It was always my goal, right since I learned of my surgery in April to do the Mud Hero on August 24. I figured it would be a measure of my recovery and a test of my mettle.
I didn’t realize how much of a challenge actually deciding to go would be since I had thought that I would be almost fully recovered and ready for anything. That was hardly the case. The week before the race I was sore every day, my back was actually feeling very delicate up to the day of the race and even on the way there, I was still debating in my head whether to cheer my girls or suck it up and run. Since there is only really ever one answer to that dilemma I put on my big boy pants and headed for the start.
I was actually really surprised by how easy the course was this year solely due to the fact we knew what to expect. I remember last year not knowing how far or how hard to run and that lack of knowledge really sapped my energy. This year, knowing exactly where we were going and what to expect made it all the more easy. That’s not to say that I didn’t find it hard, it was terribly difficult given my lack of mobility for certain movements especially when it came to ducking under things, such as the first mud pool under the logs. There was not much running done by any of us, my loyal and wonderful athletes and co-workers stayed with me, and despite obviously being able to do much more than I kept up with the encouragement and added so much to the enjoyment of the day.
The course was very similar to last year, however they had bolted the car boot and bonnets closed so no surprises there and the water slide which almost made a lady out of one of our male competitors last year instead of letting out into a small forest went straight into a deep mud pool. They had added another mud pool with tubes up which you had to climb which was a little challenging given my girth but I am proud to say that I did not skip any of the obstacles and only finished about 15 minutes behind last year’s time.
It was an amazing feat for me, I am so happy I decided to run, I am certain I would have regretted not going if I had stayed off the course. I must also say a huge thank you to my wonderful wife who, instead of running the course, took the time to hang out with our daughter to watch her daddy make a mess of himself.
All in all, a huge success, and I guess the next few days will tell just how close to a full recovery I am but for now I can say that I made my pre surgery goal of competing in the Mud Hero only 4 months after back surgery… and I am old too!!