Monday, May 20, 2013

Emerald Coast Mud Run

This weekend Ali and his friends Kenny, Jim, and Daniel competed in an awesome race for a very worthy cause. Read his recap about this fun weekend:

This weekend was our 11th wedding anniversary. While most couples may have planned a romantic couples get-away to celebrate...we drove on over to Niceville, Florida for a mud run!! Our team signed up under the elite division, so we knew the competition would be tough!

We arrived Friday evening and headed straight to packet pick up. I received my race bib and my race shirt. We met up with the guys for a great seafood dinner and then returned to the hotel to get the boys in bed.
Saturday morning Jim and I met up with Kenny and Daniel at the race site.

The Event
The Emerald Coast Mud Run is an off-road run in Niceville, FL, with various obstacles and challenges that participants must endure in order to complete the course. The event consists of 5k races, kid’s races, and an ‘elite’ 5 mile course. All of the money raised from the event benefit building loving homes for orphans.

The Lead-Up
I came into the Emerald Coast Mud Run feeling relatively well prepared. I had an intense week of tenacious training on the playground where I learned to master intimidating obstacles such as the monkey bars that I knew would be on the course. However, I was concerned about the rope climbing obstacle and had no idea about how I would go about getting up that thing. After watching YouTube videos on various rope-climbing techniques I was still uncertain about how it would go. Therefore, I figured I’d just worry about it when the time came.
In the lead up week to the event I had been totally smoked by my team mates on a track workout. These guys were much faster than me but I knew I’d be okay as I had the secret playground training under my belt.

The Race
Our team set a fast pace through the first mile of the course. Running on a winding trail I puffed and panted at the back of our team. I’m sure they wondered why they asked this slow old Brit to be on their team. Needless to say it wasn’t long before I started asking myself what I was doing and questioning my sanity. It wasn’t long however, before the fun really began as we started coming to the obstacles and challenges. We went through the first mud crawl, over the rope wall, and through the rope web with relative ease. As we started into another trail I saw the rope climb coming up. My heart raced as I knew this was probably going to beat me. To my surprise, I was able to get up the rope (the knots in the rope helped considerably) which was a huge confidence boost for me. We continued, taking on mud mountains, hurdles, sand bag carrying, an over-under mud pit, a super cool water slide, haystack climbing, wall climbing, and of course the final mud pit. As I crossed the finish line I was wet, tired, and extremely dirty but it had all been a fantastic experience.

I’d like to thank the race director and all of the volunteers for putting on such a well organized and fun event to raise money for such a good cause.

And here is the "after" picture!

The fire department had a truck set up to spray the runners off after the race. Our boys took advantage of the water and spent about 15 minutes "cooling off". They had worked up a sweat playing in the children's area.

After the run we found a little place called Fresh Greece. All 4 of us ordered gyros, and they were amazing!! If you are ever in Niceville, you should check them out. The menu also offers pizza and salads. After lunch we drove the coast road back home.

We had a great anniversary weekend spending some quality time together as a family. The kids are already asking if we can come back next year so they can do the kids run. It would be fun to run it as a family!

UPDATE: Team Simply the Best won the elite race!!! Way to go guys :)

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