This year has been a great year of growth for the Mud Endeavor events. Originally hosted at the same venue each race, this already stellar series has expanded its horizons and brought its innovative course off of the motor cross field and into some beautiful new terrain.
April 5th brought Mud Endeavor fans to a fresh location, as we embarked out into the scenic beauty of the Masonic Park at Little Manatee River in Sarasota Florida. Offering over 200 acres of gorgeous woods, with the river winding it’s way lazily throughout the property, provided the perfect setting for an obstacle race filled with mud, water, and fun.
This Mud Endeavor boasted a course just over 3 miles which provided a unique and challenging race! The race began with a decent down a hill and straight into a small lake for a swim out and back to shore. This posed an interesting predicament as competitors who are not strong swimmers instantly found themselves in unfamiliar territory. Fortunately, as a former swim team member, I loved that swimming played a part in this event, and eagerly splashed in without the dread that accompanied a good portion of those running beside me.
The first mile proved to be an exceptional challenge, as it brought forth a fierce onslaught of mud, water, and difficult obstacles. Mud Endeavor did not disappoint, as it introduced some great new additions to its already stellar lineup of quality obstacles. With plenty of water, steep muddy inclines, walls, a rope climb, over unders (even a series of boards that participants had to duck under water to clear the low-hanging boards), and an awesome new monkey bar style set of parallel bars to maneuver, runners were quickly left with burning lungs and a fire in their hearts, eager for more.
The course wound us through beautiful, wooded trails with rustic ridges, rooted hills, and plenty of mud to travel through, and despite the intensity, one could not help but admire the surroundings as we traveled onward. And no Mud Endeavor is complete without a slick, steep slide or two, careening gleeful competitors into a pit of water yawning below. This event was no exception as participants plunged down two well constructed slides into a lake that also provided the focal point for the festival area.
This specific race proved to be the great equalizer with regards to the competitive wave, as it truly tested not only the endurance, but the overall strength of competitors. Those who typically excel at obstacle races considered “runners races” (events where long stretches of running provide an advantage to faster runners), met their match as those who were obstacle strong were able to pace, and in some cases, surpass, their speedy opponents.
This race ended in personal triumph, as I finished the event in 11th overall place, and as 2nd place female. What a great feeling! I then joined my husband and son for a lap, and had a blast playing in the mud, tackling obstacles, and swimming through cool waters at a relaxed and enjoyable pace. There’s such a joy that is experienced when we embark on a race as a family, and I’m thrilled to have found an activity that we all love that includes getting healthy, breathing fresh air, enjoying beautiful scenery, and having fun.
The next Mud Endeavor is coming soon! They are headed back to the place of their origin on May 17th, for Mud Endeavor 4. This is an awesome, super fun, ridiculously awesome event! I’m planning on being there, and hope to see you too!
Thanks to Mud Endeavor for another stellar event, my family and I are looking forward to many more to come!