For almost as long as I've been running, so about 2 years now, I've always wanted to do a mud/obstacle race. Now I don't really like to admit it, but up until now there had always been something holding me back; I had never felt confident enough or ready to participate in an event like this. I ended up doing Mud Hero Urban Toronto because my friend Armand had asked me about running it with him and possibly getting a team together and I couldn't say no - I had to do this so I could prove to myself what I was capable of.
Now come the morning of the race I'm pretty sure I thought I was going to vomit in my mouth; couldn't have been more nervous. I found it to be really intimidating going into, just because I felt like I didn't really know what to expect. All I knew was that I was going to wear clothes that I didn't necessarily care for, mainly my shoes, because I had no desire to clean them afterwards. What was great was that Mud Hero had bins set up for all of your muddy shoes and if you didn't want to keep them post-race they would end up cleaning them up and donating them. Brilliant!
Morning of I decided to park at Ontario Place since I had other plans that had me staying in the city. It was a flat rate of $20, which wasn't the worst but it would've been nice if they had adjusted the rate or got a special deal for runners since we weren't going to be there all day. Armand and I got there earlier than our expected wave time so we ended up going 15 or 30 minutes early so we weren't just standing around and doing nothing.
Now the course at Ontario Place as indicated on the website had 23 obstacles, but not all actually existed on course and some were moved out of the order listed. Don't get me wrong... things being out of order is totally fine with me, I was just slightly disappointed that there weren't as many obstacles that there were supposed to be. As far as my memory serves me the obstacles that I have put in bold were the ones that existed and even so some of the obstacles that were on course were not the same as the video footage or images you see on their website; now I have a feeling that it had something to do with the location of the event - hosting in a more rural area like Albion Hills is going to give you more naturally placed obstacles with more mud, compared to a more urban/man-made location like Ontario Place, but who knows. Either way I still had an amazing time and it was a great first experience with a mud/obstacle race. After the run we were able to rinse off at an area with tons of garden hoses, before changing in these tents provided; just gotta make sure you're not too shy since the tents are just a large wide open room. =)
Mud Hero is great to go with if you have never done a mud run or even any race of sorts, especially if you have tons of hesitation. You are not required to fulfill all obstacles, so that right there can take away some of the anxiety or pressure you may feel pre-run. There was also tons of support via volunteers and other runners, which really helped.
I would definitely participate in a Mud Hero event again and I plan on trying different mud/obstacle races in the future, however I don't think I would opt to do an event like this alone. It just seems like the type of race that you'd want to be able to experience with at least one other person.
Gun Time - 00:52:53.4
Chip Time - 00:52:44.0
Pace - 08:47
Overall Place - 1584/7691
Division - 154/1069 (F 25-29)
Gender - 616/4711
Also, you gotta love that post-race you get free pictures... as long as your bib isn't too muddy, they should be easy to find. =)
Tonight I participated in the annual 20 Minute Challenge hosted by The Running Room. I had no idea that this event even existed until my friend Kim told me about it; the title of the event pretty much explains it all - Running Rooms all over North America host the 20 Minute Challenge where they encourage people in the area to come out and complete 20 minutes of physical activity (running, walking, etc.). Kim and I went to our local Running Room and ended up with a nice 3k run. For participating in the event, you received a protein bar (which was quite tasty) and a hat. It's a great event and really perfect for the whole family. Can't wait until next year!