like a kid after it rains

A while back I learned about a run/bike race called Muddy Buddy.  It's a few miles of trail running and biking with a partner (swapping roles along the way).  You can expect some dirt, water hazards and obstacles sprinkled throughout the course.  If you manage to stay clean during the meat of the race, you will not at the end.  That's where the team members join up and crawl through the mud pit -- see why they call it "Muddy Buddy?"

Though I am just a casual athlete, I always enjoy the positive atmosphere that you get from the fitness enthusiast crowd.  It's more than just positiveness, it's a little bit giddy and goofy.  You can feel this by heading anywhere that runners go to work out.  But when you go to a race event, from 5K on up, that energy is amplified noticeably.  I think it is fun to be a part of.  To some it is too Mr. Rodgers or Stuart Smalley but I like it.

Muddy Buddy ups the silliness a bit by adding crawling-through-a-pile-of-sludge to the equation.  As soon as I learned about this event I knew I wanted to do it.  But Christine was not as interested in this particular brand of silliness which was a small setback.  She said she'd take pictures though.  I mentioned it to some running friends and received varying levels of interest but nobody would commit.

It so happens that I have a friend from Toastmasters who is world class athlete.  Ashley agreed to do the race even though she would have to slum it with me.

Still clean before the race started, we checked out the aura of the winners' area.

Like many other fitness events, there is a tradition of participants wearing wacky costumes.  This, of course, makes it all the more fun.  One of these years I will run in the king, no the queen - definitely the queen of costume runs: the Bay to Breakers race.  That one is definitely not a Mr. Rodgers feel.  But the costumes (or nudity in some cases) are legendary.

My favorite costume, didn't get a picture of them from the front.

Dirty Jose and Dirty Miguel

My costume next year?  What do you think, Ashley?

Christine found us at the finish even though everyone looked about the same covered with mud.

During the crawl through the mud pit I got thwacked in the head with one of the flag lines we had to crawl under.  No harm done except my sunglasses were knocked into the mud, making them useless for a while.  And adding some color to my otherwise boring forehead.

Our legs looked like they had painted-on pants. I loved that.

Afterwards we went to the shower area where there was plenty of (cold) water.  I got as much off as I could but later still found mud in my hair, mud in my ears, mud in my eyelashes, mud... well you get the idea.

Not a close up of the clean up area, but this shot catches some of the local scenery.

Hopefully I can get the last of this mud out sometime before next year's race!