Despite a cold front and hard rain this morning, my ten-year-old running buddy was eager to get up when the alarm went off. We were going to a 5 k mud/obstacle race on a ranch in the next town. It was his first full 5 k, and he was ready.
After registration we shivered in our wet clothes, listening to the thunder and the rain growing harder, unaware that we were under a tornado warning, waiting for the race to start. Ben was ready to run; I was ready for another cup of coffee.
It didn’t take long to realize it was much too wet to be a ‘mud’ run. The creek crossings were roaring rapids; waist high on me and chest high on Ben. Up and down, cross a creek, go up a hill, under ropes, over logs. Flip tires, dodge a cactus, watch out for the llamas, cattle, and wild hogs.
The rain didn’t let up during the race. Despite the burning that I always feel when I’m running faster than I want to, I laughed a few times, realizing how much fun it still is to play in the rain, the mud, and quick-moving rain water. Since I started out slow, I got to pass people the whole race, which also made it fun.
By the way, I’m making it sound like Ben and I were running together. We were not. He started off sprinting. I, being the wiser, more experienced runner, laughed and thought, “I’ll catch him within a half mile or so.” The next time I saw him was when I crossed the finish line and he was there to cheer me on.
I didn’t skip an obstacle, but I did jump some low hurdles that I think I was supposed to crawl under. But that’s what the fit, younger girl in front of me did, so who knows?
Ben won first in the under 12 age group and placed 7th over all. I won the old man age group (40-100?), but I would not be willing to admit my time. Still, after neglecting my running for the past three years, I’m happy to be out on the trail again, and Ben and I are both excited for our next race.