|Our campsite for the weekend!|
|Me having fun while at my Volunteer|
This ended up being a fun filled day of volunteering. The Volunteer Coordinator checked in plenty of times and gave us race snacks to take with us to the obstacle. When our shift was up, we were able to get one free beer, a yummy grilled lunch, and the option to run the course that day or wait till Sunday morning. Because of the Florida mid-day heat I decided to wait until Sunday morning to run in order to take full advantage of the course while well rested and somewhat cooler temperatures.
|The "Surprise" Obstacle|
with slanted wall.
|This mini-volunteer Corey|
gave runners high fives
after conquering the
On race day my first observation from Swamp Stomp was the Finish Line and Start Line were in two different places within the park. As a State Park race I can see the reason behind this unique concept. There is limited open spaces for the festival area, limited parking, and isn’t the point of a State Park run to actually walk around the State Park!? The two locations were in walking distance from each other however you definitely needed a map and/or clear directions to find the finish if you weren’t running. This would generally be a huge inconvenience for runners who bring items with them such as bags, after race fuel, or even car keys. Swamp Stomp eased the pain of this hassle by providing FREE bag check to its participants. Runners were able to check their bags in, next to registration, and have their bag meet them in the Finish Line festival area! This was an excellent feature which allowed me to pack a bag with a change of clothes, extra water, and a towel for after the race.
|Fire Jump Obstacle!|
Hot Hot Hot!
As I grabbed my large finishers medal I ventured to go grab my bag, from bag check, and take a look around the festival area. It was a smaller area than what I was used to but it had picnic tables set up to enjoy food (They had TURKEY LEGS) and one of my favorite local
brewery’s Cigar City Brewery serving up beverages! There was also music and a very large area with hoses to wash the mud off of yourself.
|Just me, rolling around in dirt.|
I will be totally honest! I was skeptical going into this race only because I know the challenges first time races take on. My level of expectation was also pretty low because this was funded by the State Park itself and I was not counting on having high caliber obstacles. After participating in volunteering, camping, and then running I have to say this by far exceeded all of my prior judgements. This race was challenging! The obstacles were very solid and the fact it was in a State Park made the trail run absolutely gorgeous. I even heard a few stories of families camping in the camp ground with no intention of running this race, or any mud run, and then signing up to run on the spot! This race was an awesome race to run with the family. Kids were encouraged to go with their parents and everyone helped each other as the day progressed. As someone who does a lot of races the one thing I love is to see is young people out on the course. This race provided the opportunity for adults, teens, and children to try out a new sport, in a safe environment, with the help and encouragement of others.
|Brian Pinson, Park Ranger|
Showcasing the Medal
the OCR world this is one of the best to begin your journey! Not only that, but I recommend taking the full advantage of the Hillsborough River State Park while you are there. Come early, camp out, hike, canoe, and enjoy time out in the wilderness. I am planning on being at the Second Annual
Tips for new runners who want to participate in the next one!
1) Don’t be scared, just register! Everyone motivates and helps each other out. If you can walk then you can do this race.
2) Bring a change of clothes for the finish.
3) Bring a towel to sit on in your car for after the race.
4) Bring a bucket or trash bag to pack up your dirty clothes in.
5) Don’t wear ANY jewelry or have anything important on you when you race.
6) Sunscreen – Bring it and use it.
7) Bug Spray – Bring it, use it, spray, spray again and consider it your new perfume for the day.
8) Wear clothes you won’t mind getting stained and are breathable through the heat.
9) Make your camping reservations early to secure a spot if you want to stay the night.
10) Bring cash for parking, food vendors, and BEER!
11) Warm up your hands by giving as many high fives as you can.
12) Make sure you have a Positive Attitude!
Register for the next Hillsborough River Swamp Stomp by clicking HERE!
Want to camp that weekend!? Visit Reserve America to make reservations today.
|My MudRunFun camping group!|
Memories were made and stories will be told
about this weekend!