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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Camp Pendleton Mud Run 2012

It’s been ages since I’ve run a mud run.  It’s also been ages since I’ve run with trail running friend, Jeremy H.  So, I guess it’s more than apropos that I ran today’s mud run at Camp Pendleton with Jeremy. 

Let me back up a bit.  Mud runs are a big thing in Southern California, especially Camp Pendleton’s “World Famous” Mud Run.  Reading this post however, you might wonder, “What the heck is a mud run?” 

Basically, a mud run is a relatively short run (5k or 10k) through mud, sometimes thick, so thick your shoes get stuck, other times thinner, more like very muddy water.  There’s always some kind of obstacles involved – obstacles like wall climbing, tunnel crawling, tiring hopping, muddy slippery slopes, etc.  About the only thing I don’t like about mud runs, is that I can’t take my camera along, or ipod, or anything electronic for fear of ruining it.   

Today’s 10k mud run began beneath gray skies around a serene lake, a family play area for marines to take their families.  We contestants took off in two waves on a dusty path straight into a couple fire hoses.  I didn’t try to avoid the hoses like I have in the past.   I merely ran on through with thousands of other runners (There were two waves of runners this morning – it’s hard to tell from the stats how many runners played today, but it appears to have been between 3 and 4 thousand total). 

After getting drenched by the hoses, we ran off the road and onto a smaller trail for basically a 4 mile uphill run.  With water stops at every mile where I grabbed a water here and there, I ran the entire uphill only a little faster than I usually run uphills.  A good thing about me was that I recover quickly and was able to run very quickly downhill.  Some runners not used to hills needed to take the downhills to recuperate. 

One lady tapped me on the shoulder and said, “You are my pacer.”  I answered, “Why me?”  To which this very wonderful :) lady responded, “You are great, so strong and steady.”    Wow.  I didn’t feel strong and steady.  But I really loved that she said that. 

After running up and down some tall mud moguls and up and over a wall, I saw Jeremy running back from the lake.  I looked forward to the lake because that’s where I pass a lot of people.  Why?  Because most people walk through the lake.  I swim it.  But today, the lake was bone dry!  Well, not exactly bone dry.  We got to run through some smelly thick mud right through the center of it. 

After the lake, there was more mud running, more moguls and walls.  I found it difficult to scale the walls.  They were slippery with mud.  Usually I throw my legs to the top of these approximate five foot walls and roll over into the mud on the other side.  I could not throw my legs up sideways to the top today because I would end up kicking someone, it was that crowded.  Instead, I had to lift myself up purely with my arms (as if I were getting out of a swimming pool), hoist myself to the top, somehow get into the sitting position and jump down into the watery mud on the other side.

We also had a slippery hill toward the end where marines blasted fire hoses down from the top.  Most of the runners/hikers slipped and slid going up. I ran right up the water path.  It was a cinch compared to trying to run up in the mud. 

Finally, we had a long pipe to crawl through, and steep descent to run.  For the finale we had to crawl through a watery mud pit low enough to stay beneath low-lying ropes.  I did not crawl however, because of my sore knee (from Thursday’s fall).  Instead, I walked with my hands and lightly kicked my feet out behind me.   

I came in 1 hour 24 minutes after all that.  I didn’t beat myself up to do it.  I had a lot of fun.  I was surprised to read later that I was 50th out of 154 runners in my category (civilian women 45 through 49).  It didn’t seem that I did that well.  Jeremy did terrific, making his goal, which I thought would be tough to do with all the obstacles.  But he did it (And he’s running a marathon tomorrow to boot – my very first marathon, the SD Rock n’ Roll Marathon.  I’m  just a tad jealous. Smile )

What a fun way to end my week of recovery, the week before I begin training for Twin Peaks. 

Bag Check:

Post race in the sun:

Trail Racing friend Kurt (I’ve met him at several Big Baz Trail Races):

Group Photo.  Jeremy & me after walking through the outdoor public “showers”:


  1. Wow, seems that you are enjoying that activity. Actually that mud run activity is really a fun one and so challenging. Congratulation guys that you've made it till the end of the race.

    1. Thanks for reading. It's been a long time since I did the mud thing. Lots of fun!!

  2. wao nice activity are these in free time this types of activities should be done.
    Mud hose