how many times other runners would pass me. Looking back, none of it mattered.
We arrived at Milford Hills (PS, it’s beautiful!) around 7:30 a.m. After parking, we followed the Dirty Girl signs to the registration tent. Along the way we passed “The Wall”. I thought seeing the obstacles before the race would freak me out but seeing the different height levels of the wall was a clear reminder that this race is for girls of all ages and all fitness levels. The registration process was smooth, there was pink everywhere and the energy was awesome! It started to sprinkle so we walked by the vendor tents and past the start line to find the bag check. The bag check-in process was organized as the race bib had a tear-off piece with my registration number on it and the bag-check station volunteers passed out zip ties to secure your ID piece to your bag. I think the sprinkles-that-turned-to-rain put a damper on the original plan for the bag check (sort bags on the ground by bib number) as the volunteers were scrambling to cover all the bags with tarp so they wouldn’t get wet. I appreciated their efforts as I had a canvas tote that would have been soaked had they not covered it.
We walked back towards the vendor tents, took a gander at the corral near the start line and took cover from the rain under the beer tent. The music was loud (a good loud) and we watched as the competitive wave gathered in the corral. The emcee was asking questions and getting the girls pumped. The next thing you know, the horn sounded and the girls took off. We watched as they took on the first hill and then they were out of sight. The rain picked up and for safety reasons due to lightning, the Dirty Girl organizers waited for the small storm to pass before letting the next wave start. Considering recent events (the tragedy in Indianapolis) I had no problem waiting. We had a very short delay—waves 2 and 3 started eight minutes apart rather than 15—and before we knew it, it was our turn. We headed towards the corral and I was so nervous. My posse (Colleen, Katie, Haley and Corinne) had all run in 5ks before. We ran into my friend Linda as we were about to start and she joined us, too. Finally, I had a newbie runner with me! The horn sounded and… there was no turning back!
We ran up the first hill and there it was, the hay bale climb. I was excited for this obstacle because I knew I could do it (thanks to a trip to a pumpkin patch last fall with two of my work buddies. Ha!) We jogged around a field and approached the second hurdle… running through hanging tires. Fun! I was getting tired, though. I slowed to a walk but jogged to the high knees obstacle and made my way to the first water station.
The next stretch seemed like it took forever (up and down little hills) but the tubes approached and that’s where the laughter started. I slid in the tube and wasn’t going anywhere. I turned on my back thinking that would help and I could push my out with my legs; it didn’t work. I laughed at myself – literally laughed out loud – and that’s when I remembered that this was a fun run. I slid back onto my hands and knees and crawled out. I used the same technique (laughing and crawling) through the second tube. So we took off for the next challenge: the ditch of water. I screamed with excitement! (I think I screamed every time there was an obstacle with water.) Down the ditch. Legs in water. Grab the rope. Get up the ditch. Start jogging with wet feet. Weird feeling.
The army crawl was fun (I was kind of good at it) and around the corner was the mud pit! Seeing a group of spectators was energizing. We waded through the pit and approached the hill. This is where I really started to feel tired. The course was a bit slippery from the rain in the morning so all the girls (not just me!) slowed and used caution. We jumped hay bales, used the “rollerblade” technique through some of the muddy areas and approached the wall. I took on the second-highest level and was surprised at how easy it was. My friend Colleen said this was the last stretch so our group jogged together. I was tired. I slowed down, she went behind me, put her hands on my back and pushed me. I’m sure I grumbled something mean and sarcastic to her (we’re good friends so we’re ok being honest with each other).
She moved ahead and I barely jogged to the cargo net obstacle (did I mention I was tired?!?) and we waited for our turn to take on the challenge. I’m not going to lie, it was tricky once you were at the top and had to turn your body around to get down. But I did it! When our group of girls had finished with the ropes, we ran to the finish line together. But wait. Surprise! One last obstacle – a giant pool of water and sand! We made it out of the pool and crossed the finish line together. WOW!
We wanted to snap pictures so we made our way to the bag check, which had turned a bit chaotic now that more girls were arriving for the race and since the rain had ruined the system in place. One of my recommendations to Dirty Girl would be to have separate “check in” and “pick up” lines for the bag check. We documented our dirtiness, picked up our cosmos and made our way to the Dirty Girl merchandise tent. The sun came out and the energy was still high as runners continued to take off. People were laughing as they crossed the finish line.
What a great experience! I had a blast during the Mud Run. I’m going to do it again next year but I’ll be better prepared: I’ll keep training (I’m thinking about doing the Turkey Trot and Jingle Bell Run in my hometown this winter). I’m also going to bring a water-proof camera with me (there were so many photo ops along the course!) and I’m going to make sure that whatever team I’m on makes t-shirts and has crazy head pieces like a lot of the girls had at this year’s race. I saw capes, feathers, shower caps, tie-dyed t-shirts, matching socks; it was an adventure of its own looking at all the outfits!
Thank you, Dirty Girls, for all your encouragement as I blogged for the Wisconsin race. I hope all of you had a fun and memorable like I did. As we prepare for next year (you’re training already, right?), help me answer the following questions:
What tips do you have for the Dirty Girl organizers?
Do you have any recommendations for the girls running this year in Colorado and New York?
What was the highlight of your 2011 Johnson Creek Mud Run?
How did you train for the Dirty Girl if this was your first 5k?
Will I see you next year?
Until next year,
Get Dirty or Go home!
August 29th, 2011
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