It can be a little intimidating to sign up for the unknown of a mud race.
Here are some tips to make your first mud race a memorable and enjoyable experience.
1. Have Fun!
This is not an Olympic trial run. Keep in mind that fun is the 1st priority.
2. Fun runs draw a different crowd.
There are still some serious competitors at these races but overall a fun run brings in runners of all ages, shapes, sizes and athletic abilities. This type of race draws people who want to share a unique and memorable experience together.
My 1st 5k was a nighttime run on Halloween weekend. My goal was to beat the drunk people or the runners who were attached to each other in a costume. Success can look different for different people. That night I passed the drunk guy and the 5 person attached costume team which equaled 1st 5k success!
3. Go with a theme.
Everything is more fun with a theme! The creativity for the costume and the prep work create an excitement and anticipation before the event. You can get a lot of great ideas from a little research on the internet. There are many creative team names registered from old races listed. Keep in mind that if you want to win any contests you will need a costume that holds up for the race.
We won the costume contest partly because of our costume durability and our attitude. We were all smiles during the race with excitement and were cheered on and identified because of our costumes. Bright colors and long crazy socks stand out in a crowd. The attitude is also a huge part of the costume. Whatever you are..own it. From the parking lot to the finish line get in character to maximize your team’s presence.
4. Try to avoid wearing cotton.
It stretches and weighs you down after a while. Typical running gear attire works best. I was also grateful that we wore shorts instead of pants for our run.
5. Bring extra safety pins to fasten down and secure your costume if needed.
I had to repin my skirt tighter after a few obstacles. You can always attach a few extra safety pins to your clothes before and adjust where needed once you get your new layers of mud.
6. Bring a garbage bag, towel, a change of clothes, underwear and flip flops.
Trust me your feet will feel better once your slimy socks are off. You can set up a changing area in the parking lot by taking turns holding up towels. You will feel so much better when you get out of your dirty clothes and your car upholstery will thank you for it.
7. Make sure you eat something and drink water before your run.
You will need energy and fluids in your system.
8. Bribe a non runner to take pictures and hold your stuff.
You might need to throw in a meal with a beverage or two. The pictures and video from this type of event really help you relive your day. It’s also nice to see familiar faces in the crowd. It’s great to have someone nearby with your towel and gear without the wait of retrieving it from check in. You want those muddy “after” pictures.
My husband has spectated at a few of my races with the boys and said that a mud race was the most enjoyable race he’s ever watched. The runners provide a steady flow of entertainment. Invite your chosen spectator to bring some extra clothes and join in on the mud pits after the race. My kids were rewarded for their supportive spectating with a trip to the mud pit.
9. It’s ok to walk when you need to.
The running community is very supportive and not judgmental. The bravery is just showing up. You will not be the only one who walks. Be in it to finish! You don’t have to win it! No one is thinking that this will be your fastest race ever.
10. Run on the edges of the super swampy mud pits.
Some people even duct tape their laces so that their shoes are even more secure. We almost lost a team member’s shoe in the swamp pit. You do not want that to happen.
11. During the belly crawl mud challenge keep your mouth shut and keep a good amount of space between yourself and the foot in front of you.
You will eat less dirt and encounter less kicks to the face.
Take it all in and enjoy the journey. Years from now you will have stories to share with your grandkids. Fun runs are all about sharing an experience together.