When I saw that I had a weekend free in Dallas I had to decide on what to do. Did I do the Big D Texas Half Marathon, or a 5km Mud Run? The mud run won of course.
It was a cold morning when my friend Kristen picked me up and drove me out to the race site. The sun wasn’t up yet and I was hoping it would be a nice day, but the weather had other plans. After figuring out how to get to the race area from the car park I trudged along and met the lady in charge of volunteers. I mentioned that I had arranged with someone via email to help out on registration so I could then go on course at 11:30 to be the course sweep.
I ended up sitting at the table doing on-the-day registrations. It was a very slow and cold start to the morning as the first adult wave wasn’t until 9am. At 8am there was a mad rush of parents signing up their kids for the kids run which kept me busy for a small while.
The sun had risen but the clouds started rolling in shortly after. At 10am I was still freezing cold and hoping that the weather would warm up before I had to go on course. As much as I love OCRs I don’t enjoy being wet and muddy when it’s cold outside. Luckily it warmed up slightly and at 11:30am I was ready to head out on course.
I started walking behind people and had to stop a few times until a few latecomers had caught up to me. I was responsible for telling all the volunteers that they could head back to the registration area so I needed to ensure that everyone was in front of me.
The obstacles were a mix of easy and complex ones. The first was a muddy pit, followed by another muddy put and then hay bale climb. By the time I got to the hay bales they were coated in mud which made it a bit difficult to get up at first, but I managed and then slowly walked along as I saw another few people running up behind me.
Next up were some balance beams, followed by a very heavy sandbag carry up a small hill, but over tyres! The bags would have been at least 20kg and were very awkward to carry. After the carry was an atlas carry with large rocks. I told the volunteer at that station that I was the course sweep and she said to me “Yay! You’re the one everyone has been talking about on the radio!” She was clearly excited to leave as she’d been on course since 6:30am.
I then headed to an A frame and coached one girl over the frame as she was terrified of heights. Next up was a failed spear throw and even a burpee penalty, followed by the toughest rope wall ever. I tried to get up the 12’ wall but kept slipping as my shoes were covered in mud and grass. The wood was slippery and even though there was a rope to climb up it was too hard to get on my own. I gave up and headed to the monkey bars and then the Hercules hoist.
I was halfway through the course when they added some tyre walls, more mud pits and then barbed wire crawls. I had to wait after the first crawl as I saw two ladies I the distance who were coming up behind me. I said hello and ended up befriending Faye and Lysandra as we chatted about the course and I told them about why I was there and my year ahead.
We then got to another wall, then another barbed wire crawl, and soon I was taking a pet rock for a walk on a leash. The volunteer said the tyres were lighter and easier so naturally I picked the rock. After that was another (very smelly) mud pit and a slant wall. Some ladies were having trouble getting up so we hung around and yelled some words of encouragement.
The next obstacle was something new – a slosh pipe carry. It may seem easy at first but it’s quite hard to walk when the water is moving and you’re being thrown off balance. The last obstacle was a set of walls – 8’, 6’ and 4’. I attempted the 8’ wall but my shoes were so slippery that I just did the 6’ one instead. We then threw ourselves in the final mud pit crawl before crossing the finish line.
It was a pretty simple course but I had so much fun and so did everyone else. It was good to just take my time and enjoy the obstacles without worrying about penalties for failing them. It’d definitely something I’d recommend for people who have never done an OCR before and want to know what it’s all about.
Event: Jailbreak Mud Run
Type: Mud Run
Location: Dallas, Texas (USA)
Date: 9 April 2016