When I was asked if I wanted to participate in Mud Hero as a columbia social media influencer I immediately responded with yes! Not just because Columbia Sportswear produces some great quality gear, good environmental and ethical practices but because I have been talking about entering an adventure race like this for a few years. So when I was asked it gave me the reason I needed to do something for me that was both challenging and fun. How could I say no?!
After signing up to be a social media influencer I remember sitting on the couch that evening thinking ‘ok now I have to do this race. I have three weeks!’ Three weeks is not enough to train but luckily I had been doing the occasional 5km run, some hikes with a 20 lbs baby on my back and the odd full body plyo work. I knew I could complete the 6 km mud race but was not sure what sort of shape I would be post race.
So who did I enlist as my co-racer? My good friend Janine. We played both University Rugby and University Sevens Canada Rugby together. Seeing as I had just had two kids and she spent the Saturday before working out for 8 hours I thought we were the perfect match. If needed she could carry me throughout the race. PERFECT!
The day of the race we got our two little girls all ready to go and drove the 1.5 hours to Red Deer, Alberta. Luckily my husband Cam would not have to look after the girls by himself while I would be completing the course that would take about an hour. My mom was extremely excited about the event, although thought I was nuts, and rallied up a cheer team of her, my brother and a seasoned Mud Hero participant to cheer me on. We arrived and shortly after met up with them before the start of what would be the muddiest race I had ever participated in.
As the race started I heard the clapping and cheering of my energetic 3 year old. The smile on her face as she watched me run by, knowing that she was looking up to me as a role model was incredible. Doing these activities has instilled in her the desire to be active and so I know that taking time for me is important not just for my sanity but also to show my daughters that they can do these types of activities.
Mud Hero is such a great event for so many types of people. I would describe it as a fun obstacle race. Unlike other obstacle races there is no punishment if you do not complete an obstacle which really makes this an inclusive event. Of course you can choose how fast you want to complete the race. Furthermore throughout the race people help each other complete the obstacles. I passed a girl in extremely sticky mud that yelled “I’m going to die here”. I looked at her with a smile and let out small laugh and yelled “NO YOUR NOT.” I then preceded to give her my hand and pulled her out of the incredibly large mud pit.
It is absolutely impossible to avoid getting completely muddy. My clean loving friend definitly tried. However when one of the obstacles with a slide the sends you underneath the waterdowned mud pit you need to give up being clean right there if you have not already conseded to becoming muddy. Just plug your nose, hold onto your head band and accept the muddy adventure.
Other mud pits are not softened with much water. Slinking into the sticky mud that cakes onto you creates a mud beast as you emerge from the mud pits. Then sludging up the big hills with shoes weighed down by mounds of mud is no easy task. It tests your stamina and endurance.
The race was exhilerating and it felt great to exercise out in nature. The race setting was in a valley through trails surrounded by trees, some water and of course mud! Without kids I was able to focus on my own strength and fitness. I enjoyed every minute as it took me back to my competitive rugby days. It felt so good to push my limits.
As I was running to the finish line I ran by my 3 year old to give her a high five. She put out her hand but as I neared she took one look at my hand and pulled hers away. Apparently my hand was too disgusting as it was covered in mud. Post race my 1 year old would not come near me as I am pretty sure I resembled some sort of swamp monster. Off to the rinse off station where we washed off in freezing cold river water which I would like to say is the final obstacle in the Mud Hero race.
I reconnected with my family after I had rinsed off the majority of the mud. My 1 year old let me hold her again and she seemed to have forgotten the nightmare that she had seen only 30 minutes prior. We got our much deserved drink from the beer gardens and took in the live music. Everyone seemed to have enjoyed the day at the event and this mama had a blast! I even actually thought that I was not going to be that sore until the next morning I woke up with led filled arms and noticed a big gash across my legs. I felt tired, beaten up, exhausted and to be honest…. It felt great! Great to know that the pain was because I had done something for myself. Great because I had a blast. Great because I know that my daughters loved the event and watching their mama be hardcore.