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Julia Bell's first Mud N Madness experience!

This weekend I ran in Mud n Madness for Saint Francis Hospice.  A great race for a worthy charity. 
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It was a cold and frosty February morning standing on the start line with the 15 or so other people who were in my wave ready to take on whatever obstacle was in our way.

First, after a short jog around a corner we headed up Heartbreak Hill. Getting up was wasn't so bad it was the coming back down again that proved difficult as we came down on space hoppers!Drum crossing small file


Bearing in mind the ground was slightly muddy and the space hoppers very slippery it was a job to control them! That wasn't the end of it as when we dropped them off we had to head up the hill again and back down on foot this time.

We weren't quite out of the woods yet as we exited the woodland areas and came to a small lake where we had to cross on some balance ropes to the other side we then had the choice of either a very rickety looking bridge or to make the crossing back using a raft and a pulley rope.  I thought the raft was a good idea and I was right.

Back into some woodland for another twisty turny run and we approached an assault course that had cargo nets to marine crawl under, fences and spaces to clamber in and out of and tunnels to crawl through. Once again we had the forest to run through but we came to a clearing and there were two inflatable sumo wrestlers that were determined not to let us past. Once through the sumo challenge we headed into a clearing with an archery set up. Drum crossing small file

You had to get the arrow into a blue, yellow or red zone. However, unfortunately my archery skills are not very good so after my fifth attempt the chap was very kind and just let me continue.

After the archery zone we headed along what is best described as is the longest ever mud alley.

You would normally need a 4 x 4 to get through this mud alley, and it would still find it difficult but this was just the most muddiest valleys that I've ever run through.

I tried my best to get through most of the obstacles in front of me however it just became too much and just wading through the middle of the mighty large puddles was the best way to get through.  

Mud Alley lived up to its name! and seemed to go on forever...

The mud eventually subsided when we arrived at another lake where there were some balance bridges set up. We had to balance across these while some people were determined to splash us off.  Drum crossing small file

On the other side we had a little bit more of a clearing to run through where there was the army zone! Standing to attention and prepared to work hard at different exercise stations including sit-ups, burpees, push-ups and squats jumps.  

Completed the army zone, we ran around the corner through another clearing and there was another lake.  Jumping onto a jetty, weave around a path then onto a trampoline.  

Jump off the trampoline onto an inflatable slide where you slide down into the water up to chest height. I think this was used just to get the last of the mud off before entering into the last few obstacles.Drum crossing small file

Around the beer tent we had to pick up a beer keg, run around a circuit holding the keg, once finished, place the keg down and run into another twisty turny maze.  Cross over a burning log and then on to the finish.

The finisher medal awaited and ice-cold drinks.  The cooling off area was a welcome sight and the Mud N Madness course was finished!

I'm yet to find out my time from the organisers but I must say it was a thoroughly enjoyable event and I'm looking forward to doing it again next year.  

If you've ever wanted to take on an obstacle race my advice would be to just do it.  Some obstacle races have different levels and different distances for all levels of fitness so don't worry.  

If you like the idea of going out into the fresh air and having some fun, climbing over some obstacles and just having a great sense of achievement you won't be disappointed.  

                                                                                                                          Julia Bell

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