This past Saturday I got to participate in Pretty Muddy Women’s Mud Run in Richmond, VA. This was my very first mud run and I was so excited. Special thanks to Fit Approach (#sweatpink) and Pretty Muddy Women’s Mud Run for the opportunity!
I was also lucky to have my Sweat Pink sister and good friend Cara from Running In Sanity join me, because getting muddy with a friend is how to do it…or so my kids tell me. Cara and I headed out to Chesterfield, just outside Richmond, (about and hour and a half ride from Virginia Beach) at 6:45 AM. Not too early for a race, no Disney 2 am wake up call here . The weather was already nice, not too hot or cold and temps in the low 60′s. Our wave was expected to leave at 10 AM.
After arriving at Pocahontas State Park we headed to check in. I was glad we were able to race day check in so we didn’t need to head up to Richmond 2 days in a row. There was a hay ride (picture tractor/hay bails) from the parking lot out to the check in area. We were happy to meet up with Anna, another of our Sweat Pink Sisters from Virginia just before boarding. Cara and I had the pleasure of meeting Anna at Nike DC as she had also participated in Team in Training Virginia. Check in was fast, we picked up our pins and numbers and headed off to gear check. The first waves had started earlier that morning and we got to view some of the happy, muddy girls finishing up the course. Now I was really excited. Mud, real mud! I mean how often does a Mom get to get muddy on purpose! We hit gear check and the port-o-potties and got a pre-race pic together thanks to Anna before she checked her bag. I had left my phone in the car because I had no way to keep it clean and mud free
The start/finish area consisted of a DJ, a photographer, Pretty Muddy merchandise tent and a few food vendors with items for sale. We headed to the start line while the DJ pumped up the corrals with music and a short impromptu pre-run stretch. Countdown on let the fun begin!
The terrain heading into the first obstacle was grassy and very uneven, we were all very careful. In my mind I was concerned the entire course might be this way, thankfully it wasn’t. The first “obstacle” was a fun bubble type tunnel, it was a tad windy so I think some of the bubbles were getting carried away, but still fun. The second one was all about slipping /sliding muddy fun…yeah! We climbed up the backside of a giant slide and down the wet side directly into a mud pit!!! I was able to keep the mud from the knees down, however Anna lost her shoe in the mud pit and I had to help pull her out, hehe. Note to self and everyone else…lock laces not the best choice for Anna, however my double tied #sweatpink laces held up like a charm
The rest of the course terrain was mostly well beaten dirt trails and grass which was much more of what I am used to not to mention much safer. I love trail running and this did not disappoint Pocahontas State Park was just beautiful. I remarked to my buddies that God had done good because the weather and the views were so pretty. There were a total of 10 obstacles for this 5k. Some muddy, some not. We climbed nets and walls, through tunnels, carried wood and got to crawl through mud a few more times. The runner landscape consisted of beginners, birthday girls, experienced runners to tutus and good spirited fun. All the runners at this race were respectful and encouraging. Good, clean…well muddy girl fun!
My only wish was that there had been photographers at each obstacles. Most people did not carry phones/cameras because of the nature of the mud. I would love to have had the opportunity to look for and purchase pictures from all the obstacles, especially this being my first mud run. According to one of the volunteers we asked there were photographers but they were roaming between different parts of the course.
Post race you were given your Pretty Muddy 5k medal, a Propel and a protein bar. We also stopped for a post run muddy picture, you must have one of those! The DJ was still pumping the music as waves continued to leave. There was also a live band in the finisher area. Just past the finish area was a rinse station with hoses set up to clean off and de-mudify. Next to it was a large privacy tent for changing into some clean and dry clothing for our long ride home.
All in all I would say Pretty Muddy is a fun, muddy experience for women. I had a great time with my Sweat Pink sisters. I loved the number of groups we saw running together along with women who braved the course alone for various personal reasons. There were bucket listers, birthday girls and more! Everyone seemed to have a good time and the volunteers where encouraging and informative. The course was well-marked. Pretty Muddy also has family waves that were set to take off later in the morning. Female participants were welcome and encouraged to run the course again with their families.
The medal we got was a nice bonus and a great memento. Personally I didn’t find the course as challenging as I would have wanted, however with that being said I think it was the most fun I have ever had getting muddy If your thinking of a first or a fun all female mud run Pretty Muddy Women’s Mud Run would be a great one for you! I would do it again with girlfriends if given the opportunity.
So what’s next? Tough Mudder maybe Ha,ha…I think I have fallen in love with mud.