“This mud hath a pleasant seat”
On Saturday, June 11th Katie and I drove down to Modena, NY to run a 5k that promised to break the monotony of our race schedule. Both of us have professed our love for running trails, and we will take any excuse to get off the pavement…but the Rebel Race got us way, way off the pavement—it got us crawling and trudging knee deep in muddy, sludgy (is that a word?) water. It looked, as we drove to the race, that the rains would continue throughout the race, but fortunately the rainy drizzle fizzled out and allowed us to race under an overcast sky. Katie and I opted to wear our yellow No Meat Athlete shirts,and between those and our Vibram foot wear we got lots of questions and comments, which made us really happy. Some of the comments:
“You better move, those vegetarians are fast!”
“Is honey vegan?”
“I kept seeing you guys and I though, ‘Man those vegetarians are quick!'”
“Do those hurt to run in?” No “You didn’t run the race in them did you?” Yes, we did.
“Hey, they should make an “All Meat Athlete” shirt.” Ha ha, they probably do.
“Hey, can I take your picture? My girl friend is vegetarian!”
“Nice shirt. [pointing to herself] Vegan.”
“So, are you raw too? Eating a raw breakfast is the best thing that has ever happened to me…”
The race took place on Hurd’s Farm, and much of the obstacles were placed on and around the farm’s orchards and in the surrounding woods. The first real set of challanges had us running through tires (2) and then stopping and performing leg lifts, sit-ups and push-ups (3). The first shocker came when we turned a corner and found a wide river under overhanging ropes (5) that we needed to pull ourselves across. It was not so much the temperature of the water that made it hard, it was the smell—it was as if we were swimming through run-off (I think we even heard someone warn us not to swallow the water!). We climbed over hills of mud (6 and 8), and then it was back into the river to swim over a set of floating logs (9). Trying to get over a set of walls (10) proved really tough given how slippery and wet the tiny foot/hand holds were. It was nice that some of the competitors helped each other to get a foot up, but some guys were a bit overzealous in their desire to get ahead, pushing and jumping the line to try and get over the walls. Neither of us enjoyed crawling through the set of tunnels (11), banging our knees and elbows, but the true difficult challenges
came when we headed into the “Jungle” (12): there was lots of mud pits; climbing up, sliding down and hiking along wet, dirty cliffs; keeping our footing in knee deep water. Out of the jungle we traversed a giant wall (15), a large cargo net (17), and a hale bale pyramid (18)! The end of the run had us thigh deep, thigh deep, in a disgusting mucky lagoon (21), crawling through a mud pit under barbed wire (22) and then, to top it all off, leaping over fire (20). (Our finish time, which, lets be honest, didn’t really matter, was 40:55. I suppose not a bad 5k time given all the stuff we had to do to finish.)
Now, we had LOTS of fun doing this, and we met some cool people, but if you followed my narrative and compared it to the order of obstacles on the map you will see that some do not line up in the correct order. This just highlights the major problem with the entire event: it was very disorganized. The course was poorly marked, and no one told us were to go or when the waves were supposed to start. Lots of people got lost off-course, and I am amazed that we did not find ourselves wondering through the woods somewhere. All that said, we were glad that this race was kind of under the radar. It did not seem to be as publicized as The Warrior Dash, The Tough Mudder, or The Spartan Race.
After the run we took advance of our free-beer ticket and had some veggie burgers and corn on the cob. We saw lots of muddy people, and listened to a pretty decent band. All in all it was a really fun time, and something we will probably do again (maybe next time we will push ourselves and try a farther distance). You can see lots more pics on our photos page.