Last winter I ran in a cross country 3 race series with that title, but since the ground was frozen, there wasn't any mud, just frozen grass. This past Saturday I took the 3 big kids up to the farm in the pouring rain (Tim stayed home with the little ones so they could go to a birthday party) for a race to benefit the local Catholic school and swimming lessons. I also had a page-long list of items to bring back such as a dictionary, atlas, cookbooks, and all the pumpkins we could wedge in between the children and bags of groceries. Bangor now has the only military commissary in the state and knowing that staples such as gravy, pumpkin, and toilet paper are almost 1/2 the price of the local store, I stocked up while I had the opportunity.
We ran into trouble when we finally pulled up the driveway and unloaded our gear to find that Maggie had left her backpack behind. No shorts, no bathing suit, and I found out the next morning, no running shoes. Luckily Mary shared underwear, I contributed a tshirt for a nightgown, and we scrounged in the closet and somehow came up with a slightly too small pair of shorts and a slightly too big bathing suit. I didn't get any sleep after drinking coffee at Friendlys to stay awake on the drive and not getting there in time to adjust the spotlight on the barn so it blazed away all night, shining right in my eyes. But we managed to get up, get some breakfast (we had no bread or milk in the house so I made fresh bread), and get up to the field where the race was located.
After raining all night, the air was windy and cold and the fields were wet, I went up to my ankle in a puddle within 5 minutes of arriving. Perhaps Maggie was the smartest of us all, for when we got out of the car she was wearing Crocs. At first I wasn't going to let her run the kid's fun mile, thinking that she has left them in the mudroom on the farm, but after figuring out that she left these too at the other house, I signed her up a few minutes before the race began. The priest led the children in prayer and after he said Go! they were off like a shot. 7-8 minutes later the fastest kids started returning, mud streaming down their feet and legs and sprayed all up the backs of their shirts, Maggie right up there in 4th place. I guess the open holes in her shoes allowed the water to just flow out rather than make her feet heavy. Mary and Will tied for about 10th place.
I heard, "Ready, Set, Go!" myself about 40 minutes later and slid my way over the slick grass and churned up mud to a 5K time of 25:23, my slowest time at that distance, but fast enough to take 2nd place among women. We didn't stick around for the awards, hopefully they will mail mine, because I had to get my crew home for hot showers and fresh clothes before swimming lessons, lunch, and errands. I think for next year the school should promote the event as a mud run, perhaps they would get a much bigger turnout in the process.