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Camp Pendleton Mud Run

Several of my co-workers and I decided to run in the Camp Pendleton Mud Run. The mud run is a grueling ten kilometers of hills, dust, water, and mud, on the US Marine base near San Diego. Individuals can race too, but we chose to run as team of five, and thus had to cross the finish line together. Proceeds from the race benefitted the Marine Corp and Navy.

Team "Mudder Fudders" was made up of me, Katherine Clarke, Larry Lem, Mike Reddig, and Brian Selvy. All of us work at Honeywell.

I ran the mud run twice: The first time was in 1999, with coworkers from Honeywell. That race was memorable because of the sheer amount of mud that I acquired over the race. I fell face first off a wall, into the mud, and lost my carkeys and watch in the final mudpit. (I drove over 400 miles that day, as I drove down in the morning, got a ride back to LA from a coworker, imposed upon my roommate to return me to my car, and finally returned home with my car.) I also ran the race two years ago, with my friend Stephanie Blanch (also from work). That race was somewhat hotter and sunnier, but I had learnt from my mistakes and did not loose the carkeys.

This time around, Elizabeth and I drove down the night before, and stayed at a functional hotel in Oceanside, California. This morning, we headed to the base at about 6:30am, and fortunately found the rest of the team near the registration desk. The team race began at about 9:15am or so.

I believe that I ran fairly well. There were some very challenging areas on the course, including the massive uphill from mile 1.5 to mile 3. I always seem to have difficulty with the main river crossing: It must be about 100 yards of waist-deep brackish water with a slipperly, muddy bottom. It takes strong legs to keep pushing forward and keep the feet from sucking into the muck.

Results are available online. We competed as a mixed team, and placed 24 out of 125 in that group, or 64 out of all teams. With our total time of 1:16, we were only sixteen minutes from the top mixed team. The title seems possible, with extra training and preparation.

I was curious to see how the run would be changed by the fact that many of the Marines of Camp Pendleton are deployed in Iraq. The atmosphere was festive, though, and it seemed a bit more "corporate" this year, rather than the more military-oriented races of years past. But it was a good time, and I thank our hosts, not only for the fun race, but also for the solid work on the other side of world. "No better friend, no worse enemy."

Our team, before the race. Left-to-right: Larry Lem, Katherine Clarke, Mike Reddig, Brian Selvy, Jeff Borlik. The early morning hours before the race began somewhat cool and cloudy, the sun came out as the starting gun was fired.
The teams sprinted out from the start. (All of these photos are available due to Elizabeth.)
At the final mud pit. Runners have to crawl under the flags, through thin mud that is about two feet deep. In years past, it seemed like the mud was thicker, and people emerging from the pit were unrecognizable.
Mike and I crawl out of the pit.
Teams have to link arms and cross the finish line together. The Mudder Fudders can be recognized at the center of the photo, due to Mike's pony tail and my white skin.
After the race, and showers, and a change of clothes.



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woohoo! I made the weblog!!

Enjoyed your website. My daughter's boyfriend is a Marine at Camp Pendleton and wants us to participate in this year's MUD RUN. We are not interested in time but JUST FINISHING! The Marine,Mark, of course, is in good shape where as the rest of us need some help. My daughter 22 wants to also lose some weight. Her roommate wants to do it for fun and get in shape also. My husband and are are 58 but in reasonably good health. He, Marc (Marc with a C!) plays tennis 2 or three days a week and does some work-out (not sure how much) in his own gym at our home office. I train with a PT 2 times a week, play tennis and do Yoga once a week. WE (except Mark) have NEVER done anything like this before! What are your thoughts? Is there anyplace that we can find a training schedule to monitor ourselves? Appreciate any feedback.
Sincerely, Jane in Topanga, Ca.

Jane -

Good luck! I suggest training on hills. It will build up the leg strength that you need to do well. Also, the first three miles includes a very difficult climb (that doesn't seem to ever end). I hope that it goes well!

the web site is under constrcution to view the different Obstacles in the Mud Run event, however, I hear there will be a 5 foot fence to get over, how was that for you? My only concern is getting over that.

Ah, the 5 foot fence. I found it fairly easy, perhaps because of the adrenalin. Put your hands on the top of the wall, jump up so that your arms are straight (down), lift your feet on top and then over, and then jump down. People are usually bunched up a bit, and someone can give you a lift up if you end up needing it. It'll be fun!

I will be running the Mud Run in October and would like to know what you suggest for traing and what kind of shoes to wear.

Berry - Wear OLD shoes! I've thrown my shoes and socks away after each race. For that matter, running shirtless is common too. As for training: My recommendation (as above) is to run hills. You will need the leg strength.

I have been training for the mud run for about a week now. I quit smoking cigs last sat. My legs shake after two miles. Wish me luck!

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