Thursday, July 23, 2015

Mudderella Review

May 9th I participated in my first Obstacle Course Race -- the Mudderella -- at the raceway at Englishtown, NJ.

We began our journey to the Mudderella back in January when my friend and coworker asked me if I was interested in running this course.  Having never actually completed a full mile run, I was scared, but in the end it was totally worth it.  We gathered a team of 7 (though only 5 of us actually participated on race day), ordered team shirts, and paid for premium parking for our minivan carpool.  We arrived at the race site at 7:45 for our 8:45 heat.
Because we paid for premium parking we were only about 20 cars away from the entrance and didn't need to check a bag or bring anything with us.  Premium parking had its own separate check-in which was MUCH shorter than the regular check-in side.  We were also able to go back to our car after we registered to put away our drivers licenses and any other last minute things.  I would absolutely recommend spending the money for this convenience.  It was also great to be able to walk back to the car to get our stuff to change without it being a hike when we were muddy and exhausted.  
The course kicked off with a lot of running before you even reached the first obstacle....

The obstacles: 
Obstacle 1: I've got your back - here you piggy backed with a teammate -- you ran half of the way carrying them and then switched

Obstacle 2: down to the wire - crawling through mud under wires - remember to keep your head and butt down -- no need to slide on your belly either

Obstacle 3: dirty downward dog - yoga pose side stepping your way over a muddy pit - really not difficult at all

Obstacle 4: tough tatas - wall climb with a rope - by the time we got to this obstacle we had caught up to the heat that left before us.  The Mudderella team was reinforcing one of the walls and we waited for that one to be done before climbing up and over.  The wall is high up, but there's a rope to help you over and thin planks every 3 feet attached to the wall to give you a place to put your foot as you climbed (this is what was being reinforced).

Obstacle 5: balancing act - uneven balance beams 
Obstacle 6: ain't no mountain high - climbing up and over mud mountains (5-6 of them) into pits of muddy water - you NEED to do this with help from others and if you have bad knees I would suggest skipping this or wearing knee pads

Obstacle 7: skinny jeans - crawling through narrow tunnel into mud - Steph went down face first but the rest of us slid down on our butts -- I don't think there was a preference either way

Obstacle 8: squeaky clean - super sudsy car wash that you crawl through - because we went through the course earlier in the day it was no where near as gross as it became later on
Obstacle 9: break the glass ceiling - crawling under netting in the mud - this was in the back woods of the course and wasn't really low to the ground so you didn't have to shimmy on your belly - it wasn't bad

Obstacle 10: surprise party - looks like a straight up pool of mud but it's full of drops in the water - the best way to go through is holding hands in one narrow line with the first person feeling out for the drops

Obstacle 11: new heights - a wall with no ropes - only about 7 or 8 feet tall - also had thin planks every 3 feet for you to put your foot

Obstacle 12: another down to the wire

Obstacle 13: hat trick - cargo net to water slide - we wound up going down this obstacle early in the day and apparently there were multiple people getting injured because they did not follow instructions.  You HAVE TO sit up the whole time, DO NOT LAY DOWN!!  They wound up closing down the obstacle for an hour in the middle of the day to make modifications

Yes I screamed the whole way down
Obstacle 14: wheels in motion - walking across tire swings - the trick to this was that you could not step off of your tire until the person behind you had one foot on to secure it - this prevented the tires from swinging too much
And of course, what race is complete without a celebratory (free) beer?!
Overall: I think this course is something that you don't have to be crazy athletic to complete.  It's mainly women participating.  The course was created by women so there isn't anything too crazy going on.  You're not being timed so the only person you're racing is yourself.  It was all about team work and making sure everyone made it through.  There was no pressure to complete every single obstacle.  

Pros: not timed, no penalty for skipping an obstacle, teamwork is the message, plenty of water stations on the course

Cons: a lot of running up front and between the first couple of obstacles, a bit pricey (in my opinion), you have to pay for everything ($10 bag check, $20 parking, $35 premium parking, spectators had to pay too!)

We all are signing up to do it again next year.

** Photos courtesy of Mark Hulbrock **

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