Sunday, July 13, 2008

RR: Muddy Buddy - RICHMOND!

Muddy Buddy Richmond - 10K Bike/Run/Challenge/MudFEST!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Finish time: estimated 1:15:xx
(results not up on the site yet!)


Long Story:

So this weekend Nancy Toby and I headed down to Richmond to be "Team MUD_KITTENS" at the Muddy Buddy - Richmond race. We headed down Saturday mid-afternoon and stopped by registration to pick up our race packets (which included tshirts, waterbottles, dogtags and some misc. treats from Cytomax and Clif Blocks and Shots.)

AS IF I don't have enough race t-shirts already! I was still suckered into a cool, girly, mulit- colored Muddy Buddy 2008 t-shirt at packet pickup that I just could not resist. So I bought it...

After packet pickup, we stopped by the hotel, checked in and then headed down to Pochahantis State Park to check out the race site, get a feel for the course and see how long it would take to get there in the morning. A quick 18 minute drive from the hotel, we parked close to the race finsh/start area, checked on the infamous MUD PITT and then walked the first 1.25 mile to the first of 4 "CHALLENGES" and boy were we glad we did. It was a 6 foot climbing wall with a rope ladder down the back side. We both looked at each other and said "WHAT ARE WE GETTING OURSELVES INTO?"

Nancy, looking over the infamous MUD PITT

You see neither Nancy nor I have had much (1 time for me, never for Nancy) Mountain Bike experience. So we were going into this race knowing that we could run and we had road bike skills that might translate in some small way to a mountain bike. The "CHALLENGES" and the MUD PITT were accepted unknowns that would add to the fun of th day.

The ultimate goal on race day...THE FINISH!

Obstacle #1: The Climbing Wall...

Now, standing before the first "CHALLENGE" we knew were in for quite the adventure! So we decided that the best course of action was to try to climb the obstacle, right there in front of us, before RACE DAY. And so we each did it - Twice!! For good measure. Then we walked back to the car, passing many fellow racers checking out the trail on their bikes and we pulled out the Moutain Bike so Nancy could take an inaugural spin and at least figure out how to change geer. Then we headed to dinner at Ruby Tuesday and had a mandatory "PRE-RACE" Margaritta and hearty dinners.

5AM Sunday morning came early and we headed back to the race site.

Nancy's Shoes on race morning - Ductape keeps the Laces covered and away from the bike gears...

Holly's Shoes on race morning -I went for an 80's RETRO Ductape Look...


"Calm, Cool, Collected...MUD_KITTENS!

We were parked pretty quickly and then pulled out gear together and followed the costumed, crazy crowd to the start/finish line. We saw dinosaurs, rams, men in shower caps and bathrobes, Grime & Punishment (a french prisoner and a gendarme), bumble bees, the list went on and on...

We started in the last wave, Wave 12. Groups are arranged by combined team age for MALE, CO-ED, and FEMALE teams of two so we were with 3 groups of FEMALE teams from ages 86-95, 96-105, 105+over. There must have been a good 20-30 teams in our wave and since we were all women, we all joked about being the "COUGAR" wave as we watched the "Youngest MALE" wave finish their races before we had even begun.

Here is a brief rundown of how the race works. You have 12 waves that are released about 7 minutes apart. Average finishing time for most teams was 50-1:05 minutes.

Over ~6 miles of trails, with 2 runner/riders and one mountain bike (people leapfrogging and alternating on bike or running).

So there were 5 legs and 4 obstacles the each of us had to complete both as runner and biker. I started as the biker and did 3 bike legs and 2 runs while Nancy started as our runner and did 3 runs and 2 bike legs.

We both had to complete the same obstacle at each transition spot (where we would drop off/pick up the bike):

Climbing wall
Balance beam
Ranger wall (climb over/under)
Cargo net climb/ vertical slide

Plus we had a river crossing (~knee high water) which I had to carry the bike over) and then at the finish line we had to meet up and crawl-through mud pit TOGETHER.

Trail running/biking was a total blast for both of us! I thought we did a pretty good job of staying withing reach of each other - never being more than about 3-5 minutes ahead or behind. Unfortunately, on the last bike leg, just past the river crossing, I got a FLAT TIRE on the Mountain Bike and so I rode it for as long as the tire had air and then ran with the bike the last 3/4 of a mile to meet Nancy at the MUD PITT. Had we not gotten a flat, I think we would have knocked at least 3-5 minutes off our final time.

The MUD PITT was fun but I definately got a little OVER-COMMITED to the "MUDDY BUDDY" theme because I was covered head to toe while you could still read Nancy's shirt. Nancy was just showing she was older and wiser while I play the wacky, goofy kid!

TEAM MUD_KITTENS, post race - Nancy is mah MUDDY BUDDY!

We finished near the back of our competition group (don't know exactly where yet - but we were pretty sure not many people had more fun than us!

I'd recommend this race to ANYBODY! The course is geared towards beginner Mountain Bikers and Trail Runners and as I said, Nancy and I had little to no Mountain Bike experience but we still had great fun on the bike and the run.

My Race Kit...on the driveway, at Noon today - PRE-RINSE

Sadly, the NEON DUCT TAPE was no match for the river crossing
and I got MUDDY anyways....

Will MUD-KITTENS race again?

You better believe it!
(come on along next year...)


Flatman said...

You guys are awesome...looks really fun!!!

*jeanne* said...

You say this is geared for beginning mountain bikers?
It sounds very strenuous, especially those obstacles at every transition!
Wow. Just WOW.
Congrats! Awesome work!
And you both look fabulous!

mlittle said...

I LOVE IT!!!! That looks like it was a LOT of fun. Thanks for posting the pics...


ShirleyPerly said...

How fun!!! Do you mind if we use one of your photos and link to your Muddy Buddy story at We love to feature interesting stuff just like this!

Jade Lady said...

What a great race - looks like so much fun in the mud!