I was in New Jersey for my parent’s 50th anniversary celebration…..
…..and I was looking for a local race. I found an advertisement for Your First Mud Run in Haledon New Jersey. The race was at Camp Veritans which is only about 15 minutes from my hometown. I was able to talk my niece and sister into joining me and make it a family outing. I have done a couple of mud runs (featuring zombies) but I have either been hurt or gotten hurt every time. I was hoping I could survive this one intact. It would also be a good warm-up for the Warrior Dash next weekend. A portion of the proceeds went to Camp Veritans where the race was held.
Here is the description of the race: Runners will need to negotiate multiple obstacles along the way, including a 6 foot high wall just 400 meters into the race. Before the mile mark they will have to run through 2 rows of tires (the “tires of destruction”) which will be of various shapes and sizes. Following the mile runners will face four more obstacles. First, they must crawl through a long row of mud soaked tubes (the “treacherous tubes”.) Half a mile later will stand the toughest challenge yet, a set of balance beams (the “brutal balance beams”). Next will be the heavy jump rope. Finally, runners will cap off the race with the muddiest obstacle just before the finish line: the mud slide.
Your First Mud Run has events in 3 states and is designed for anyone who has ever said to themselves “I think I want to do a Mud Run”. Our races are approximately 2 miles and are very challenging but can be done by almost anyone.
Let me say this up front: If you are looking for your first mud run, this is a good place to start. If you are looking for a family friendly mud run, this is a good place to start. If you are a veteran of mud runs you won’t be challenged (maybe that is why they named it Your First Mud Run)
Pre Race: I received three emails reminding me about my wave time and basic information / tips about the race for those who had never attended a mud run. We were scheduled for the 1pm “competitive” wave which seemed late in the day, but in hindsight that worked out for the best.
Race Day: It was chillier than expected in the morning. I was expecting 60s and the morning wasn’t cooperating. The late start time gave the sun some time to peek out and warm things up just a bit. Our race packet said to arrive 45 minutes before our start time but we were there about 1hr and 15 minutes early. There was a ton of parking available and I don’t think it ever became an issue. Registration was also a breeze. 5 minutes tops to get registered. All of the race volunteers were very friendly and helpful. We had so much time we walked 90% of the course before the race and tried a couple of the obstacles out.
The Race: Here is where I had some minor problems. I understand it is a beginner race. I knew and accepted that. But here is a comparison of the description versus reality:
Description: Approximately 2 miles = 1.5 miles (that is a big difference to me)
Description: 6 foot high wall, 400 meters into the race = it was near end of the race (no big deal)
Description: 2 rows of tires = there was a tire carry at the start and a pile of tires to climb over
Description: The muddy soaked “Treacherous Tubes” = Dry and short (maybe add some mud here)
Description: The Brutal Balance Beams = There were none.
Description: Heavy Jump Rope = this was spot on. We also did push-ups and burpees.
Description: The mud slide: There was none.
We still had a great time. We were not there to be competitive and we had a lot of laughs. The best part was the mud pit and the stream crossing. We later went back to watch people lose their shoes in the muck during the stream crossing. We completed the course in about 18 minutes and none of us got hurt. Overall a victory.
Post Race: They had water at the finish line but I didn’t see anything else. They had food back near the registration tent, but I don’t think it was free. Honestly we didn’t hang around too long. We watched the second wave start and watched them traverse the mud pit and the stream before leaving.
Goodies: A cotton shirt and a medal. You also received a bunch of coupons for local businesses and one of those cloth shopping bags.
***If you want to have a family or group fun event then this was a great race for you. It is great for kids and families. It is a great opportunity to build some self-confidence and self-esteem. The obstacles were a great match for the skill level. I would give it 3.5 stars (if you fix the description to more accurately reflect the race I would rate it higher). If they held it again next year I think we would do it again and try and get more of the family involved. That is what could make this GREAT race. It can be a great family / team / group event.
Camp Veritans http://www.veritans.com/ :
Camp Veritans Mission Statement: We support a child’s right to a camp experience during the summer regardless of ethnic, religious and social background. We are a philanthropic organization determined to provide financial assistance to families with children who would otherwise be denied a summer experience in a country-like setting.