Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mud Factor Obstacle Course 5k 2012 "Race" Review

It was a gorgeous day at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma County.  Laurie and I met up at her house at 8:30 for the short drive.  Our wave wasn't until 10:30 but we wanted arrive plenty early in case there were long registration lines.  The lines weren't too long, we got our stuff and put on our Mud Factor bandannas to get in the spirit.  In line we met a woman who'd just moved from New York (Hi Shae!) - and she's lost 100 pounds!  We swapped some weight loss stories and cheered each other on.

Laurie and I pre-race (obviously because we're still clean!)
I wore my Marin 10k shirt with running shorts.  For shoes I wore my first real running shoes.  I felt a little sentimental about letting them go (we donated our shoes after the event) but it was a nice send-off for them and the recipient will get some good mojo with those shoes.

Goodbye Ol' Buddies!
We were registered for the 10:30 wave.  We walked around and watched earlier waves take off.  We could see a few of the obstacles, including the main event - the triple threat.

I had to merge two of my pics together to show all three.
Ah, it looks so easy.  It's just going over the top that's the tricky part.

Hold On!
After all this watching it was still not even 10am.  Laurie I decided to crash the 10am wave since they didn't seem to be paying any attention to which wave you registered for.

Lots of young people out there, as you can see.

Now we have to hustle!  The line for bag check was too long so we ran and put our stuff in the car.  At the starting line and off we go!!  Of course I have no pictures from the course because I couldn't carry a camera (though I saw one person with one!).

I remember there being a lot of hills but they were mostly not that long.  I'm still suffering a bit with this chest cough so I could only run on the flat parts.  Laurie stuck with me and it was a lot more fun doing the event with her then I imagine it would be alone.  The obstacles were totally doable and were just a matter of getting through with my shoes intact.  We saw people lose their shoes in the mud pits.  Your feet sink into the thick mud and when you lift to take the next step your foot comes out but your shoe doesn't!  On the second mud pit we took our shoes and socks off and carried them!  Putting them back on while covered in mud was interesting.  Squish, squish.

I was so happy to see the one and only water station at the 1.5 mile mark.  More up/down hills and more doable obstacles and then we come up toward the big finish.  Those "triple threat" things don't look too intimidating until you are climbing over them yourself.  My mind started in with fear and I thought, "don't think, don't think, just do."  The good thing was a woman next to me started to panic at the top of the first one, "I can't, I can't do it, I have a heights thing."  I talked her over and down and that helped distract me from my own anxiety.  She was ready to bail (bale?) altogether on the second one but she didn't quit and I was happy to cheer her on.  Though I was definitely quivering myself as I hurled my leg over the top of those things.  Hang on is right! But we all made it - High five Laurie!!

The only things left after that were more mud pits, the ones you have to crawl through to go under wires.

Go Shea!
I scraped my knees up some but other than that the mud pits weren't too bad.  This is where the big mud gets piled on your whole body though.  And voila!  We're done.  Whew!  It was heating up out there (in the 80's today) and we were glad to be done.  We tried to clean off at the "showers" but they were more like squirt guns, weak ones at that, so we did the best we could and went and got our free beer.

 I didn't even realize I had mud on my face until I got in the car.

We will, we will, Rock You!
Oh, and the finisher's medal is kind of cool.  On the back it says, "I Cheated Death".  I don't know about that, but I'll take it :)

We headed out to the car and who did I see?  Another blogger.  Bekki from Wild Child Gone Good.  She had her hair in characteristic double pony tails and I think that helped me recognize her.  This was my first real-life blogger to blogger encounter.  Anyway, she lives in the North Bay as well and I knew she was doing this event because she'd posted about it.  Fun!

On the road home and I stayed at Laurie's for another beer.  We ended up jumping in her pool to clean off some, which was refreshing and fun.  I finally headed for home about 1pm and I was starving!  I thought about all sorts of "bad" foods I wanted to eat but managed to talk myself down and into a Hi Tech Curry Shrimp burrito from their "healthy grill" menu.  Well played, Michelle, well played.

Well, that's it from me!  I'd say I was operating at about 80-85% capacity today given my chest cold.  I'd love to do this event again next year and give it my all.  It was a great way to spend a Saturday.  Now, can I squeeze in a nap before the kids wake from theirs??

Update with official pics:


  1. Great race recap! It was awesome to meet you!

  2. Great report! I did a Dirty Girl race with a group of girls. It was so much fun. I would love to do another one. Thanks!

  3. Thanks for the random, unplanned photo of me! I found this blog, and the photo while looking through Mud Factor's FB page. I'm in the 3rd photo, about to climb the second of the "triple threat". Good times.

  4. Great race recap - sounds like fun! I've always wondered about these things and whether I'd really enjoy participating, not so scary now - I may have to keep my eye out for one locally. Good luck with the nap!

  5. Good going! Looked like fun. You look awesome and your legs are such athlete legs!

  6. GREAT JOB! I'd like to try one of those next year. They look like fun!

  7. I am doing Mud factor today in Seattle , and this inspired me that I will be ok!! I was looking for encouragement :)


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