Perfect North Slopes, Greendale, Indiana - June 26, 2013
I learned something on this outing... plan, plan, plan and coordinate. I went to the evening/night version of the Mud Stash under the impression that the course was going to be easier and shorter than the standard Mud Stash because it was to be at night. With that in mind, I had the intention to do the standard competitive run with the first wave and then run after dark with the group. When I arrived on June 26 at 6 p.m., I asked what the course layout was and was informed it would be the same as May except longer with more obstacles because part of the planned course in May was washed out from storms. They were excited to be able to use that part of the course today. The May 11 Mud Stash was 3.75 miles and brutal. Oh Boy! They were right, I haven't found any GPS data yet but the course was at least 4.25 miles. Being in the first wave, there was only 4 people ahead of me. Once we crossed the lake pontoons, I lost track of them. There was one or two guys staying with me through the first mile but after we started hitting the mud hills around the creeks, I pulled ahead of them thanks to my trusty Inov-8 212's and not needing the use of the ropes to get me up the hills. After that, I was completely alone for 75% of the race. Nobody in sight in front or behind me. It was a very surreal and an almost peaceful feeling with just me against me. I admit that it helps to have somebody better than you to run a race with because it usually helps push you harder but this time Jason Reed was at the Spartan Beast in Utah, Devon Brown had other commitments and Brian Ballard is on the DL, so I was on my own. The one great thing about the Mud Stash is the terrain. They use the land, creeks, culverts, landscaping and anything else they can as part of the course and they do it well. If you aren't running through water, you're stuck in mud, running up a hill, crossing a creek or negotiating one of the many man-made obstacles. 58 minutes later I crossed the finish line feeling good about my time in comparison to what it was in May. It gives me a great sense of accomplishment to constantly be doing better than myself previously. I know I will never win any of these events but I just want to constantly improve myself.
I started looking for everyone but could find nobody. I finally saw Jeff and Cheryl Drury but we knew we were at least another 90 minutes away from a run in the dark and then we lost track of each other. Julia Rohs came in and decided she was good with one run through and I don't blame her. She owned it this time compared to her first run in May. 9:30 rolled around and still nobody. At this point I assumed Jeff and Cheryl had went ahead on a second run so I went and took a shower. 9:45 and I'm all clean and up walks Jeff and Cheryl, still muddy, asking if I was ready to go in the dark. DAMN!!!! I so wanted to do this but was already clean. Sorry guys, next year there will be NO competitive run and nothing but running in the dark with as many people as we can get coordinated. I love this course but we really missed out on a fun time. I promise to coordinate better next time. I wish we didn't have to wait a whole year.