My Marine Mud Challenge Experience

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DJ / 6 Years Ago

A couple weeks ago, a guy I work with, Brian Olesky, suggested that we get a team together and run the Marine Mud Challenge on May 12th. The Marine Mud Challenge is a 5 mile race with around 20 obstacles interspersed throughout. We asked around the shop for people to join us and eventually got Drew Meise and Richard Griffin to give it a go. No one besides Olesky had ever done a mud run before, so we were pretty excited about it. We quickly settled on a team name of "Dumpster Fire" and registered for the race.

See all the mud run pictures!
Our start time ended up being 12:17 - not ideal, especially for the steamy weather here in Georgia, but it turned out to be not so bad because it did not get all that hot and we were running through the woods most of the time anyway. We all showed up around 11:00, quickly met up and registered and got our team bib - 2295 - which Olesky wore. We had nearly an hour until our start time, so we sat down a while and watched teams tackle the first mud obstacle. We made sure to get a 'before the race' team picture and got in the queue for the starting line and took some more pictures. As we close to the line, our adrenaline starting spiking - we were ready to go!

One of the guys are the starting line was amused by our team name and then suddenly another shouted for us to start and off we went. About 100 yards later we encountered the first obstacle - a small hill of mud followed by a foot deep pool of mud water (and a guy with a fire hose spraying you) and then a tall mud hill you had to slide down the back side on your stomach and then low crawl under netting and through a cement pipe. So right away we were saturated with water and mud. Outstanding. From there we made a turn and headed into the woods.

The path through the woods twisted and turned and rose and feel and was strewn with fallen logs to jump over. The first obstacle required climbing over a barrier, the next one was walking up and down logs that were propped up on a central barrier - pretty standard obstacle course fare. After that, maybe 3/4 a mile into the run, we came to the giant mud pool. We climbed a muddy hill and then descended into chest deep muddy channel that was perhaps 60-80 yards long. Halfway through we had to start jumping over logs while another guy with a fire hose sprayed us and a Marine yelled at us to get out of his pool. There was an observation area there and DaisyLee Olesky, Brian's wife, beat us there and took more pictures in that area.

After that, it was mostly just a lot more running and a lot more obstacles. There were a lot of things to climb over, like tall (10+ feet) sets of bars mounted on wood posts, traffic barriers, and two sets of multiple horizontal logs mounted up to 5 feet tall. There was another balancing log obstacle and we had to low crawl under vehicle through a pool of mud. We had to choose whether to climb up a rope wall or a tire wall and we chose the tires. There was another tire wall by itself somewhere else. There were multiple instances of tires on the trail. There was more climbing over stuff, like a wall of horizontal logs, and two smooth walls of 2 by 4s with a vat of mud in between them. That vat of mud made it impossible to jump for the second wall, making it much difficult to clear.

Somewhere in the middle of all that, around the 3 mile point I'd guess, there was the longest/highest hill I might have ever ran up. It just kept going and going forever. The course as a whole had a lots of hills, but this one was a beast. Somewhere in the middle of the race Griffin caught his foot on a root and twisted his ankle a bit, but he fought through the pain and kept running at a good pace. Except for his occasional grunt of pain, you would not have known he was injured.

The last obstacle before we left the woods had us running down a hill into a pool of mud that stank like doo doo. We hit up the water station there and headed for the home stretch. We exited the and came up to the last obstacle, which was a smooth 6 foot high wall of boards. After dragging ourselves over that, we sprinted for the finish. Well, Olesky sprinted and the rest of us shambled, but we had to finish as a team and Olesky waited for us and we crossed the line together at just over 1 hour and 20 minutes. I imagine we would have been between 5 and 10 minutes faster had we not had to wait several times at different obstacles for teams ahead of us to complete it. We were in the noncompetitive category, though, so it was all good. We finished 33rd out of around 250 teams in our division, and had we been in the competitive team field, we would not have had to wait for obstacles and probably would have finished in the middle of the pack. Not too shabby!

Once we crossed the finish line, we walked to water tent, had some water and fruit, got some pictures, and then made our way to the fire truck shower. We were absolutely filthy. The Fire Department had a truck there with the ladder extended and a sprayer pointed down from it making a huge shower and the water was freezing! But, a freezing shower was better than staying super filthy. I had to get out and go back in a couple times because of the cold. After cleaning off and getting some more pictures, Griffin went and got our swag bags for us and we all went our separate ways.

Because our run started at 12:17, I did not eat lunch, so afterward I was ready to eat a huge amount of food. So I picked up a pizza from Little Caesar's on the way home and it was fantastic!

I had thought prior to the race that it was either going to be awesome and fun, or miserable and horrible. Turns out I was wrong - it was both! Although, in hindsight, it was more awesome and fun than anything bad. I think what put it over the edge was the team aspect of it. I don't think I would want to do that by myself, but with a team it was good times. I would do it again, and probably will at this one next year if we are still in the area.


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