Back in October of last year, I accompanied Phil to the inaugural Mud Monsters Run, being the mud connoisseur that he is, his write up (found here) focused on the quality and indeed variety of the brown stuff found on the course. Taking place the day after running a beastly 11 miles at Pippingford, we found the thick mud quite energy sapping…
So for the second Mud Monsters Run I decided to bring my lovely wife Helen with me, she is new to OCR (this was her third event) and wanted to increase her distance to 10k. As the event was a sell out and we were late to the party, we were placed in the final wave of the day. That was actually a perfect fit for our needs. Ordinarily I would like to be in the first wave so that I can race (not overly well but I try!) but this wasn’t about racing.
After the standard South West Military Fitness warm up and lay down start, we were sent on a short run around a tree stump to the start line, over hay bale hurdles and off to the first of the uncountable mud filled ditches, before skirting two fields and heading into the woods, where there more ditches and the first real obstacle. It was a Jacobs ladder, a solid slatted wooden constructed set between two trees… and the first queue of the day.
Being a first wave runner I don’t usually come up against too many queues and to be honest my biggest concern with starting in the last wave was the possibility of spending a lot of time waiting around but I’m pleased to report that this was not only our first queue but also our only queue of the day. Good marshalling of the obstacle, making sure there was always the maximum number of people on the obstacle, meant we weren’t waiting long (incidentally, all of the load bearing obstacles had signage indicating the max number of people allowed on at a time).
The first third of the course makes good use of the many, many deep and rutted trenches (it’s an off road vehicle centre after all) all of which are filled to the brim with mud. The trenches are punctuated with well-built, wooden obstacles and a fun little slide. After what appeared to be a manmade (or at least man assisted) peat bog, the course entered its middle third. Here we spent a lot of time getting in and out and running through a stream.
The final third returned to the trenches and thick mud, including a tyre carry, which took in some steep muddy slopes and mud filled trenches (the mud really added to the weight of the tyres!) finishing with a final few dips in the river and a flurry of obstacles including the biggest obstacle of the day, a large A frame. Over the line to collect the, IMO, rather nice medal and a decent goody bag, which included snacks (raw chocolate covered raisins!), electrolyte concentrate to add to your water and a technical tee.
In summary of the day, Helen achieved her goal and said she was surprised how much she enjoyed the challenge of pushing herself (the furthest she had run before was 6k. She's now events down and hungry for more!) For me the course has improved on last year’s already solid event. The Race Directors have done a great job of using the land available to them, much of the race is in woods with the obstacles (of which there were noticeably more) seeming to fit naturally into the trail, the biggest obstacle of them all being the thick mud!
The next event is 11 October, which if last year is anything to go by will be even muddier (mudageddon!?) priced from just under £30 with Mudstacle discount and available in 5k, 10k and a double lap 20k. Find out more here: www.mudmonstersrun.co.uk
Thanks to Paul Warne for this write up.