I say it every year but this is one the most fun and well organized races we run! This was me and Chad’s fourth year doing it!
2013, 7 months pregnant with Avery:
2015, a week before I found out I was pregnant with Chloe!
We are lucky that Mud Hero holds it Alberta event right in our city and now only a few minutes from our house. The location could not be better in my opinion.
This year I was lucky enough to be a social ambassador for the race as well as for one of their sponsors, Columbia. I had no problems jumping on the opportunity since it is such a fun race that is for everyone. I also got to test out some pretty sweet Columbia gear for the race:
This year they also added an Ultra race that was an additional 4km for a total of 10km. Chad was (of course) all over this and transferred over once he heard about it, the process to transfer was easy-peasy.
I ran on the Saturday (the event is on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday!) at the 10:30am heat. I always love this time since you can finish before the sun gets too hot but still not be rushing in the morning to get there. We always aim to be there about an hour ahead. This year they made some changes to registration making it even better, you signed waivers online beforehand so at the check-in you just agreed to it again on a mini iPad then you got your race package.
Our races packages consisted of a shirt and headband with our race number on it. I actually made a comment on the way to the race that I hoped they had new shirts since past years have been the same and they did (see below), as well instead of bibs that just get dirty and make it hard to see your number they moved to the headband (like Spartan) which I think was a great idea. You also have your timing chip for your shoe that after can be traded in for a free beer or cooler – bonus! You also get free photos from the race, and every year I find at least 3-4 great shots of us!
After I got all checked in I checked out some of their sponsor booths as well as their Mud Mall where you can buy some more Mud Hero swag.
I had a $50 credit for being an ambassador at the Mud Mall so my friend and I got tanks and sunglasses. The tanks were only $20 and probably already a favourite since it fits be perfectly!
Plus the colour is pretty awesome too. I think all the swag at the Mud Mall was very well priced for the quality.
Soon we were lined up to get ready to run, I was running with two friends and we just were in it to have fun. Side note – Chad is a mud run beast so we never run together at these things even if we run the same day!
The 6km course takes you through 18 obstacles, from mud pits, to water slides, climbing walls, cargo net climbs and the dreaded Hamburger Hill. Over the years I have learned a few tricks of my own:
1- On climbing obstacles just move, do not look down!! I hate heights so this key for me!
2 – On the Kong cargo net climb – log roll your way across!
3 – In mud pits do not stop, you will get stuck!
4 – On the hill just keep going and look a few feet in front of you!
The course ends with a series of mud pits (first photo above) which I swear they add to every year to make sure you are extra muddy 😉 Chad had every intention on getting photos of me but someone (Avery) had to pee so they missed me! He caught me after though:
I finished at 1:10 which is my usual finish time!
After some photos we all headed to the showers. They also improved the showers back to the overhead ones this year – YAY!! They had a lot of pressure making it much easier to clean off and faster.
The event has a beer garden area that also has food and a live band – we did not go in after Saturday but Sunday we did to redeem our free drinks and enjoyed the live band!
Lets talk a bit about my Columbia gear since it was AWESOME. I wore the Conspiracy Titanium Outdry shoes and noticed a huge difference in my traction in the mud. Areas where people where sliding I did not at all. I have only ever worn old runners to this event and never again – this shoes are key!
I also wore Columbia Trail Flash Capris. I always stick to crops in this race to prevent my legs from being too banged up. These crops were a mid rise which is key since you do not want your pants falling down from the weight of the mud! I was apprehensive to wear them in case they did not come clean but they cleaned up in one wash!
Now to talk about the Ultra on Sunday. It added 7 obstacles and 4km, including more hills (and steeper ones), a peg wall climb, a higher wall climb and more. The race was $10 more than the 6km and your shirt and medal both said Ultra/10km on them. Chad ran at 12:30 Sunday but their wave was late so he actually went at 12:45.
I had no idea how long he would be but guessed 90 minutes. I watched for him 1km from the end and when I did not see him we dashed to the bathroom so we would not miss him finish – and guess what? We missed him!!!
His shirt turned into a dress!!
Like I said he is a beast, he finished in 1 hour, 17 minutes, 15th overall (458 people ran the Ultra) and second in his category.
He loved the Ultra and said he will be back next year for sure – as will I but I love my fun 6km one! Registration is already open here, so make sure you register early to save money and get your desired heat time! This is a race you will not regret doing!
Disclaimer: I was given the opportunity to run this race at no charge, as well Columbia products at no charge in exchange for my honest promotion and thoughts on the event and gear. All opinions are my own.