The Ultimate Marine MudRun Challenge is one of the oldest and longest running mud runs in the U.S. and Saturday, October 4th they showed us why. It started with a glorious morning and a drive into the South Carolina countryside. There you found a hay field with State Troopers helpfully guiding you to park in a rolling pasture. Its a short hike to the gates where this spectator friendly race only charged one dollar per spectator, in a world where those fees are usually at least twenty this is very welcome indeed.
My spectator was directed to his sign in and I to mine. The sign in was well organized and not congested. We met back at the volunteer tent where I found my dog wearing a staff shirt and being welcomed like family. This race is apparently very dog friendly too. The small furless ones are also welcome and were in abundance. They had their own race set up on the side of the festival area.
We had the pleasure to meet some of the wounded warriors and watch them set off for their heat. Then it was on to the chute and our own heat time. And we’re off! Almost immediately trudging through thick ankle deep mud, the tone was set. One of the hardest obstacles, the Tarzan Swing, was now one of the first few as the course has been run backwards the last two times. I personally prefer running this course the way it was originally set up. The obstacles then build in difficulty and help stretch you out with the over and unders. The course uses the terrain well and will have you breathless at the obstacles that utilize the hills. Here a helpful Marine was more than happy to motivate us up and down these seemingly endless mounds.
Ankle Biter Creek is a particularly punishing bit of terrain and went above and beyond to take out my knee, but forward we went. Some very nice trail running was stretched out between obstacles. The vertical wall was impossible by yourself and encouraged team building skills. Almost the entire course is accessible to spectators and we were cheered along as we went. There were three water stations (that I remember) with helpful volunteers and plenty of filled cups. My two man team didn’t experience a single bottle necked obstacle. The course did lose us twice where the trail was a bit confusing, some additional tape would have been welcome in these spots.
We headed back on trail with the help of some spectators and the other twenty or so racers that took the same detour. The finish line was a fireman carry and had a local varsity cheerleader team lining the way. There was plenty of water and bananas at the end with yet more friendly volunteers.
The festival area was very clean and dry, filled with families enjoying the athletes celebrations at the finishers corral. The showers were well pressured and the changing tents more than adequate. The food vendors were well priced and the food very tasty. There is no alcohol sold at this event, so don’t look for that free beer token we all love.
Overall this is a well run and enjoyable Mud Run that I highly recommend, it’s one of the muddiest adventures you will ever have. I will definitely be back and hope to see you there.
*Photos By: Cassandra Rogers
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- The Ultimate Challenge MudRun- “A Muddy Adventure” - October 12, 2014