When thinking of the typical Florida race, whether road, trail, or OCR, people instantly think of courses that are flat, humid, and possibly a little bit swampy. Hills are far from the mind when a Florida race is considered, and many racers plan their training primarly around prepping for heat and humidity instead of elevation.
Well Mud Endeavor recently set out to shock local Floridians by throwing together a nearly 4 mile race that was filled not only with mud and obstacles, but also with a serious amount of elevation change. Hill after hill bombarded runners as they progressed throughout the course. The steep climbs and equally trecherous descents created a unique challenge, atypical of the usual flat, fast course we are accustomed to. Participants were forced to dig deep, give their all, and plunge forward as hill upon hill assaulted them. And although this course had been abbreviated slightly from the inaugural Castle Canyon event held earlier this year, the shorter length brought with it an increased amount of elevation change, creating a unique challenge just as difficult, if not more so, than the initial Canyon race.
I have to say that this second installment of Mud Endeavor Castle Canyon proved to be the most difficult Mud Endeavor event I’ve participated in to-date. I loved the unique challenge of the elevation, and the course itself was well shaded as it wound through the dense foliage, creating a welcome break from the harsh sun while aiding in making the humidity seem a bit less oppressive. Obstacles were well constructed as usual, and the event itelf seemed to run seemlessly despite any behind-the-scenes snafus (the life of a Race Director is never easy!).
I’ll still recommend that chip timing be considered in future events. As Mud Endeavor continues to gain credibility, and more and more quality athletes show up to compete, the addition of chip timing would ensure a more fool-proof method of scoring for top finishers. One other thought was that as much as I love Mud Endeavor events (one of my favorite local events, hands down!), they may want to start thinking up some new, unique obstacles as most races host the exact same obstacles at every race. It’s always nice to spice things up, and some fresh osbtacles would do just the trick at future events.
I was able to get out and run the competitive wave, and was highly impressed with the amazing group of women with whom I had the pleasure of competing with. In the end, I was able to finish as 9th overall female, and 4th in my age group. I was proud of the women with whom I raced with, as I feel we all gave this race everything we had to earn our places. What a stellar group of women! Upon finishing, I headed back out onto the course for a fun lap with my hubby and a friend. We had a blast playing on a much juicier course, as thick, sloppy mud and slick hills which has been created by the traffic of several hundred racers made for a completely new and unique experience.
As usual, I have nothing but love and admiration for Mud Endeavor! I know that each event I attend will provide those participating with a stellar race which is not only a ton of fun, but that it will also dish out a great challenge all the while running smoothly and effortlessly. This event was particularly difficult, and I loved the added challenge of the insane amounts of elevation gain.
Thank you for yet another amazing event Mud Endeavor team! I’m looking forward to your next event on October 4th!