RWH Events, a local race Organizer in the North Carolina area, are known for their wide variety of races to include Mud Runs, Zombie Races, 5K Foot Races. RWH challenges their Competitors, Supporters and Sponsors with the slogan ” Live Big. Do Good”. RWH creates, develops and manages these events then uses the proceeds to support local non-profit organizations in North Carolina. This week was the 3rd Annual MudBug Run that supports our local MDA (Muscular Dystrophy) Organization. Over the past 2 years, MudBug Run has constantly been improving and changing for the better; they started with the “Original” 5K MudBug. and as they are in their 3rd year, they chose to add a 10k version – The MudBug XL. If you Love a Challenge, Mud, Fire, Ice, Water, Walls, Hay bales, Dumpsters and crawling, Then this race may just be the one for you!
As I arrived for the Mud Bug Run Saturday morning at Hagan Stone Park just outside of Greensboro, NC in Pleasant Garden, parking lots were already filling up from the 1100 people that were scheduled to compete but with help from attendants, organization and communication of getting cars parked was flawless. After taking the short walk from the parking area to the registration area, I was hyped and ready to go. The pre-race process seemed flawless, from the availability of race waivers, checking in, receiving bibs and free beer wristbands. During the process, volunteers and staff were very professional and friendly with smiles on their faces, giving you a warm welcome to the event and answering any questions you may have. I then made my way to the bag check-In, where those attendants were friendly and knowledgeable in their task by organizing bags by tagging them and putting these bags with others in that competitors heat time. I was at this event a couple hours before My heat time at 11:45am but with all that was going on, I never got bored. There were vendors to check out, great band playing on stage, watching earlier heats come through the Start/Finish line, The MudBug pre-race was an overall great time.
It was finally time to Race, the 11:45 heat was announced from the big speakers. As I and other competitors made their way to the Start Line there was plenty of hype from serious competitors, those running for fun, and a positive energy from all the fellow racers I met. An attendant was on hand to get our heat off and going. Prior to starting, he ensured all those with timing chips were in front of the pack so those they wanted to be timed or compete would have that fair advantage. Air Horn blew and it was Game Time. There was plenty of room starting off without any bottlenecking at the line. As I ran straight down a grassy hill, this trail had curved off to the left where I came across the first obstacle of the race, I jumped and dodged the 8 – 55 Gallon barrels. I knew this was a pretty easy obstacle, so I kept a pretty easy pace to save my energy for what was yet to come. After I cleared the barrel obstacle, I ran through a series of mud pits known as the “Long Slog” where I nearly lost my shoes. (I would definitely recommend racers tie up your laces tight and even tape up you shoes in mud this thick!) Once I got through the slog, I turned up into a slick mud covered hill with local firefighters spraying their the hill – and competitors – with their hose. Staying up was definitely a challenge! After completing all the mud pits I finally got a little bit of a break with a small 1/4 mile or less trail run up hill and reach the Fire & Ice Obstacle. It was a nice quick high jump over the blazing fury into a long commercial dumpster filled with Ice chilled water – brrrrrr! Out of the water and back onto the Tough Trail – It was a very technical mud, dirt, rocky trail even for the most avid trail runners, the trail is not something you want to sprint through.
After completing the trail, I went straight into a Murky Mud filled section of the woods, I did lose one of my shoes at this point, but not being a fan of losing things, I personally went back to get my shoe. This led up to the “Can you Swim” Obstacle, where I climbed up a towering scaffold to a Giant Water slide straight down into the lake and Swim or walk across this lake, I came out of the water and hit “Hay bale Hell” These hay bales were enormous and double-stacked with ropes that were needed to climb over, Lets not forget to mention that Hay Bale Hell was an uphill challenge, Already worn out from the obstacles I took a short run into the woods where I found walls to climb over and under. Out of the woods, I came to “Cinder Blocking”, That was TOUGH, I picked up a cinder block and headed for this obstacle where I jumped a hay bale, military crawled under some netting, got back up and jumped another set of hay bales still carrying this cinder block and back under Barbed wire, Ensuring to keep a low profile so not to get bit by the Sharp Wire. Dropping the cinder block I continued through several mud traps and a much longer trail run jumping and ducking under more walls On completion of this trail, I made it to “Balancing Act” and believe me, balance is required. I walked halfway through the pond and onto floating Pallets in the water, where I did in-fact fall off myself, Coming out of this pond I come across one of the water points where you could choose water or strawberry smoothie, That frozen smoothie hit the spot. I continued to run through more mud traps and back up to the road where new competitors were getting out of their cars headed to the start – one look at me and they realized it was going to be a really muddy race! With my run almost complete, I saw the last obstacle at the finish line but first I had to get down and do some dreaded burpees. Tired and worn out after the burpees, I continued up the cargo net taking me on another towering scaffold. Looking down the ramp to the ground , I could see that the very last challenge consisted of getting through the local college lacrosse team with hitting bags trying to knock competitors off their feet. I found a hole through the pack of guys and nearly sprinted through – except for the last lacrosse player getting a good lick on me! All in all, I was proud and satisfied in finishing The 3rd Annual MudBug Run!
If you’re in the North Carolina Area, or looking to visit, I highly recommend checking out The MudBug Run or other RWH events. I have participated in many local events and Mud Bug is by far the best one I have run through, and I could definitely see this event getting much larger, and maybe expanding to more cites around North Carolina.