Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Muddy Brute – Wildwood, FL – April 9, 2016


This past Saturday my husband and I packed up the car and headed north to partake in our second Muddy Brute race.  The race was held at a Motor Sports Park in Wildwood, Florida which is known to host multiple off road Jeep and mud bogging events.  The last time we had ran this race it was FREEZING cold in Florida and the weather caused a lot of injuries from the ground being hard, water being cold, and muscles refusing to warm up.  In fact, the last race I sprained my quad muscle early on and ended up with my first ever DNF. (Did Not Finish)  I was devastated.  There I was freezing for most of the day, okay the high ended up being 57...but when we got there it was only 34 degrees, and I couldn’t even finish the race.  It hurt my soul and spirit to have to hobble back to the start line sucking up the tears of pain and disappointment flowing down my face.  On top of that, when my husband finished and after checking up on me he proceeded to tell me how awesome the trail was, and how he had never seen such a unique place for a mud run.  Let’s just say that this past weekend I had my revenge.
The Competitive Wave About to Start

As expected, the weather did start out cold on Saturday, but my mind kept telling me “at least it wasn’t as cold as December!”  As the sun came up the warmer things got.  My husband and I decided to register for the competitive wave so we could then volunteer and spend the whole day at the race.  This worked out perfectly because at some races the volunteers often have no one waiting for them at the finish line, when they are allowed to run, which can be discouraging to some.  Despite the coldness, there was a strong representation of athletes in the first wave.  There were new faces I had not seen at Muddy Brute before, who were competing along with seasoned athletes who had run the course last year.  I was excited the wave seemed pretty full and I was ready for the challenge. 

The Mud Was DEEP!
As we were lining up and stretching DJ Jarian Rich and Anthony Gorbas got us all pumped and warmed up for the start of the race.  DJ Jarian even came over and rubbed glitter mud in my husband’s beard to set the tone!  DJ Jarian announced that everyone could help everyone and there was no can’t in this run.  I love the idea of being able to help your fellow runners out through the race which some elite waves do not offer that opportunity. 

As we began our 5 mile journey we quickly realized that Muddy Brute was unlike any other mud run we had ran in the past!  Why?  THE FIRST MILE!  The entire first mile of Muddy Brute was the MUDDIEST first mile I had EVER experienced…and I’ve ran a lot of races…this was by far the muddiest!  The mud was unlike any mud I had ever seen.  It wasn’t the black gritty mud that Battlefrog is known for, it wasn’t the sandy white mud that Warrior Dash had… this was brown, smooth, and thicker than anything I had ever seen!  It looked like regular mud on top, but then when you ran through it the mud would grab your body and pull you down.  Some spots had it pull you knee high, others you went down waist deep.  If you have childhood fears of quicksand this was not race for you! If I was a Queen and I could appoint awards to all the Mud Runs this one would be deemed “Muddiest Mud Run Mile in OCR.”  The craziest thing with this mile is that there were obstacles through it, you had to figure out how to get over a six foot wall, climb up a mud soaked incline wall with rope, and balance your muddy self along a balance beam.  Some runners may think these obstacles are pretty basic mud run obstacles… plant them in the middle of a mud pit where people are carrying mud on their shoes and bodies, and the mud is not solid … WHOLE NEW LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY RELEASED!  Holy cow Muddy Brute, I take my crown off to you for that first mile, well played…. well played!

For the remaining of the 4 miles athletes traversed small hills, ran through thick brush, over extra-large tires, and through pools of muddy water.  The landscape was definitely a unique terrain and offered many natural obstacles within itself.  I have to warn you, this would not be a good race to run as a barefoot racer, thorns were abundant and struck you when you least expected it.  The last obstacle was Muddy Brutes personal version of a rig, and was a new addition this year.  The rig ended up being challenging, yet fun for those involved!  Their twist to the rig involved the monkey bars, which appeared to be normal, but in fact were a few inches thicker than playground regulation causing newbies to quickly realize they needed to work on their grip strength more… cough... cough… or seasoned athletes like myself… cough cough….  What was enjoyable about the setup was that it was close to the start and finish line allowing spectators to congregate and watch their friends, family and loved ones attempt to complete it.

The festival area was welcoming and was mostly all on concrete.  This allowed the ease of tents to be set up and spectators to walk around without getting themselves too dirty.  DJ Jarich was on point with his music playing requests and getting the crowd moving.  Muddy Brute even had the occasional push up challenge and rope climbing challenge where competitors could compete for a free race!  There was a food truck vendor on site for after race munchies and small shower clean up area.  The bathrooms were amazingly clean and I have to give the bathroom award to Muddy Brute.  During the race I learned that there were volunteers stationed within the bathrooms to ensure cleanliness and not to run out of toilet paper.  Many of us know that most volunteers hate that assignment, and usually half-heartedly do what is required.  I have to say, and this is coming from someone who has used a lot of yucky race bathrooms, this by far was the most pleasant experience I’ve had.  The floors were clean, the ladies were nice, and there was always toilet paper!  I was impressed, so thank you volunteers!

All in all this race made me fall in love with mud runs all over again.  It was fun, challenging, and whole heck of a lot of mud was involved!  I would recommend this race to anyone who has not ventured to do a mud run yet, a seasoned athlete, or a family wanting to try something new.  Oh and the cherry on top was the fact that I chose to run this race with my husband.  It had been a long time that we actually ran together and we both encouraged each other on and helped each other through obstacles.  Even better than that, someway, somehow I won 3rd place in my age group!  My first ever mud run podium!  When they called my name I was taking pictures of the volunteers at the finish line and froze... I thought holy cow that's me and ran up to get my medal!  Thank you Muddy Brute!

Muddy Brute Tips:

Don’t wear anything valuable, at all.  If it is expensive or has sentimental value LEAVE IT at home! It will fall off and get lost in mud FOREVER!

Bring a pop up tent for shade, chairs to sit in, a soft cooler for food and beverage and be prepared to relax and enjoy the day outside!

Tie your shoe laces well, and/or, use duct tape to secure them to your feet.  One day an archaeologist will unearth the mud pits of Wildwood and wonder why there are sooo many shoes and no bones in the land.

Wear sunscreen.  Even though Muddy Brute brings the cold weather like Savage brings the rain….you don’t realize you’re getting sunburnt till you go home and shower.

Have fun and don’t take this too seriously!

P.S.  If you don’t like mud… you better stay away from this one!

Want to register for your next Muddy Brute!?  They are coming back to Florida August 13 and you don’t want to miss it!  Go to www.muddybrute.com to register!


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Enjoy some Muddy Warrior Chick Savings:
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