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Muddy Buddy San Jose - Run

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San Jose, California
United States
CM Sports LLC
Total Time = 1h 06m 24s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = 56-65
Age Group Rank = 25/78
Pre-race routine:

I woke up at 5 a.m. and was out the door by 5:15 -- I'm getting good at the early morning race routine. I ate a Clif bar in the car and picked up my "buddy", Laura, and her husband, Henry, and mom. We had a little trouble getting the bike on the car, but were on our way to San Jose by 5:45. Everything was going fine and we were making good time until I turned onto the road leading up to the race event -- about an hour from where we all live -- and Laura asked if Henry had remembered to pack her bike helmet. Silence. Yep, he forgot. This was bad, bad news, because both members of the team have to wear a bike helmet at all times. I kept driving and we all crossed our fingers that we'd be able to borrow a helmet at the race site. As soon as we parked I sent Henry to talk to the other racers and told him to not come back until he found a helmet. And he did! (It wouldn't have been a problem anyway, since it turns out the race organizers had extra helmets.) All in all, a rather stressful way to start the day.

While Henry looked for a helmet, Laura and I tried to figure out the shifting on the mountain bike we'd rented. We had no luck and I couldn't get it off the small ring. Oh well, at least the hills wouldn't be a problem. Once Henry returned with the borrowed helmet our group's mood lifted a lot, and Laura and I set about decorating our bike and helmets. We tied a big pink ribbon around the front of our bike to make it easier to spot, and we wore matching T-shirts, pageant-type ribbons and tiaras in our helmets.

We listened to the race instructions and then got in line with our wave. And waited. A long time. The race started at 8 a.m. and our wave didn't go until about 9:15. And it was hot and I'd been stupid and hadn't brought any water, so I was damn thirsty by the time I got to the start line.

But! I got to meet Cynthia (movingsouth), who is very sweet and fun, and we had plenty of time to chat, which was nice. I also talked to a couple friends of Laura's who were racing, and one of them, Michelle, was able to show us how to use the gear shift. So all in all, I guess I can't complain about the long wait to start.
Event warmup:

Waiting in line. Wishing for water.
  • 00m
  • 0 miles
  •  min/mile

We'd agreed that I would start the bike leg. Actually, Laura insisted on it. I thought it made more sense for me to run first, since I'm the stronger runner and it's an odd number of legs, so whatever event you started with you'd end up doing more of. But I'm easy, so I agreed. Then I saw the course and understood why Laura had insisted -- the first mile is basically one long, steep hill. This sucks a lot, but the worst part is that the hill is so steep, and starts so fast, that unless you're a very good biker and/or you start at the very front of the pack, you're almost guaranteed to have to walk your bike on part of it.

LEG 1 (BIKE): They let the bikers start first, but in my wave the trail got clogged immediately and within, oh, 100 feet of the start line I hit a wall of stopped bikes and had to stop myself, and by then I was already on a steep uphill and couldn't get started again. Very frustrating. I tried several times to get started but it wasn't happening, and finally I just gave up and walked my bike up a good chunk of hill. It was fine, mostly, since so many people were walking their bikes (I was actually passing most of them), but then they let the runners go and suddenly we're being passed by the runners. Ugh.

Eventually I was able to get on the bike and stick with it, but it was still pretty steep and hard and I was feeling rough -- very winded, very hot, very tired. That first transition area was a huuuuuuge relief.

T1: The first obstacle was a short climbing wall. I was nervous at first, because I've never been on a climbing wall and it looked difficult, especially after I'd just ruined my quads on the bike. But as soon as I got on I realized it was easy and hopped over no problem. I stopped at the aid station on the other side, drank two cups of water (yay! finally!) and hit the run.

LEG 2 (RUN): The first run leg felt kind of awful too -- I think I was still overheated from the bad start on the bike, plus I'm not used to running in the heat. I ended up walking on a hill, which I haven't had to do in, God, a couple years. But I really wasn't "racing" this thing and had no desire to push myself too hard or just feel like shit. I passed Michelle without noticing her, but she called out to me and we ended up slogging together for the last bit before the next transition.

T2: The second obstacle was some climbing thing -- three rungs, you had to climb over the first rung, under the second, over the third, then down the other side. Some chick cheated and climbed over the whole thing, but whatever. It took me a few minutes to find our bike, then I grabbed more water and moved on.

LEG 3 (BIKE): The second bike leg was easier -- more ups and downs, but none too steep. By now, Michelle and I were basically sticking together. She'd move a little past me on the bike then I'd move a little past her on the run. On one part of this bike leg we hit a pretty steep downhill that freaked me out a little. Our rental bike had disk brakes, and yeek, those things are powerful. I ended up following a woman who was riding very conservatively for most of this bike leg.

T3: Michelle and I arrived at the third obstacle at about the same time. It was the best obstacle! You climb a big rope ladder up the back side of an inflatable slide, then sliiiiiiiiiide down. Yay! I wanted to do it again.

LEG 4 (RUN): I was feeling fine by now on the run, but I ended up sticking with Michelle and we talked and talked and generally had a nice time. It turns out her parents are big triathletes -- both Ironmen -- who are very involved in Kona, which she's volunteered at several times. I told her I'd love to volunteer there someday and she said she'd hook me up. That would be so cool! Michelle started walking after maybe half a mile but I wanted to keep running so I left her behind. All the dust on the trail was starting to get to me by now -- of course it's necesssary that the bikers and runners share a traill, but it still kind of sucked.

T4: The next obstacle was a balance beam. It was another one that freaked me out when I saw it, because I was definitely feeling too shaky for a balance beam four feet off the ground. But I managed it no problem. I was running toward my bike when I heard Michelle call. I stopped to get water and then waited for her to catch up.

LEG 5 (BIKE): We decided that we wanted to do the last mud crawl all together so I tailed her the whole way on the last bike leg. It was only on that leg that I figured out that the bike was waaaaaay too short for me. The trail was very flat there but I just couldn't get nearly enough power in my legs, and it was because I was sitting way too low. I think that's at least part of the reason I sucked on the hills, too.

MUD: We got to the mud and there were our buddies, already waiting! We were only a minute or two behind them, Laura said. Michelle and I dumped our bikes and met our buddies, then hit the mud. The mud pit was pretty much exactly what I'd expected. The only rough spot was at the start, when you have to crawl under a cargo net -- my tiara kept getting caught! I finally ripped it off and caught up to Laura. The mud pit is maybe 50 yards long and it's *thick* mud -- they're not joking with it. It's maybe a foot or so deep and you end up covered in it head to toe. By the time I got out I wasn't even thinking about the finish line, so we probably wasted a good minute or so talking to Henry, who was taking pictures, and watching Michelle and Carrie before we actually crossed the finish.
What would you do differently?:

I didn't care about my time, so the only thing I'd really change is the bike, just to be more comfortable. I should've gone with Henry to rent it, or just rented it myself, and made sure I got one that reasonably fit me (and Laura, since we're roughly the same height). I also should've spent more time practicing on it so I could master the gear shifting better. I kept getting confused and forgetting whether I was shifting up or down.
Post race
Warm down:

We slogged over to the hoses so we could rinse off the worst of the mud. It was packed over there and there was quite a wait, but it's not like you have any choice. Eventually we got a hose and Laura and I took turns washing. I realized right away the mistake I'd made wearing a white sportsbra -- I had to strip off my T-shirt at some point, and I was very, very wet. Oh well, there was a lot of shameless exposure going on.

After the rinse, Laura and I walked back to get the bike. We stopped off to look at the results and get some water. We tried to find Michelle and Carrie in the beer garden, but no luck. We skipped the beer ourselves because Laura's not much of a drinker and I'm a major lightweight who had an hour drive home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Besides not giving a shit about this race? And the fact that I'd never gone mountainbiking before? And I was riding a bike that didn't fit and I didn't know how to use? Nothing!

Event comments:

Considering how complicated this race is, it's run very, very well. There was absolutely no confusion on the race course, that I could see. I heard rumors of them running out of water at some of the aid stations, and if that's true, that's terrible because it was pretty hot and dusty out there. But there was plenty of water when I was there. My only complaints are after the race -- they really should have had more water available at the finish line (instead they handed out this gross, too-sweet energy drink, and you had to hunt to find the water). Also, the shower area was chaotic, and you had to wait forever for a hose while people took literally 15-minute showers (I saw one chick actually washing her hair, with shampoo).

Still, considering the nature of this race, I was impressed with how organized it was.

(Yes, I know, another super long race report. Hey, writing's what I do! I can't help myself.)

Last updated: 2008-06-08 12:00 AM
00:00:00 | 00 miles |  min/mile
Age Group: 0/78
Overall: 0/
Course: It's a team race, about seven miles total, with teammates alternating between run and bike. So on each leg, one team member is running and the other is biking, then you reach a "transition" area where both teammates do an obstacle, then trade the bike and run. There are four obstacles total. Race ends with a crawl through a mud pit! The bike and run were on the same dusty, hilly trail. I didn't wear my Garmin, or any sort of watch, because I didn't want it to get ruined in the mud. The organizers don't give a real race distance -- just "six or seven miles" -- so I have no clue on distance or pace overall much less for my legs.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2008-06-08 9:40 PM

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Berkeley, Calif.
Subject: Muddy Buddy San Jose

Edited by Fielding 2008-06-08 10:02 PM

2008-06-08 9:59 PM
in reply to: #1453039

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Melon Presser
Subject: RE: Muddy Buddy San Jose

Super job, Erin! Sounds like you had a blast out there, and hey, anytime there's mud, hot chicks, and wet T-shirts

Showering--with shampoo?! Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? (Ummm ... pssst ... it's called Muddy Buddy, lady ... too bad the race was over and you couldn't just, oh, accidentally fall and elbow her out of the way)

2008-06-09 7:29 AM
in reply to: #1453039

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Muddy Buddy San Jose
That sounds like a fun event!  Great job out there!
2008-06-09 9:48 AM
in reply to: #1453039

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Subject: RE: Muddy Buddy San Jose

Hey Erin - all stations still had water for me in the final wave. But I think I was MOP for the totality of that wave. 

As for the shampooing - hey, Paul Mitchell was sponsoring it!  didn't you hear?  free shampoo and conditioner!  biodegradable! snicker.  snicker.   

All the shower runoff ended up in the beer garden.  We had to wade across it to get to the "bar."  The men who had already been there for two hours were surprised to find themselves on the wrong side of a river

nice race! 

2008-06-09 11:48 AM
in reply to: #1453039

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Subject: RE: Muddy Buddy San Jose
Another fun looking race. Great job!
2008-06-09 2:14 PM
in reply to: #1453039

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Subject: RE: Muddy Buddy San Jose
It sounds like you had a good time and that's what this race was about, right?

Kudos on taking on the bike leg when we all know you wanted to run! ;-)

Great report!!

2008-06-10 11:15 AM
in reply to: #1453039

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Muddy Buddy San Jose
Sweet race! sounds like fun. I liked the report too....
2008-06-10 9:40 PM
in reply to: #1453039

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San Francisco
Subject: RE: Muddy Buddy San Jose
Sounds like a fun race.  Great job out there.  Great race report too.  You're not going to be able to tell me your race report is long   the longer the better!
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