We got to walk the course the day before, as bulldozers were still working to dig out pits of mud that would be so thick that a day later they’d leave lasting impressions of exhaustion on my arms.
That’s a mud pit, quicksand-style.
During that dry walk, we saw what was to come. A sandbag-carry through a few troughs of muddy water, sticky enough to grab hold of sneakers and not let go. High-kneed jumps through car tires. A plummet from a sewer pipe into a pool of brown, and at that moment, foamy water. And a chest-deep zig-zag through a manmade channel of chocolate-hued water topped off with horizontal logs we’d have to duck under.
We were basically licking our lips, which was okay because they weren’t caked in mud yet. This was going to be good.
The Mogollon Monster Mudda is hands-down our favorite mud run. It mixes together trail running at elevation, challenging but doable obstacles and mud that is stickier than anything we’ve ever run through. We’ve done a few races to know.
Obstacles include a thigh-burning gauntlet right out of the chute, running into and out of hill-banked troughs of muddy water. A trek through a sewer pipe that has to be as long as a football field, because there are points of complete blackness – no light whatsoever. Climbs over cattle fences, a jump from a 12-foot log wall into a pool of water and the big plunge.
And the entire thing culminates with a slalom-like trail run in the back country that winds its way toward a stadium filled with a dozen or so more obstacles, including a fire-hose carry up and down bleachers, a tire wall, monkey bars, a sawdust pit and this uniquely challenging army crawl through a lengthy tunnel that requires you to move on your belly with a water-weighted tarp above you.
It’s hard in a just hard enough way, which is to say, I didn’t have to skip a single obstacle, I didn’t need help on a single obstacle (none of us did) yet it still offers an adrenaline rush unlike anything else. I’ve done it three times now and I still get butterflies at the starting line.
It has my arms hurting today in places that didn’t yesterday. It had me shop vac the dryer, because the crust that lingers from this race is unprecedented – in so much as we buy clothes to race in and just throw away. And it stains fabric softener sheets to a shade that is totally unnatural.
Yes, getting muddy is super fun. But it’s more than that. This mud run is the perfect challenge, for everyone. A 73-year-old woman ran it, and so did kids, first responders, crossfitters and OCR fans.
And us. A few folks who run at a modest pace, like to get dirty, like to be challenged and love the taste of recovery drinks the following day.