MUD RUN —- 2012

August 12, 2012


 My town, Chattanooga, Tennessee, has been designated as one of the top ten “outdoor” towns in the country.  We are very proud of that distinction because at one time, it was one of the most polluted cities in our country.   Our city “fathers” decided twenty years ago to make necessary changes to bring about a more environmentaly-friendy atmosphere.  Our particulate count was significantly higher than the average and the incidences of asthma and related repertory illnesses were well over the average for any city our size.  Well, it worked and for this reason, outdoor activities like the annual mud run have been  made possible.   A clean environment is serious business but having fun on one very sunny Chattanooga weekend is definitely serious also.   Take a look at adults having fun.

This year there were 425 teams with four or five members per team.  About 2100 people participating.    It’s a three mile run BUT there are obstacles situated throughout the course.   You must master each in order to qualify and have your time put into the wonderful “book of Chattanooga history”.   You cannot go around an obstacle.  You must navigate each barrier—that‘s it.  Each team is given a starting time when they pick up their race packets.  This year, we started right on time; i.e. 0900 hrs with the last team approaching the starting gate at 1100 hrs.  Each team can wear whatever they wish although you must wear something regardless of how scant or revealing.  (I won’t go into detail here but suffice it to say, some are more free-spirited than others.) Several of the “uniforms” are demonstrated below.

The gals above don’t really look all that fast but they did have one of the best times for any female team.   I think these “ruffles” are called tutus.  At any rate, they did not inhibit the runners at all and certainly provided comic relief for the on-lookers. 

The JPEG below, I thought, was unbelievable.  The camera does not lie.

You should see these ladies after the run.  I have no idea as to how they came up with this idea but they did make the Sunday paper– morning edition –as the most “interesting” team.

 

This picture redefines fast food.  Colonel Sanders, Burger King and of course McDonalds’ were all represented at this event.    Not too sure what the fourth and fifth team members wore but I’m sure their costumes were as striking.  This was a great  group.     They really had it altogether and came in with the second best time. 

  The first barrier was a ten foot wall with a vertical drop on the other side.  That structure is shown in the lower left portion of this JPEG.   I would say the incline on the approach was about 60 degrees, with steps on the left side of the wall.  The real problem was not the ascension but the drop when you get over.  Straight down with no cushion to soften the blow as you hit the ground.  Several injuries occurred on this one.  Twisted ankle, one broken leg, etc etc.

 

The second obstacle was a monstrous “slip and slide”. 

A river of water was flushed over a 75 yard plastic mat that eventually dumped into a mud pit, along with the runners.  By this time you were wet, tired, muddy and wondering who talked you into this insane event.   

I’m the one in black—the old guy heading down-hill.

 The picture below will indicate what you look like when you exit the pit.  (In my case—less the muscles.)

 

I ran with a team called “Fitness Together”.  This is the group I train with every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Good looking team, especially the guy second from the right.

I am 70 years old and the gentleman (real gentleman) in the center is Todd Reeves.  He helped me with the barriers and volunteered to carry the defib device.  (Just kidding about the defibrillator!)  As I mentioned earlier, the race itself; i.e. three miles, was not the problem, it was the barriers.  Really tough to get over, under or through.  My time was somewhat decent—38 minutes.  One rule, all members of any one team must complete the run together.  There were no individual times taken, only the time for the entire team made the record books.   I’m old enough to be their grandfather but they were very considerate in “hanging around” until we could all finish.  Events like this energize a community and do a great deal of good for that community.  In this case, Habitat for Humanity was the recipient of the entry fee and most of the oversi ght was by volunteers doing what they do best.  The Tennessee National Guard and the Chattanooga Police Force did a marvelous job with organization and traffic control.   A great day all-in-all from a town that definitely gets outdoors.

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