Saturday, April 13, 2013

Muddy Monk DoubleDown10K

Heard about Muddy Monk from a girl that I paced at Lincoln and was intrigued.  I liked the idea of having a chance to try true trail running with no obstacle courses and was ok with getting a {little} muddy.  Also, upon looking up the races, I found this race, Double Down was super close to my house... and i was sold. 

Pre-Race
Missed pre-registration so got to the race about 40 minutes before the start.  Parking was super easy (parked maybe 200 meters from the start line) and registered with no issues.  They had a shirt/no shirt option and I opted for the no shirt option ($5 cheaper). After I registered, went back to the car to stay warm before the start.  One would think i wouldn't need to say that in mid April but it was chilly!!  (30's)

Race
They started right on time and we were off. Race consisted of one little out and back and then did a loop.  Within the first 1.5 miles, there was a stretch that had 3" of standing water.  Man, it was cold! and definitely took any warmth out of my legs.  After that cold shock, it definitely took some time to warm back up.  Legs felt a little like I was coming off my bike... Brick-ish.

Trail was probably 70% dry and 30% muddy.  During the dry stretches, i felt good and it was fun to run on the trail, jump over logs and dodge puddles.  I was warned to watch for roots by some of my trail running friends but it didn't seem like there were a lot out on the course. The other 30% of the course was the goopy, sticky mud that made me lose a shoe 3 times.   The first and second time was funny but by the third time... i was kindof annoyed and ready to be done. Last 1.5 miles felt the muddiest and if i did this again, i would get gators or duct tape my shoes to keep them on.  There was a pack of fast guys and i had to wonder how they ran so fast through the mud.  

Unlike some of the Mud Runs where the emphasis is on the obstacles, this race is about running.  It kindof was hard for me to want to push myself on the last two miles as I kept loosing my shoes but still enjoyed myself.  I also realized that it was easier to just go straight through the mud vs. trying to run around it as that seemed to waste a lot of energy and b/c it was so muddy... trying to go around it didn't avoid the mud. I felt like trail running like this was a different mentality.  Pace wasn't important as much as consistency and managing effort was.  One stretch, i was sliding all around and realized I was expending so much un-needed energy.  I liked the mental change up as i like the variety. 

The race offered two distance options - 10K or 20K for the same price which I have never heard of and loved the idea. I opted for the 10K as I had some family commitment around lunch but I would have done the double if I had more time.   After I crossed the finish line, I assessed myself to realize I was quite muddy!.  I got my bottle opener and redeemed my food ticket at the Wiener Wagon. They also had lot of treats (gummy bears, pretzels, bananas). Treat table was stocked!  And b/c I don't drink, i gave my beer ticket to a lucky random.

Got into my car, only to realize I didn't really prepare for the mud post race.  Took off the shoes and put on flip flops.  My socks were also disgusting!   And used the wax paper I got from the hotdog to buffer the back of my pants with the car seat.  Once i got home, rinsed off my shoes and they are now drying with newspaper in them.  I was also given the tip to take the shoe laces out which made the cleaning a lot easier. 
Overall, it was a great well run race. I think i would have loved it more if it was less muddy but... The Muddy Monk loves mud!  This is a great race for trail newbies like me and will be back for another. 

13 comments:

  1. I don't think you were the only one out there with shoe troubles. There was one guy I passed who was complaining to anyone that would listen that he shouldn't have worn easy laces. Luckily mine stayed on. This was my 2nd Muddy Monk run, so I knew to conserve energy, but I was dancing around the mud at first like you, but 2nd time through I just plowed through it since I couldn't get any muddier at that point.

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    1. see you at 'merica. i expect washed out cut off jean shorts

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  2. Looks like a crazy race! When I saw the pictures posted on Facebook before the race, I was glad my race today was on paved roads :)

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  3. Sounded fun. I love trail running...in fact, I rarely run anywhere else anymore! I swear by Salamon trail shoes with the quick lace systems...they never budge!

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    1. need to ck salomon shoes. i have a zappos gc burning a hole in my pocket

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  4. LOVE Muddy Monk races. My next one is the Wholly Hell in June. The last one I ran was the 'Frozen Five' back in February, and it was everything you described except ice instead of water, and a torrential downpour. Totally rad-fun, though :)

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  5. Certainly lived up to its name! I love their marketing strategy for these races.

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  6. Duct tape really helps for races with sole-sucking mud - I've used this technique at the annual Cross Country Challenge in Gilberts which always features a couple of muddy creek crossings (unless they are frozen over - the race is in early December). Another trick is to put drywall screws into the bottom of your shoes - they are short enough to not go into your foot, but long enough to stay put and the protruding top of the screw provides nice traction in the mud. Soudns like the race was fun - I hope to catch one of their other races this season.

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    1. Ingenious ideas! thanks so much for the tips. Some of the ChiRunning Bloggers are doing the "Merica Race. Hope to see you there. I need to look into the drywall screw idea before then!

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  7. Wow, sounds like quite the unique experience!!! What a way to really let loose and just have a blast - it must have felt like being a kid all over again! Your pictures of your shoes post-race are CLASSIC.

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