I both won / didn't win the Tempe Mad Mud Run... and then somehow won

JonRoig.com | Posted: 2008-05-05 01:55:50 | 6642 hits | View in Hi-Fi Mode

I came in first! That counts... right?

Let me say this right off the bat -- this was not the best organized race I've ever done. The folks behind the race, Sierra Adventures, are mostly an adventure sports events company, so this was their first foray into a running event. And it showed.

Two weird things happened. First, I pretty much duked it out with some highschool cross country kid for the lead spot in the race. Now... did I expect to win? Of course not... I mean, not only am I not that fast to begin with, I just race a 50 mile race a week ago... So, it surprised the hell out of me when all of a sudden we were some huge distance ahead of the next runner.

Now, we were kicking ass, don't get me wrong, but I guess we missed a turn somewhere and, given that this was an obstacle course, we came across some roller type things with arrows that more or less matched the official race markings. (The few that we'd seen...) So... we did the natural thing and followed the arrows over the rollers and proceeded appropriately.

It turns out that the rollers had nothing to do with the race at all -- they were just a bunch of random tubes with the same color arrows out on a poorly marked course filled with obstacles.

Right. Obviously, it seemed weird that were so far ahead, but we proceeded through that and a small assortment of other obstacles, including a wall to climb, a mud pit, some over / under hurdles, some hay bales, and a balance beam... actually, that balance beam was really challenging. Going from a run to having to balance... not easy. And I don't wanna sound too harsh here to the organizers -- they did a good job with a couple of good obstacles, given what they had to work with.

By the time we get through the mud, the cross country kid is well ahead of me... I'm following his muddy footprints towards the finish, since there aren't any course markers. Somewhere between the last obstacle and the finish, the kid gets totally lost, and I somehow finish first.

Now... that's kind of a hollow victory. 'Course, almost immediately after my victory, I was informed of my penalty for cheating / course cutting and that I'd be penalized 10 minutes... whatevah! (They didn't even have a clock up, so I didn't see my official time anyway...)

What do you do after that? Stick around for the awards? They were outta cups, so even getting an after-race drink was kinda challenging.

Bumped knuckles with the cross country kid -- who was actually pretty upset about the situation... Chatted with a couple of the other runners for a little while, watched people steam in over the finish, covered in mud... went out and grabbed some breakfast.

Overall, I'd give this event a 3/5... totally fun and definitely a a great idea, just not really well executed. I'm looking forward to seeing where the folks behind the race take it...

Update: According to a friend of a friend who stuck around for the ceremonies, I was announced as the winner... which makes that literally the only thing I've ever won ever. We're not just talking races... the only thing I've ever won of any kind. We'll credit this victory to age and guile. (Yeah....)


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