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Go outside, play in the mud

Mud runs make can turn ordinary exercise into an adventure to conquer

Posted: June 1, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 1, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Racers pull themselves up and over a steep wall on the mud run course at Castaic Lake.

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Mud runs have become all the rage this year, appealing to people with a wide range of physical skills and interests.

Mud runs turn a 5K or 10K run into an adventure - and above all - make participants feel tough and accomplished as they conquer all the obstacles between the start and finish lines.

Hundreds of participants compete each year in a mud run held at Castaic Lake.

The Merrell Down & Dirty Mud & Obstacle Series, was held recently at Castaic Lake where hundreds of people showed up to prove they're tough and ready to get muddy.

The 5K and a 10K courses were held along with a Kids Adventure Mile.

A mud run isn't just for individuals or adult teams, many families came out to experience the mud run together.

I was fortunate to experience the race first hand, along with our team of 30 people from Results Fitness.

For many - myself included - this was their first mud run.

We had trained for five weeks leading up to the race. We trained to not only run a 5K, but also to pull ourselves up and over obstacles, crawl under and over things and above all get very muddy while having lots of fun.

The weather was perfect, not too hot and not too cold. The atmosphere of the race was very fun, supportive and inclusive.

Racers began the course at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. as the horn would blow, and the next group would take off to attack the course.

The mud run started in the picnic area near the lower lagoon where two stages, music and fun activities were held.

Our team was in the 10 a.m. 5K group and we all started together.

We had people of all ages and fitness levels. We also had some of our client's children join us.

In addition, a number of our clients tackled this event as the first race they had ever done.

Everyone was ready to race and above all everyone had fun.

The race started with everyone running through a riverbed and a tunnel to the first obstacle, which was about knee high.

We had to crawl under the obstacle on our hands and knees.

From there, we encountered a tall fence we had to climb up and over and down the other side.

If you're afraid of heights this race might not be for you.

Then, we ran and lifted ourselves over one more fence, of waist height, before climbing what I have heard called "Heartbreak Hill," or, even more appropriately, "The Widow Maker." This is a hill which has an incredibly steep 50-yard incline.

The racers trudged up that hill and conquered it.

At the top of the hill, it was easy to see it was all downhill from there.

The following obstacles included a giant slide that you climbed up and slid down, a mud pool where the rule was you had to be on your elbows and belly - and not on your knees - and a tunnel to crawl through.

In the tunnel, racers couldn't see the end when they began their crawl.

By the time you headed down the switchbacks, you were covered from head to toe in mud - mud that had started to dry on your skin.

Nearing the finish line there was a climbing wall.

Hearing the cheers at the finish line, we had to run in waist-high lake water, and finish by pulling ourselves with a rope up a slippery wall.

The last part of the course included one huge mud bath to swim a lap in, then a run to the finish line.

The best part of the race was the feeling of being tougher than the course and the sense of accomplishment as you conquered each obstacle covered in mud.

It made you feel like you could take on anything.

We watched all of our team members successfully complete the race, each one covered in mud, and all with huge smiles.

Everyone asked, "Can we do this again next year?"

The Merrell Down & Dirty Mud Run is held every year at Castaic Lake.

If you are looking for a team to train with come join the team at Results Fitness. Our next team has begun training for the Castaic Lake Triathlon Series to be held this summer.

Visit to learn more. Results Fitness is located at 24420 Walnut Street in Newhall, Visit or call 661-799-7900.

Rachel Cosgrove is the author of "The Female Body Breakthrough" and co-owner of Results Fitness.




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