Winner of the Mudstacle award for “best event for mud” 2015, could Mud Monsters Run really be any muddier than other ‘mud heavy’ races I’d completed in the past?
When they have 4x4’s on hand to winch people out of the mud, you know you are in for some serious fun!
The race started off with a great warm up from Emz Watts of Bootcamp Revolution, who then set us off on our adventure, and what an adventure it was. We began with a few hay bale jumps and then straight onto a set of muddy ditches. The mud then just kept coming thick and fast. There was very sticky, shoe engulfing mud, waist deep mud, muddy rivers and even chest deep mud, all of varying degrees of thickness. The organisers Mark and Becky also made great use of the natural terrain, mixed in with some man made obstacles, including cargo nets, walls, ladder climbs, tyre crawls and log carries. The mud definitely sapped all the energy from your legs, and it was a welcome relief to find some grass to run on dotted round the course. The course was great for spectators who could see some of the more technical obstacles, including the monkey bars, wall climbs, weaver and the ninja rings. There were also opportunities to see the racers wading through the mud in the forest close to the event village.
You never strayed too far from the event village and so you could hear the music, Emz mc’ing and other racers starting, which added to the atmosphere. The course looped back at some parts so you could also see and hear racers in the later waves laughing and shrieking as they tried to pull their friends out of the mud.
The mud levels were helped by the fact we had heavy rain leading up to the event and the venue is a permanent 4 x 4 track, where conveniently, a whole fleet of them had churned the site up nicely a few days before.
There are a number of options on the course, you can take the 5km route, 10 km route or even do multiple laps and do 20km which contributes towards earning a triple-dipped medal if you signed up to complete all 3. I had initially signed up to 20km, but with a knee injury from Nuclear a few weeks earlier, I moved to the 10km distance the week before the event. Mark and Becky were really helpful and quickly changed me to the 10km and even refunded me the difference.
I was pleased to make it round the course with both my shoes still on my feet! The medal and t- shirt afterwards were great, and the triple-dipped medals looked top notch. A great plus was the showers after, which although cold, were much needed to remove the worst of the mud.
I have to admit that I had not heard of this event before and was drawn to signing up by the fact that it was a UK Championships qualifier event, and I was looking to qualify and represent The Pride of Bootcamp Revolution team at the Championships later in the year. Sometimes the fact an event is a qualifier event is seen as taking away the fun, all-inclusiveness of an event. However, what made this event great was the fact that the organisers still catered for all levels. At every Championship obstacle or more technical obstacle there was an alternative obstacle, and so runners didn’t have to go round obstacles at this point. Everyone could have a go at the Championship obstacle if they wanted, so you could really challenge yourself. The event was also made more fun, not only the mud, but the organisers and marshals (providing sweets and general encouragement), as well as the great stalls (in particular, the beer bus!). The event was really well run and I will definitely be adding it to my race calendar in future – I will be earning my triple-dipped medal in October.
I also managed to qualify for the UK Championships. It wasn’t easy – I really struggled at the ninja rings, but eventually conquered them with advice from Tony Campbell and the encouragement from the supporters.
It was a great day all round.