After 9 months and three ‘severe cross-country’ challenges I have been name a Mud Master Grade 1. The Mudrunner series, hosted at Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire, is comprised of the Mudrunner Classic (10km-ish cross-country run), Ice Breaker (7km-ish run, 20km-ish bike, 2.5km-ish run) and Oblivion (10km-ish run/obstacle course). It is in the same vain as Tough Mudder but not as high profile and therefore less crowded, the trails navigated are those used to test Land Rovers which means that even if it has not rained before the event mud is almost guaranteed. What I love about this series is that there are shorter children’s races held before and, on the whole, those taking part are those there for a good laugh and not of the tough guy bullshit variety.
As the popularity of these events has risen rapidly over recent years a number of hypotheses have been formulated trying to explain the phenomenon, cutting the psychology stuff aside I quote the well-known adage “each to their own”. I took Mudrunner up for a number of reasons. Firstly, I had broken up (for geography reasons) with a boyfriend because he was joining the army in the US, we had so enjoyed watching Bear Grylls embracing the roughness of nature that I too wanted to attempt this too. Even when not wading through a lake or slipping down muddy hills, I don’t feel there is anything that makes me feel more alive than beholding nature for its beauty and power and working up a sweat. Secondly, having left uni last Summer and starting a job with shifts continuing lacrosse was not an option. As a new challenge which I could train for on my own and encourage all round fitness Mudrunner seemed like a good answer.
As a kid I hated running but this was the easiest discipline to adopt as. Essentially, it is just putting one foot in front of the other, albeit hoping to be faster at it than the other competitors. Much to my surprise, as I gradually improved, I began to allow people to call me a ‘runner’. Learning to love cycling, however, was my biggest challenge. I had an accident when I was about six years old which has scarred me psychologically for life, even now as I train for my first sprint triathlon (I’ll get explain that progression on another post) I pause to think if I really want to do this as I mount my bike.
So, what spurred my motivation to conquer these challenges? Besides the obvious health benefits and I loved that I had a genuine excuse to accrue new kit and equipment. Take these cool neon Reebok headbands I wore to my final Mudrunner event to today, I love their motivational message (ignore the fact they reference cross fit) and uplifting colours. Every little helps!
The other reason I wanted to complete the Mudmaster challenge? This bragging hoodie at the end of it all as well as the t-shirt and medal which came with the completion of each event!
If you are interested in seeing more of the motivational kit I have recently acquired and have my eye on then check out the Style Sans Frontieres ‘Shortie’s Sporty’ board on Pinterest.