Sunday, June 8, 2008

Muddy Buddy report - edited

So yesterday I biked 38.5 miles and ran 6.2, and Jeff biked ~30 and played hockey. Yeah, not so well-rested legs going into today's Muddy Buddy event :)

The San Jose Muddy Buddy takes place at Joseph Grant County Park, which is halfway up to the top of Mount Hamilton - windy, mountainous drive. I'd never been to this park so it was great to get a chance to check it out!

The race begins with the all-male teams and goes from youngest to oldest, then the co-ed teams and then the all-female teams. Eventually the time came for our wave, the cannon went off and the bikers took off first (runners for each wave were started about 2 1/2 minutes later). Jeff started on the bike while I started with running.

The first leg was approximately 0.6 miles of steep uphill. It wasn't far into the run at all that I began passing people who were pushing their bikes up the hill. My legs felt so dead and I knew I was still feeling yesterday's workout. Luckily I knew Jeff was tired too and we were doing this for fun, so it wouldn't matter if I was slow. Finally I reached the top and went for the first obstacle - we had to get up a climbing wall and then down a rope net on the other side.

Grabbed the bike and headed out for Leg 2 - about 1.4 miles. Have I mentioned that I haven't ridden my mountain bike in nearly a year, and I don't remember how to change the gears, and not maintaining a bike for a year means the gears don't change well? Anyway, there were a few hiccups at the start of my ride but I muddled through. I passed Jeff who was running along well and was rewarded with a lot of nice downhills before the next obstacle, which vaguely resembled bleachers without seats and we had to climb over and under the bars that ran across the structure.

Jumped off the obstacle and went running for Leg 3 - approximate distance 1.5 miles. Finally my legs felt good and I really took off on the downhills here. Jeff passed me about 2/3 of the way through making good time on the bike. The obstacle at the end of this leg was a large inflatable structure with a rope net on one side that you had to climb and a slide to ride down on the other end.

It took a little longer to find the bike at this stop (Jeff hadn't been able to leave it somewhere quite as obvious) and then I was off riding for Leg 4 - about 1.2 miles. I watched some spectacular crashes on this leg and just tried to survive without falling off the bike. I wasn't really pushing for speed. At the end of this one, we had to walk across a balance beam - a surprisingly hard challenge for many people, but I think they were all hot and tired!

And then I was off on the final run in the last leg of just 0.7 miles. Jeff caught up with me a couple minutes from the end and I sent him ahead to the finish to get the bike set aside and have a breather before I arrived. As much as I wanted to walk, I pushed on so he didn't have to wait long for me.

We met up and headed into the final obstacle which must be completed as a team - the mud pit! What they don't tell you about the mud pit is it seems to have a high gravel content - my knees are all cut up. Anyway, we had to crawl under a series of ropes stretched across the pit - Jeff went all the way on his belly and I managed to stay up a bit more. We were both still a filthy mess afterwards, but YAY done.

After a long rinse with the hose we went back to the car and changed and then enjoyed our free beers. We'll have to wait for the official results to be posted online but from what I saw posted at the finish line: (1) we beat my goal of finishing in under an hour and (2) we placed in the top 10 in our age group!

*Edited to add* Results were posted and we were officially 9th out of 71 teams in our age group!

For more on Muddy Buddy, here's an excerpt from an MSNBC article that explains it:

BOULDER, Colo. - Some came to mountain bike in their underwear and others were motivated by the promise of free beer. But it was the prospect of getting really dirty that brought Chris Phillips to town for an offbeat, obstacle-filled running and biking race.

“One thing was on my mind the whole time: the mud pit,” Phillips said after finishing the final obstacle of the Muddy Buddy race. “Plus, it was hot, and I was ready for a little cool down.”

The Muddy Buddy, a six-mile duathlon that ends with an Army-style crawl through a 50-foot-long mud pit, attracted more than 1,600 racers recently to the Boulder Reservoir. Two-member teams traded off between trail running and mountain biking, with each leg divided by a giant air-filled wall, monkey bars or some other kind of obstacle.

Some racers dressed up as pigs or superheroes with red capes and tiaras taped to their bike helmets. One scantily clad couple wore white tank tops and briefs.

“It’s definitely different,” said Phillips’ race partner, Andrea Pietka, a first-time Muddy Buddy racer who thought the event would be a good break from her marathon training. “All the mud and the water and the obstacles, it makes you not feel the pain of running. Well, you still feel the pain, but it’s more fun.”

And for now, until the official race photos are released, you'll have to be satisfied with this one from the article - just picture it's Jeff and me in the mud!


LadyPatsFan said...

Terrific run down. Makes me wish I could have been there. Sounds like a great run. I can't wait to see pictures.

LJ said...

awesome report! i did it as well.. and about the mud pit.. I KNOW! that crap hurt!