A Poor Woman’s Exfoliation Treatment

This was my sixth Camp Pendleton Mud Run 10K obstacle course. Before the race, I got a little text message from 734’s Dad, “Enjoy your day at the spa.”

The MC for the race was a muscle-bound, funny Marine – probably a drill sergeant. As we entered the shoots, he said, “You’re in for the race of your life. You can’t get out now. There are no chicken exits.”

He also asked us, “How much do you love your Marines?” The crowd shouted. “You know the ones who are volunteering today would love to be in the race. But they can’t be in the race. So when you cross that finish line, I want you to show those Marines how much you love them. Before you hit the showers, go on over and hug a Marine.”

We spent a half an hour in the starting shoot. I ended up toeing the line right up front. A little intimidating when I looked at all the eager bodies, including the high school cross-country runners behind me. I joked with a big guy behind me, “It’s your job to make sure I don’t get trampled!”

When the gun went off, it sure felt like a race.

Here’s how the obstacles were laid out:

First half mile – High-pressure fire hoses sprayed us every 100 yards, 3 times

Three quarters of mile – Cross-country terrain with mid-calf deep water gullies

One mile – “The Beach” – about a quarter mile of deep sand

Mile 1-2.5 – Suicide Hill/Tires – a long, winding fire road trail with tires at the top to dance through

Mile 3.5 – Rambling brooks to run through – very sketchy footing

Mile 3.75 – 5-foot Wall surrounded by 20-foot, knee-deep mud pits

Mile 4 – Pond – 150-yard pond to cross – a mixture of swimming and chest-high wading

Mile 4.75 – 5-foot Wall surrounded by 20-foot, knee-deep mud pits (Yeah, I landed splat on my back after swinging over that one.)

Mile 4.85 – Tunnel Crawl – preceding by another 20-foot, knee-deep mud pit

Mile 5.5 – Steep, Slimy Hill Climb – terrain has been dowsed by a fire hose

Mile 6 – The Ultimate 30-foot Mud Pit Crawl – the final coating

Mile 6.2 – The Finish Line

After I crossed the finish line, I looked around at the other participants. We were a mess. Smiles all around. I saw several military volunteers working a tent. I said, “I’m supposed to hug a Marine!” Three guys pointed at another guy and said, “We’re Navy. Hug him!!” The guy complied with a smile and we gave each other a big hug. “Thanks for your service,” I said. Even before we hit the showers, we glowed. The Mud Run does that to you.