My TransRockies teammate Juda McGannon put a post up on Facebook a few months ago about a race that was taking place on her birthday. The Mt. Penn MudFest. The name was intriguing enough, upon reading the description I was sold. The guy that puts these races together has a pretty good sense of humor.
Cindy and I decided to make a weekend camping trip out of the race. We had the grandparents watch Theo while we took the Westy to PA. Camping makes the run feel so much more like an adventure. We stayed at the French Creek State Park a short distance from the race.
After getting my Starbucks pre race meal in Cindy and I headed to the packet pick up. The gathering mass was an eclectic group. This was a different crowd then what you typically see at a road race. Crazy group of folks some in costume.
The Mt. Penn Mudfest race was pretty technical, jagged rocks, mud, three stream crossings and a whole lotta up and down on steep inclines. I would start closer to the front if I were to do this race again. Once the race started you were locked into single track pretty quickly, so if you were in a pace slower than you would want you are trapped there until the trail opens up again. This was not a course to run barefoot or in Vibrams Five fingers, the rocks were sharp and gnarly enough to cause discomfort through my Adidas Adizeros. I can’t imagine what they would do to you in less of a shoe or no shoe. When there was only about 2.5 miles to go there was an alternative beverage aid station that handed out beer and margaritas. I chugged down a 6 oz. beer and picked up the pace for the rest of the race. The finish opened up to a grass field and I had plenty left in my legs, so I pushed strong across the field and finished with confidence. The race had 750 runners and 713 finishers. This was my third organized run/race in three weeks, HAT 50k, Whitehall 15k, and the Mt. Penn MudFest 15k. I am feeling great, and loving the run more than ever. A big part of the race experience these days is the social aspect. Between dailymile.com and the Baltimore Road Runners Club (BRRC,) I am getting to know a lot of runners. When I go to the races I now have friends running them with me and celebrating at the finish.
– believe in the run