In keeping my vow to have lots of fun running trails this year, I signed up for Saturday's Buck Mountain Mudslinger at Silver Falls State Park.
The week was dry, but Friday's rain turned the dusty trails to the mud pit we were hoping for!
This was a 6.5-mile race in the Howard Creek Horse Area:
Elevation chart - whoa!:
The race didn't start until 9 a.m., but Google Maps put the drive at over an hour, and since there was only day-of packet pickup, we had to allow time to get our bibs. Oh, and the car was out of gas. So we had an early alarm and then left the house shortly before 7 a.m. and drove south in the yucky almost rain.
We arrived nice and early and got a nice parking spot near the start/finish. (I'd always rather get there early and hang out than be late and rushed before a race) It was cowboy themed, and a handful of people had some great outfits. The women registering next to us had costumes, but in order to get their "cowboy stickers" they had to do shots of Fireball. At 8:15 a.m.! One gal, much smaller than me, said she'd hardly eaten anything that morning. The guy told her to take a small shot.
So it's gonna be one of those races? Hmmm.
But.... it didn't turn out that way. Everyone was nice and appropriate. I've been to other event that weren't, and that's not my favorite atmosphere.
We grabbed our bibs, hit the potties before there was a line, and then retreated to our warm car. The potty line got crazy long... apparently two portas sat empty while runners mistakenly thought there was someone inside. Organizers held the race a few minutes to let the line die down. We ate our pre-race snack, did a little warm-up spin around the parking lot and got behind the starting line. And by then, the rain had stopped and it was in the mid-40s - perfect racing temp.
The race started in the parking lot but quickly turned into the woods. And we came to a grinding stop. There was a giant mud puddle just down the trail, and everyone was afraid to go through it. HELLO?! Isn't that why we were there? When it was my turn, I just stomped right through!
The crowd kept the starting speed slow, which was A-OK with me. We rounded a corner and saw the trail head up, up, up, and I walked... along with most everyone else. I started farther back in the pack, and that trail was MUDDY by the time I came through. We were slipping and sliding all over.
At the top, I took advantage of the big downhill to gain some time and pass some runners. These strong quads are really good at running down!
Portions of this trail were very, very muddy. And some puddles were up over my shoes. Many people were trying to weave around the mud and water, but I just went right through - it was awesome!
I ran all the flats and downs and walked when the uphills caused my heart to pound out of my chest and my calves to feel like they would explode. There was a very short - but very steep - section toward the end. A photographer had planted himself atop the hill... so I had to run up so he didn't catch me walking. That was very mean. But I did manage a smile:
This race was so fun! I loved stomping through the mud and felt pretty hardcore. I took my time going up and then went hard going down. I "chatted" with some people on the course and just had a great time.
Brad finished at 1:05 and was waiting for me at the finish. I crossed at 1:15. Not too shabby considering the course and the conditions. I've very pleased with my time.
The race wasn't chip timed, and because I started back in the pack, my official time is 1:16:06. That's good enough for 143 out of 265 overall and 4 out of 23 in my gender/age group!
Then we had to take photos of our awesome mud-covered legs:
The front looks less muddy because some huge puddles toward the end washed off a bunch of the chunks:
He said the leg hair made removal extra challenging :)
This was a great event! Small but well organized, fun and MUDDY! I would definitely sign up for more in this series.