For months now I’ve been enviously looking at pictures of OCR races and secretly wishing some of my friends were mad enough to join me! During the summer when things werent great I had a chat with a few people who do them and they told me I should bite the bullet and enter as the races are really friendly and even if I did go alone I wouldn’t end up alone. So I took the plunge and entered 3 races, the 1st was this Saturday just gone and I had convinced a couple of my running buddies to give it a try with me as it was quite a tame course compared to many!
We rocked up Saturday morning at a YMCA campsite in Southampton to rain, now don’t get me wrong I was mega excited to get muddy but theres nothing worse than starting a race cold and wet! Thankfully the rain eased off ready for the start time!
The first part of the course was up and down across a huge long grassy field, if theres anything I hate running on long grass comes top of my list, I always turn my ankle doing it and my pace drops right down. You went up and down said field 3 times and it was by far the most boring section of the event! After that you crossed over to the other side of the site and into the woods which was great fun! It was hugely muddy, soon after we were faced with our first dunk in water, we had to cross a stream. I bravely said I would go first, well it was my idea after all! I plunged in and then battled to get out the other side! It was hard to climb a riverbank with nothing to hold onto! In the end one of my team mates gave me a good old shove up the backside and I managed to clamber up, we then helped haul each other back out. Once we had crossed once we crossed back over a bridge and ran a bit further down where we had to cross again but this time twice in the water. As this was only a stream I actually found I didn’t find the water too cold, although my face in the first picture of me would suggest otherwise!
We then meandered through more woodland and mud before facing one quick dip across a stream width but deep bit of water where it was easier to swim the few metres, again it was tough to get out, you just had to find your footing somehow! Once out you then rentered and walked along the side of a pontoon before clambering back out and then it was round to the longer water section, you had to get across to a sluice/slide of concrete where you were then plunged into another pond of water and then had to clamber over a tree and then concrete block to get around into another stream where the mud was ridiculously thick, I don’t remember how I got out the first time, my friend got stuck in it behind me and a couple of gents had to help pull her out of it. We then had to run back around and start it all over again.
The sodding field of zig zagging was still there and still boring, mind numbingly so! I was eager to get back over and enjoy the water again! That felt like more of a challenge. The second time around the lake felt even colder and I took a mouthful as we plunged into the bottom pond and promptly tried to spit as much out as possible! Knowing how my friend had got stuck the first time I had a plan for navigating the thickest bit of mud, stay at the edge! I used as many trees as I could grab that were firmly in the ground and not going to give way under my weight and used them to pull myself around until I could grab the bridge and pull up to exit! It worked other than my foot entering the thick mud at one point and I thought I would lose my shoe! I didn’t though! We finished in 1:38 which I’m pleased with for a 10k distance with obstacles, mud and swimming!
Thankfully this event had hot showers which were very welcome at the end of the event! I know thats a luxury and most events don’t! We got dry and warm and went for a coffee. I was on such a high, and still am in a way. I cannot wait to do another race now! It was so much fun and I loved getting muddy and wet and challenging myself! Its 2 days later and my calves still hurt, as do my shoulders, chest and arms but I love that feeling of knowing you worked really hard! I’m hugely proud of my bruised and battered legs which I’d be proudly showing off in shorts if it wasn’t for the season change!
Would I do Fuddy Mud Sucker again? I would, but I’d do the 5k option not 10, having to face that boring field for a 2nd time was mind numbing and theres no way I’d want to do that twice again but other than that it was a lovely beginners event and now I have a time to beat next year!