Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
Have you ever heard of mud runs? Might one be on your bucket list? What about a mud walk? No matter your age, if you are in good health, we hope you’ll go for the
gold, er mud! Fellow Boomers, you (and we) are not too old to tackle new activities. If you have followed our blog for a while, you know how much we stress the link between exercise and the brain.
We decided to represent for the 50+ crowd at the Love Mud Run held this past Saturday in Temecula, CA. A mud run is an event (usually a 5K) that has a trail, obstacles and a lot of mud. It was called a run, but almost everyone walked, including us. If you see that families and kids are encouraged to participate, you can feel fairly confident you won’t be the only person walking! In fact, you can select which obstacles to tackle as well. If the event title has the words “Warrior,” “Tough,” “Challenge,” “Spartan” or “Timed,” you might want to run (or walk) the other way. As for us, it was our first voluntary mud event since our college soccer rainy days.
As first-timers, we were a bit in the dark as to exactly what to bring, wear, or expect. Luckily, we had Carissa Bealert’s radio episode, Mud Runs are Fun for Everyone in our own Fun and Fit radio archives so we took her advice. Combining that with what we learned, we thought we’d share some tips so you will feel confident signing up for your own mud run.
- Wear a unitard no matter how much your loved ones tease you about hauling out your 90’s outfit. You will keep mud from running down your waist or pulling your pants down with caked-on mud weight. I threw my Zensah t-shirt over my tank top unitard for sun protection and so I would not have to hold my abs in all day in that tight uni!
- Don’t worry about looking uncool, geeky weird, bizarre, mismatched, or unfashionable. Embrace the goofiness. Everyone is sporting an odd outfit and no one looks glam by the end, so you might as well wear something fun or functional and have at it. We saw all sorts of creative and unusual attire.
- Apply lipstick if you feel the need to dress up at all. (I did). Even if you throw fashion to the winds, a little lipstick under the chapstick never hurt a Boom Chicka Boomer!
- Bring a water bottle with you. Then ask whether the course offers water stations. Refill your bottle at the water stations. Keep the cap on tightly as you slog through mud and obstacles. If that water’s browning, you’ll be frowning. Rather be drowning your thirst with clean water!
- Bring a towel or plastic trash bag to sit on in the car on the way home or to wherever you have a thorough shower lined up.
- Put on sunscreen. A lot. If you have thin hair, put it on top of your head too.
- Look for a bag check (expect a fee). In that bag you will want a change of clothes. (Most mud runs offer a hose or shower station, so you can get at least marginally clean). If you are able to park near the finish line, the bag check may be unnecessary.
- Take a small pack with you. In that pack you will want to have water, more sunscreen, a bandana to cover your face in case it’s dusty, and goggles in case it’s dusty or very wet. And a small camera, but pack it in a well-sealed baggie.
- Wear shoes that you don’t mind throwing away. After the mud run, you will not want those shoes in your house. Flip-flops or slip-ons are a good choice post-run.
- Pick and choose the obstacles you want to take on, and walk around the ones that don’t seem fun. The whole point is fun, so if you only climb up, slide down and splash into 4 of 5 mud hills, so what?
Just so you know, everyone who finishes gets a medal. At this particular mud run, we saw no-one being timed, so our race bibs were merely to prove we’d paid. If you go with the intent to have fun, you will do exactly that. Oh, if you want to keep your shoes onwhen your feet get stuck in the mud, lift with your toes, not your heels.
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