Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Grasslands... er, Mudlands Half Marathon Fun Run

Friday was a beautiful day here in the Metroplex. Sunny and 70 degrees. Unfortunately, that's not what was predicted for Saturday. Highs in the 40's with a chance of rain.

Saturday morning I woke up about 4:45. It was quiet. I peaked outside, no rain and about 45 degrees. Perfect, I thought. Not even 10 minutes later the rain is coming down so hard I can hear it pounding on the roof. Uh oh. I don't want to run in the rain. Well, at least it's still in the upper 40's.

I figured it was going to be about a 90 minute drive to get to the race. Torrential downpour the entire drive over. And the temperature continued to drop. By the time we got to the address listed on the website, it was still raining and it was now 32 degrees.

But, the address we were at wasn't where the race was starting. The address was just the headquarters building. The race start was another 15 miles away... But we had no idea how to get there! We finally found someone who could point us in the right direction.

By 8:15 the rain had stopped. but it wasn't any warmer. The half marathon started at 8:30. By the time we finally got to the start, it was 8:45. But hey, this was their "fun" run. The other races were a 50 miler (started at 7:15) and a marathon (started at 7:30). So, once we got our numbers and decided that as long as it wasn't raining we might as well run it was about 8:50.

They led us to the trail head and as soon as I took my first step, I fell. Luckily I landed on my hands (otherwise my butt would have been covered in mud!). With all the mud- did I mention it was shoe sucking mud? You know, the kind when you step in it you're can feel your shoes being pulled off? Yeah, try that for 13.1 miles. Except...

Around 4.5 miles we got off the trail. Not sure how that happened, so we wandered around for a bit. Said hello to a couple cows and finally picked up the trail again. And even managed to head off in the right direction again. Passed a few runners/ walkers we had passed earlier (and got laughed at for getting lost).

We had to open and close our own gates during the race.  Didn't want the cows to get out afterall lol!

So, after spending 2:47 and 14.12 miles out in the mud, we made it to the finish line. Collected our finisher's medals and grabbed our BBQ lunch. We were so cold and covered in mud that we weren't even sure how to get clean enough to get back in the car to drive home.

After the race. Hmm... We don't look that muddy...

At this wasn't even that bad. We had a stream crossing (or was it just a washout from all the rain?) not too far from the finish that washed off most of the mud off our shoes.

When we got home and I had a chance to shower, this is what I found under the caked on mud...

So, what did we get for our little adventure in the mud? How about a sweet t-shirt and finisher's medal?

And of course, the satisfaction of knowing I completed my first trail race. As one of the runners we passed said... "You'll probably never run another Grasslands like this one."

Oh, I was really glad we finished before this moved in...

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