Sunday, July 7, 2013

Muddy Monk "MERICA Race Review

One of many awesome teaser pics
Excited about this race as I didn't have a race on July 4th so looked forward to 'MERICA!  The excitement only built more b/c of the awesome pics they posted on FB. Who doesn't get excited about mullets, american flags, cut off jean shorts and a handful of hulk impersonators. 

The race started at 10am  in a forest preserve in Palatine.  We got to the site around 9:30 and Scott, as always, was able to "make" a parking spot so we were close to the start. MuddyMonk doesn't force you to do early packet pickup which is awesome.  Packet pickup was a breeze and  also registered Josh for the Mini Muddy race.  The $35 registration included:  a cotton tshirt, american flag bandana, glass jar, drink cozy and lots of food goodies at the end of the race. 

Before the race, met up Jen and Tia, took some photos and I had a small freakout looking for my ID... only to realize I put it in my bra... classic!

Race started with a dude chugging a beer and we were off.  

Note the hulk in the front of the pic. 
The race started in the field and we were led to the trail path.  It was well marked but there was some congestion to get into the path... I was actually able to re-tie both shoes and we didn't move at all.   As a trail run, the paths are small and i felt it was fairly technical for a novice like me. I saw a few girls biff it from tree roots but I managed to stay vertical. I personally thought the course was tough, there were inclines and a few jumps over little streams. The trails ranged from 2-6 feet wide and then maybe 20% of the race was on the gravel path.  Luckily, it was shaded but the humidity was raging and I was sweating like crazy.  The race was 5 miles (garmin said 4.6) and kept an 11 minute mile pace for 3 of the miles with the first mile slower (guessing b/c of the backup leading into the trail) and then mile 3 was slow.  During the areas where it was only 1 person wide, i just followed the feet in front of me and didn't try to pass them b/c it was a lot of effort to pass and then i was concerned I would tire and these people would be mad for me for slowing up the line.  I also had one stretch where I followed a girl with a beer can attached to her cut off jeans.  I am pretty sure she put beer tabs or coins in the can and it was pretty annoying but classic "MERICA. 
One of the inclines during the race
One of the free photos Muddy Monk gives you!
Hit 4.25 only to realize we were coming out of the preserve and heard the classic music so knew we had to be close.  So picked up the pace and finished the last .6 miles as the fastest split.  Scott snapped a pic of me come to the chute.  Was given my drink cozy and jar and then proceeded to get some post race goodies!
Gummy Worms and Bears... yes please!
My only plain blue shirt was non-drifit and sweat like a dog... attractive... gross
After picking up some goodies, we walked over to the kids races.  They did a .5 mile and full mile.  Although I tried to get Josh to do the .5 mile b/c we were a bit pinched on time, Josh insisted on the mile run.  The kids were off and were surprised how long it was taking them... then we saw the kids coming back and josh was in the lead with another kid.  I started screaming at them and the other kid ended up out kicking josh in the last 20 feet. After Josh crossed the line, he was drenched in sweat and said there were minimal volunteers to direct them so it sounds like they ended up running a lot farther than 1 mile. He said they "kept telling them to go different ways" and at one point, Josh had to turn around and went from first to last. (Obviously this is from an 8 year old but I think the the fact it took 25 minutes is safe to say it was over 1 mile! Just happy all the kids were fine and J just burned a few more calories than planned) Josh got a medal and a compass from REI.  Was so proud of our little guy and cannot wait to run a few more races with him this season. 

Love the Muddy Monk Series. I think us road runners, need a change of scenery every once in a while and think these races are the perfect remedy for that.  I will definitely be integrating these races into my season next year!