MGD 64 Filthy 5K Race Review

22 May

I had a good time running this race, mostly because of the people. It was my first mud run and it was fun to try something different. There were 2200 participants and a fair number of us were running alone, so I made some friends along the course. Runners are seriously the friendliest people you will ever meet.

Even though I enjoyed running this race, the race organization and course left a little something to be desired.

Packet Pick-Up

The packet pick-up was a disaster zone. There was a two-hour window in which all 2,200 participants could pick up their race bib and swag bag, and as fair as I could tell there were a total of 8-10 volunteers. The race was scheduled to start at 6 PM. At 5:55, when I was pinning my bib to my shirt after waiting in line for an hour, the line for the pick-up still stretched nearly a quarter mile back. There didn’t seem to be anyone truly in charge. There was one guy trying to prevent people from line jumping, but he wasn’t having much luck. Everyone was frustrated, annoyed and wanted to get to the start.

This was by far the most disorganized packet pick-up I’ve encountered. I would have forgiven them if this was the first year of the race as it’s hard to predict what your needs will be. But they’ve held this race in years prior. Apparently, the number of participants for this year’s race was much higher, but they should have recognized that they would need more volunteers, or a longer pick-up window.

Next year, they should a) increase the number of volunteers b) offer a longer window for packet pick-up and c) designate someone who is clearly in charge, so when things go awry there is someone there to jump in.

Start

I ran up to the starting line a little past 6. The bib colors designated the wave that you would start in. They were letting the fastest group go out just I arrived. Because the packet pick-up was such a disaster, this morphed into a a continuously rolling start as bibs of colors had to jump in with different starting group as they had just grabbed their race packets. A lot of people were pinning their bibs on as they lined up at the start.

Ready, set...

The race volunteers tried to separate out the bib colors, but the race was already so behind schedule they just gave up and let everyone go. There was little that could be done about it and it was just wasting everyone’s time.

Everyone’s mood improved once they hit the starting line. Despite the frustration at packet pick-up, most people were excited to let loose and have a little fun.

Go!

Course

I have to say, I was a little disappointed with the course. I expected more mud, more obstacles, just more. We spent the first mile or so running on the road and over a GIANT bridge. After the bridge we started climbing down to the river. It started to get a bit more interesting here. They had us scramble over a bunch of rocks for half a mile or so. Everyone’s pace slowed waaaay down, as we started slipping and sliding all over the rocks. At some point we climbed up a ladder and there were some stairs.

Then we headed into the woods and ran up and down trails for most of the rest of the race. There were a few small mud puddles, but nothing to exciting. Until they had us jump in the river. In my eagerness to jump into the river, I slipped in the mud and bashed my shin on a rock. I still have a cut and a giant bruise from that genius plan.

After the dip in the river we run up stairs and crossed a bridge that was swaying in the wind. Super fun. The last quarter mile was run down a road and through the event site.

Finish

The big finish was jumping in and crawling through a big mud pit in the middle of the event site. For me this was the highlight of the course (jumping in the river was fun too). But since the course was somewhat of a letdown this also felt a bit anti-climactic.

Do you think I need a shower?

Race Swag

The shirt was standard cotton, but nice enough. I didn’t use any of the coupons for the local stores and restaurants as I don’t live in the area but they seemed nice enough.

Final Thoughts

The race wasn’t insanely expensive or anything, so I’m not horrible disappointed. However, I would need some serious convincing to drop cash for this race again next year unless they make some big improvements.

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