This month I did my very first mud run and it was glorious! Mudderella is a series of women’s-focused obstacle races (although men can run too) that area held across the United States and internationally; the race season opened recently with the NY/NJ event in Englishtown, NJ. So what is Mudderella? These events consist of 5-7 miles of muddy and fun obstacles, are designed by women, and are non-competitive–there is a super fun, positive vibe to the whole day and everyone is there to help each other and have a good time.
Mudderella is also partnered right now with Uplift Studios and has created a 6 week training plan to prepare your whole body for the run! I love Uplift and recently got a taste of what to expect from the Mudderella workouts–tough and SO fun. I love that they are full body workouts and include core exercises that are crucial for all the balance obstacles.
So let me tell about the NY/NJ race! We headed out to NJ from NYC with a group of awesome bloggers and media women (and one guy!), who all immediately got along which was extra great seeing as how we were going to need each other to get through this run. Literally, we needed each other to lift over obstacles! My younger sister was my buddy for the race, and she was the expert since she participated in Mudderella last year–she was our insider to the obstacles and what to expect. Super useful!
When we arrived for the event we were lucky enough to get our bibs and get a VIP room to change, warm up (it was a brisk day believe it or not!) and prepare before heading down to the race area. And we even got yummy food here after the race–such a nice treat! So after getting ready and mentally preparing for all the mud we were going to run around in, we headed over to the festival area. Before we started our run, we checked out some of the fun sponsor booths including Athleta hairties, body markers to write your name on your body, Premier Protein goodies, and other fun areas in the festival. There were also food stands and beer for post-race (over 21 participants get one free beer!).
After exploring the festival, we entered the pre-race waiting area where there was a 10 minute pre-race stretch session being held for all the race participants. There were so many groups of people in matching shirts and and fun outfits that were super cute! We all got our stretch on and soon after that, our wave was announced–we were off!
Our team decided to run between all the obstacles in order to get the run benefit (plus it was my run day so I needed to get one in!), but there were plenty of groups walking between obstacles which was perfectly cool too. Since the race is unscored, you can go comfortably according to what you want to or can do. But for us, we wanted to run between all the obstacles so we did.
The obstacles ranged from mudless, like the piggy back ride obstacle, muddy, like crawling through mud under a bunch of rope, and super muddy, like climbing over slick mud and dirt piles and jumping into muddy water. We had a blast getting down and dirty while also getting to climb over walls with and without ropes, balancing on a wood plank, and walking across hanging tires. The 13 obstacles were fun and unique, and I loved them all.
Here’s sampling of some of the obstacles:
“Dirty Downward Dog” – basically planking across to ends of the ground to avoid falling in the muddy water below.
“Tough Tatas” – climbing over a wall using a rope. This one was SO fun–probably my favorite. I felt pretty strong
“Balancing Act” – don’t fall off the wooden plank!
“Ain’t No Mountain High” -climbing over mud piles that are slick and then jumping into the muddy water that’s in between each mud pile. You absolutely cannot do this one alone–you need a leg boost to get over and sometimes someone at the top to help pull you up. Our group was great and got each other through it all, but other women were super nice and helped out too. I loved the teamwork spirit during this event–it was tough!
For a full list of all potential obstacles, you can look here. I also loved that the course was at Raceway Park, so we got to run all over the place–from the dirtbike baths and through the woods too. I almost felt like a trail runner for half a second
I also was a fan of how they had three water stops along the way for hydration. Not every obstacle race has this many water stops so I loved that it was included–its very necessary! We were lucky to have a cooler day for our race but in the summer heat and mud you really need some water!
After the race we rinsed off at the showers they have at the event and changed in the large changing rooms. Then we headed for our complimentary beer: Shocktop! Yum!
Overall this was an amazing race and I had a blast with an amazing group of people. We crawled in mud, jumped in dirty water, and overcame a bunch of tough obstacles while maintaining our run throughout the entire event. We challenged ourselves and rose to meet the challenge. Plus, there were the countless laughs and jokes throughout the race that made it that much more fun. I had such a fantastic time from start to finish.
The one thing I did notice as we were leaving around 2pm, though, were the long lines to get into the event area and to get into the race start. So my recommendation would be to wake up early and get there for the early waves to avoid longer lines for the event and also on the course to get onto obstacles. Waking up isn’t fun but it will be worth it in this case!
So, would I do a Mudderella race again? Absolutely! In a heartbeat. But I’d make sure I had a great group of people to do it with me
Disclosure: I received free entry into the Mudderella race including transportation. All opinions expressed are my own.
Have you ever done a mud/obstacle run? How did you like it?
Do you prefer running alone or with a running partner(s)?