Monday, June 7, 2010

Camp Pendleton Mud Run

EVENT: Camp Pendleton Mud Run
DATE: Saturday, June 5, 2010
RACE BEGAN: 9:00 am
FINISH TIME: 01:17:47

Never mind that I had a marathon to run the very next day, but I have been wanting to do a mud run for a long time!

Actually, the registration for this race opened on New Years' Day, 2010. In fact, I had logged on within the hour of the new year to register us, and sure enough... it closed before noon! I was definitely right to be that proactive!

"The Ukrainian" and I woke up at 3 AM (yeah, gross!) to head down to Camp Pendleton. The drive was long, and on the way there, I heard the sad news of John Wooden's passing. Being a UCLA graduate, his words of wisdom were frequently used as inspiration in pretty much everything.

Anyway, after waiting in the cold for what seemed like hours, we were lining up at the start surrounded by teams in costume, older people, people with shoes duct-taped to themselves. There were about 5,500 people in this field. We weren't that far from the front.

What I loved most was the organization of this race. We started exactly at 9, plus they had some modern/fun music while we were waiting. The first mile was EXTREMELY jammed. We couldn't run at all. Here are all the hardships I remember from the rest of the race...

- Mile 1: Sprayed by fire hose.

- Miles 2/3: Run through a few shallow muddy pits. Wet shoes. Ugh.

- Miles 3-4: VERY hilly, dry, HOT, Marines screaming at us to keep moving.

- Mile 4: Wading through 4.5 ft (more like 5 ft) Lake O'Neill. Slipped on the way in, felt the cold water compressing my chest, and panicked. "The Ukrainian" carried me through this part, which was about the length of a football field?? Loved seeing the "exodus" of people through the huge lake, though!

- Mile 4.3?: More hills, muddy tunnel. I slipped and skinned my elbow. (And screamed.)

- Mile 4.6?: 5 ft wall #1; major phobia here, but glad there was a Marine with a knee-boost to help.

- Mile 5?: VERY steep, long hill about 200 meters long, with firehoses spraying water down them so that it was impossibly slippery! Had to REALLY tough this one out!

- Mile 5.5-ish: After more hill climbing, another 5 ft wall with mud pits on both sides. Wanted to take a shorter "Wimp Wall," but nobody else was. Got over this one much quicker.

- Mile 5.8?: Feeling like 1,000,000 pounds by now with a beach vacation living inside each of my shoes. Had to CRAWL through about 1/4 mile of mud pit. Skinned my knee doing this.

- To end: MAJOR downhills here... very dangerous considering I had a race the next day. Had to scuttle (is that a word?) down them.

When I finished, I felt so hard core! Time wasn't too terrible, either, since there was no chip timing or anything. I didn't get as muddy as I had anticipated. Not sure if I got all the details in order, but you get the jist. Definitely harder than I thought it would be.

Once we crossed the finish line, someone tapped me on the shoulder. He (Ben... hi!) recognized me from this blog, even in all that mud!

The clean-up involved open cold showers and a no-modesty changing tent. Ah, the joys of roughing it. I have gained a new respect for our men and women in service... not only because of family sacrifices, but now I got a taste of the physical element... yikes!


Finally, here's some pics (when I have time, I will go back to try to find more)!

Above: Before. Yes, it's 3 AM, and we're sleepy!

Above: The finish. Pretty darn happy and about 50 lbs heavier!

Above: Bad pic of my minor scrape. Have a smaller but similar one on my elbow.

Above: The shirt. Feeling hard core (and nerdy) at the SD RNR expo.

Above: The shoes that fell victim to this race...


  1. I can't wait to live vicariously through you. I will be out there cheering you on.

  2. That looks awesome! What a good time :-)

  3. This story was much more entertaining and funny hearing you tell it. Good job on breaking ground at a mud run. I was a couple of months to think about it still. Might you do it again?

  4. Congratulations! It was nice that I met you and Alex at the race. You guys did great. I don't know how you could manage a marathon after that. In fact, I am still training for my SF marathon in July. How would you rate the suicide hills compare to the SF hills? thanks

  5. I only ran the SF Half, but there are a couple of hills like the ones at Camp Pendleton but more spread out (and not sandy/rocky!). Plus, SF is way more scenic, so you will be distracted. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any more questions about SF or training in general (nobel4lit2-gmail). It was nice meeting you!!!