Tuesday, July 21, 2009
On Saturday morning, I participated in the Inaugural OC Mud Run. This was the race of 2009 for me. I had been anticipating it for a few months, every since I heard about it on Twitter. I was competing in this race as an individual rather than a team, even though there were four of us doing it together.
We arrived in the parking of the venue, approximately one hour before the race began. We knew that we had to pick up our race t-shirts and check in our bags. What we experienced was absolute chaos. We hiked our way in, trying to find the t-shirt line. We found our places and were handed our t-shirts. Yea, my shirt is extremely small, and it's an adult large. I'm not a huge person, but I weigh a little more than 100 lbs.
We then went to check-in our bags. This was somewhat organized. We wrote down the last 4 numbers of our social security number on a tag, attached the tag to our bag, and then handed the bag to the attendant. This is where I got lost from my friends. I turned around and they were gone. The start line was another hike from the bag check-in. I just decided to find the start line and wait for my friends there. I barely made it to the start line before the race started. While I was waiting at the start line, I was able to check out everyone costumes and outfits. I finally got caught up with my peeps and the race started. The race start was very anti-climatic.
We went from a dirt trail up the hill to the asphalt parking lot. There was an obstacle that everyone was supposed to go over. The line backed up. I ran around the obstacle because, I really did not want to eat it and fall on the asphalt. That would have been very bad. I did see some people fall when I turned around to look back. After running around the parking lot (what the heck?), we headed back down to the dirt trail. We finally got to experience some mud, but really not a lot. I think this was the most mud I saw that entire race and it last like 5 minutes.
I'm going to do a short re-cap of the rest of the race, because this blog post could go on for hours and days. There were some mini obstacles along the way, nothing worthwhile. There were also some hairpin turns which could be considered somewhat "dangerous". I think I heard "be careful, watch yourself, this is dangerous" at least ten times, and this was from race volunteers. Umm ya, a race is not supposed to be dangerous.
At one point in the race, at the almost end, we hit a standstill. There was a wall of people and we were not moving. I couldn't see ahead of me, because I'm a troll (5'4" and short legs don't help). What were we waiting for? Well the line finally moved. We were about to cross the lagoon/inner tubes of "stench", "duck shit pond", "the sewage pond", etc etc etc. There were inner tubes and an open water area to cross. I think we did this at least three times. I chose to go through the open water, because there was a huge line for the inner tube area. What the hell was I thinking? As I was wading through this, I keep tripping on unknown things? Seriously, I really did not want to know what was in that water. It smelled nasty, like sewage nasty. We went through some more mini obstacles and made it to the finish line.
There were two choices at the finish line: a slip and slide mud area or the timed finish. Really, I don't think that they wanted you to do the timed finish. I climbed through the mud pit at the finish and did not do the slip and slide. Why? Because the plastic was DRY, no WATER. How can you slip and slide on dry water?
I waited at the finish line to re-group with my friends. I did not see any event staff there. There was no drinks, no water, nothing at the finish line. Seriously people...it was almost 90 degrees and no water! I'm really getting tired of races not having water at the end. We finally all found each other and the complaining began. We were all in agreement about the race. I thought that the SBSD Mud Run was bad last year. The SBSD Mud Run was a vacation compared to this mess.
We got our bags from the bag check and waited in line for the meager showers that they assembled. Some PVC attached to the back of a baseball backstop. We probably waited in line for at least 45-60 minutes. I did not have that much mud on me, because I really did not make an effort during the race. I had a feeling that the showers were going to be sub-par and I did not want to make a mess of my car.
After changing, aka wrapping a towel around ourselves and removing our clothes "surfer style", we left the venue. There were vendors there "selling food and drinks", but nothing was free. Seriously $3 CASH for a water. Umm, I paid $40 for a race, got a crappy t-shirt that will never fit me, and I didn't even get water.
We headed out of there and towards Wahoo's at the Irvine Spectrum for some decent food!
I tweeted with several people on Twitter about the race for a few days after the event. We were all in agreement about how it sucked. Really, I think the people involved just wanted to run away with the money. They had a good idea, but they dropped the ball on this one. There was a ton of promotions and PR done for the event in the early spring months, but then it just seemed to drop off the radar.
One of the people I talk to on Twitter, Reggie, otherwise known as "OakleyOC" was a VIP Entrant at the race. He actually paid extra to have VIP status which included food, swag, beer tickets, a special showering area, places to view the race course, etc. His general opinion about the race was the same as mine though, even though he was VIP. Because really, it's all about the race, not really the perks.
My running pal, Monique, took some pictures during the race with a disposable camera. She hasn't taken it in to be developed yet. I will post the pictures in another post when she gets them back. Luckily, Reggie was soo gracious to let me use some of the pictures that he took. Ok, perhaps I took them from his Facebook page, but I did tell him that I would give him some recognition.
Next year, I'm going to sign up for Camp Pendleton's Mud Run. Everyone says that this is a wonderful event, but it always sells out right away. The OC Mud Run people better get their act together if they want to hold their Second Annual Event next year. But they might be too busy deals with all the "issues" that happened at this race. I saw a lot of negative comments on their Facebook page, which I think they have removed now.