I have become a Mud Connoisseur of sorts these past few months. Mostly because my Double Trifecta journey has made me travel from Florida to Georgia, South & North Carolina. A Trifecta is a Spartan Race Series, of 3 races. They involve a Sprint, Super & a Beast. The medals to these races, form a larger medal, once all races are complete. I wanted to do it twice, so I had to travel a bit. Oh, and these races have to be done all in one year.
It is blacker than the night. It has an odor close to sewer gas. While it won’t necessarily steal your shoe, it may let you sink up to your butt in it. If you are experiencing this type of mud, its either Florida Swamp Mud or Florida Farm Mud. I have been blessed with the opportunity to wade through snakey Florida Swamp Mud as well as roll and crawl in Florida Farm Mud, with black Angus cows looking on, in the next field over. At a race in St. Cloud, FL, put on by the local police department, called Robo Mud Run (which was awesome), there were true snake/gator warning signs in the swamp areas. I later realized, after climbing a seemingly large hill for the state of Florida, that it was a retired landfill hill. Priceless.
It will steal your shoe, without warning. If any odor, it smells like clay molding day in elementary school Art class. You may be crawling up an embankment with what you thought was a good grip, and slide right back down–way faster than you went up it. It will cake to your shoes, and make your feet feel like they are concrete blocks. It is red…Wet or dry, its red. But it will not stain you. This is the Georgia Red Mud. At a Rugged Maniac race in Conyers, GA, which was my first race experience in Georgia, I experienced chlorinated mud/water pits. Yes. You heard that correctly. Due to threats of water borne viruses and bacteria (whole other blog post discussion), Rugged used pool chlorine, like you would buy at your local pool supply store, in all their water obstacles. It was mind boggling, approaching a pit that looked like the chocolate milk but smelled like the public pool. Never have I felt so dirty and clean at the same time!
While its color is nothing to write home about, its nothing but good ol’ brown mud. Its consistency is perfect for making a mud pie. It washes off when its wet almost with a mist, but it definitely is gritty. Let it dry, and you feel like a stone statue cracking during an earthquake. You typically don’t risk shoe loss in it, but smear this mud on a slip wall obstacle, and you’ve got yourself slippin’ and slidin’, and hopin’ and prayin’ you make it to the grip ledge. North Carolina Mud. I’ve been to two Spartan races in North Carolina, one which was on a farm in Fayetteville (Fort Bragg area, is what it is known for) and Asheville, at a rock quarry. I can’t say much for Asheville mud, because of the intense, not so Floridian friendly inclines, but I can tell you, the Slip Wall at that race, was like
they greased it with Crisco! The mud in Fayetteville dried on me, and when it came to getting it out my hair, it took about 45 minutes of shampoo, condition & repeats.
Last, but definitely not least. Blood red in color. Kind of smelled like blo
od, now that I think back, ha. Tasted terrible, too. Not that I wanted to taste it, but sometimes, shit happens. While it had all the above features the other state’s mud h
ad, it also STAINED. I typically wear Under Armour Heat Gear tops, and Xrace Wear shorts, and never encounter damaged clothing due to any mud runs. But this mud, put a red tint on everything I wore that day. Being somewhat of a lighter skin tone,
and being an “enhanced blonde”, ha, the clothes were the least of my worries. I felt so terribly sorry for the red stained wash clothes and towels I left for the hotel staff, along with a hastily cleaned shower. At first entry of the shower, water and mud splattered the tile walls and shower curtain, and it looked just like a full color scene from Hitchcock’s PSYCHO. My hair, even after 10 plus shampoos, could not shake the red tint. Sooooo, my hair went short. Real short. Then, even though I thought I was clean, my white pillowcase had an orange tint where my neck and shoulders rubbed on it the night after the race.
Overall, though, you gotta be ok with mud…Hell, I love it. I mean, you are paying to be dunked in it, roll in it, run in it, accidentally get some in your mouth. The time in between the start line and finish line, getting muddy, climbing things, seeing beautiful landscapes, makes me feel like a kid again, when I had no worries, and life was so simple.