The last time I ran, it was for a good cause. This time, it would be for SURVIVAL!
I participated in the Blood and Guts Run on Saturday. The basic idea is that you run through a course lined with obstacles like mud pits, cargo nets, and fences. All the while, people dressed as zombies chase you around, and use super soakers to spray you with “blood” (Red-colored water).
I assembled a group of hearty individuals to run the race with me. Early Saturday morning, I woke up early, had my pre-race bowl of Cheerios, and then drove out to Centreville, VA to meet up with BGR, C-Bone, DJ Welvy, Hagar, Lyssie, and Mini-Blonde. It was a chilly morning, and we realized that the prospect of running through mud and getting sprayed with water wasn’t as thrilling as it had seemed when we originally signed up.
Fortunately, the sun was shining and I was layered up in tights and Under Armour, as well as my old Bobby Hoying Eagles jersey. I figured that the jersey of a never-was former NFL quarterback could only improve my speed and elusiveness.
After some stretching, we took our place at the starting line. With so many people bunched together, it was impossible to move quickly at first. When the first zombies made their appearance, there were a few collisions as people attempted to avoid the “blood” spray.
The race wasn’t timed, so I wasn’t overly concerned with my pace. That was important because there was a bottleneck at just about every obstacle. I had trained for the race by running around my neighborhood and utilizing the local playground. I ran up slides, climbed over fences, swung on the monkey bars, and crawled through tunnels. After that vigorous trainings, the obstacles were no problem for me, but not everyone could say the same. It was frustrating to wait as people seemingly took forever to hoist themselves over a climbing wall.
At one point, I came to a hill where they were running water over a tarp to create a makeshift Slip n’ Slide. I figured that my best bet was to get a running start and dive down headfirst, but for some reason I didn’t go nearly as fast as expected. In fact, I came to a complete stop halfway down, and had to push myself the rest of the way down. My progress was also helped along by the two people who crashed into me from behind.
The final leg of the race was downhill, and the ground had become muddy and slippery. There were a few zombies crowded near the finish line, including a small child. Just as I was trying to avoid her, BGR thought it would be funny to charge into me. I’m not sure how we didn’t all end up in a pile, but I managed to stay on my feet and avoid further collision.
Finally, I charged through the pool of mud that marked the finish line, and received the souvenir medal and T-shirt that was given to all finishers. I had avoided becoming zombie bait. Hooray!
I met up with the rest of the group (We had become scattered during the race) and watched other people finish the race as we were serenaded by a band playing hits from the 90’s. We then headed back to our cars for a much-needed change into some dry clothes.
I was quite surprised to find that I wasn’t especially sore afterwards. The race had been advertised as being about 5 kilometers in distance, but the consensus was that it was actually considerably shorter. I wasn’t concerned about the distance, but I suspected that the running through mud and avoiding obstacles would cause some soreness in unexpected places. But my only real injury of note was a small blister on my foot which I attributed to running in wet socks and old shoes (I didn’t want to get my nice sneakers too muddy).
I would like to try another mud run in the future. Next time, I’ll probably choose a more intense one that is either longer or has more challenging obstacles. While this race was fun, I was a little disappointed in the “zombie” aspect of it. I thought it would be more like a haunted trail where the zombies would hide and jump out at unexpecting runners. Instead, they mostly just passively stood on the sidelines and sprayed people with water. I have heard of other zombie-themed runs where the runners wear flags and the zombies attempt to pull them off flag football style. That could certainly be interesting.
Maybe I should just feel fortunate that I survived this one. If I tried again, there’s no telling if I would be so lucky.