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Savage Race

by Meghann on August 27, 2011

They don’t call it the ‘Race Built to Kick Your Ass‘ for nothin.

I came. I ran. I got my ass kicked.

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It was AWESOME!

Wow. Wow is all I can say about the muddy course of obstacles I just went through. It freaking rocked!

I had the pleasure of enjoying a sneak preview of the Savage Race course a couple of months ago, but nothing fully prepared me for the craziness that is Savage Race. Sam and his team did a great job bringing everything together. I was just happy to be a part of it.

*disclaimer* I’ve been working with Savage Race on a few side projects. My race entry was comped, but all opinions are my own.

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I had registered for the 11:00am wave – which I knew from past experience isn’t the best time slot weather wise (hello Florida heat and humidity!) – but makes sense when you have to drive an hour and a half to the race location. Sleeping in triumphs the heat when it comes to mud races.

I arrived 30 minutes before my wave and quickly found my way to the start line.

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Savage Race Pros:

  • Despite participating in one of the last waves, they still had small shirts – SCORE!
  • The shirts are very soft and comfy
  • Having friends at the Mix1 booth means having friends to hold your stuff (thanks Danielle!)

Savage Race Cons:

  • $10 for parking :( Sam had warned me ahead of time about this (and i know why they did it and fully support the decision), but paying for parking is never fun
  • The race entry fee was $$ and out of most my friends’ budgets, hence why I ran the race all by my lonesome.

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No worries – the race rocked as an individual or a team. It’s easy to make friends during a mud run!

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Each wave had about 500 people. Sounds like a lot, but it was the perfect number. I never got lonely on the course, but also never felt like I had to shove my way through people either.

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Before shot of the shoes that would late come back and bite me in the butt. Worst. Idea. Ever.

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At 11:00am on the dot we were off.

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Not even a hundred yards in we were hit with our first obstacle: a quarter mile of straight up mud.

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This is where I instantly regretted my choice in shoes. They became stuck in the mud not once, not twice, but THREE time before I finally dug them out with my hands and carried them the rest of the way out. Not cool shoes!

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The ‘after’ (and this was only 5 minutes into the race!)

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Tire Swings!

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Ouch! Who knew swinging tires would be so painful?! I had to hold my arms up to protect my body and head. Barreling through seemed to be the only way to go – the slower you were, the more likely a tire was going to take you out!

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Tire hopping. (or whatever you call it?)

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It’s slip n’ slide time!

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Ahhh…. the slip n’ slide was awesome, but I had trouble sliding my body down. It needed to be just a tad steeper or slicker to get the job done.

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Once you clean up on the slip n’ slide, it’s time to get dirty again.

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ewww…… this was a ‘natural mud pit.’ It’s best not to think about what’s living in there. ;)

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The next obstacle was by far the HARDEST obstacle of the day.

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There were girl sandbags (lighter) and there were boy sandbags (heavier). We were advised to select a bag and run a muddy portion of the course. I grabbed a bag from the ‘girl’ pile, but I swear it was a ‘guy’ bag. It was HEAVY.

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I struggled through the entire loop, but was happy with what I accomplished in the end.

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^Taking a self portrait with a heavy sandbag on my back is a new skill I learned I have. Running neighbors were impressed.^

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Shout out the my Daddy!

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My favorite obstacles were the 5 ft walls. I could do these all day. :)

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The big wall was a little more challenging.

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Luckily there were fellow savages who were willing to lend a hand to boost others up.

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Another short wall…

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I was very impressed with the amount of water stops during the race. I counted 5 for the 3.2 mile course. They were needed an appreciated.

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Also, impressed with how cold the water was (some cups even had ice!).

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I was getting tired by the time we reached the bales of hay. I was surrounded by fellow walkers and we all took our time getting over them.

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Over the wall…. under the barbed wire…

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I heard rumors of the ‘big ass cargo net,’ but I hadn’t seen it in person yet.

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The photos do not do this net justice – it was HIGH and a little scary to climb.

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More. Mud.

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This was when I noticed my FAVORITE polka dot sweaty band was missing. Sad face.

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Lesson learned: don’t wear your favorite headband during a mud run. You will lose it. :(

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Another high wall?!?! My arms are burning!

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At least the view is nice.

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Sand dune time.

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And here’s where I decided to ditch the cheap shoes.

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They were heavy, filled with mud, and giving me blisters. I saw dozens of other runners going barefoot and knew I could do it too. As soon as they were gone I felt an instant relief in my feet. Much, much, better.

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The 150 meter swim was next.

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The sun was so hot, the swim seemed like a little piece of heaven.

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If you weren’t a swimmer, there was an option of burpees on dry land, but I couldn’t pass up a chance to cool off in the water. I wonder if I can count this as a training swim? ;)

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Mini cargo net.

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A little less scarier than the big ass one.

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Rope climb.

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Harder than it looks. It took all my strength to lift my leg over to the other side once I made it to the top. I kept slipping down and saying naughty words in the process.

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At this point I’m thinking “Where the heck is that darn finish line?!”

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All we had left was a quick jump over fire. No biggie. ;)

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And a crawl in the mud.

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They get you nice and dirty in preparation for the muddy.. I mean money shot at the end.

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Done!!

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It started raining right when I crossed the finish line, so I lost a lot of the precious mud in the end. :)

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Lovely. ;)

Before and After shots!

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Minus one headband and one pair of shoes. Oops.

The race was AWESOME! Not even a mile in I was tired and – thanks to obstacle, after obstacle – I never got bored. I felt challenged, I felt inspired, and I felt muddy. Way to go Savage Race!!!

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There were weak showers at the end to hose off with, but it turns out all I had to do it wait around 10 minutes for something better.

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As soon as I started walking to my car it began POURING. It was like a monsoon with wind, lightening, thunder, etc. I felt bad for everyone still out on the course, but was glad I had finished when I did. One more wave back and I probably wouldn’t have been able to finish because of weather.

The rain washed off all the mud, but it prevented me from changing into my dry clothes (or risking them becoming soaked too!). Instead I put a towel on my seat and drove 30 minutes to the interstate, where I found a Five Guys to stop for lunch.

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I had never had Five Guys before, but figured it was the best options out of the few fast food joints surrounding the interstate.

After (finally) changing my clothes, I ordered a veggie sandwich with fries.

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Basically the sandwich was all the veggies they had with cheese on top. It wasn’t bad – just really greasy. I was looking for something warm and comforting and it hit the spot.

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The fries were amazing. They were fresh cut and freshly fried. Much better than any other fast food fries I’ve ever had. :)

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There was also a ton of them! Too bad fries grow stale so quickly, other wise I could have brought a whole meal of fries back to Derek.

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Considering the crappy weather, I made it home in good time.

Time to relax and enjoy the rest of my Saturday. :)

{ 83 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katy (The Singing Runner) August 27, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Looks like so much fun! I would love to do one of these races but given my track record with injuries right now, I would be too scared to! Maybe one day! :)

P.S- Your arms look AMAZING in the after shot!
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2 Matteson @ Healthy High Schooler August 27, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Loved all of the pictures! I’m impressed by your ability to take them while racing, nice job!
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3 Army Amy* August 27, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Looks like you had a lot of fun! I also love Five Guys fries!*
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4 Hillary August 27, 2011 at 5:49 pm

Burpees or swimming?

Yeah, I’ll take the swimming ; )
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5 acedanger August 28, 2011 at 9:40 am

definitely swimming
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6 Heather August 27, 2011 at 5:49 pm

I did a race like this in May, and I have no idea how I would have taken pictures. I’m impressed with your photography skills!
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7 Emily@SavoryandSavage August 27, 2011 at 5:52 pm

That race looked so fun.

Playing in the mud is always a great Saturday activity!
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8 Sara August 27, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Looks so fun! You definitely earned a Five Guys stop. Sorry about your favorite sweaty band. Definitely get yourself a new one as a reward for finishing the race with a smile. :)
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9 Alaina August 27, 2011 at 5:56 pm

this looks like a ton of phone and i am so impressed with how you can take pictures and kick ass in a race. i can hardly walk and take pictures lol btw i told my bf i wanted to do a mud race and he laughed in my face because I am a total girly girl and never get dirrrty. um, must. do. mud. race. now.
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10 Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) August 27, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Ooooh that looks like a rad race! I want to do one of those although I feel like I need to be more fierce first haha. My breezy elliptical workouts probably wouldn’t hold a candle to prepping for that sort of race.
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11 Sherri August 27, 2011 at 6:16 pm

How inspiring! Thank you so much for taking time for the pics, it really helps those of us who have never been to one of these events figure out what they are all about.

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12 Cait's Plate August 27, 2011 at 6:37 pm

GAH! This looks like so much fun. I’m dying to do this!
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13 Allyson August 27, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Great job on the race. I can’t believe you wore those shoes, why! Me and my husband did one back in may, just wore old sneaks and duck taped them so they wouldn’t fall off. I can’t believe no One told you!

Love five guys fries!

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14 delia August 27, 2011 at 6:38 pm

$99 for last minute race entry AND having to pay for parking?! The city where I used to live had a mud run. The hassle of getting that dirty while running just does not appeal to me. Lucky you for getting to run for free, but not my cup of tea! Glad you had fun though.

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15 Shaya (Eye Girl Eats) August 27, 2011 at 6:38 pm

You rock girl!!! I’m kind of a wimp when it comes to the dirty stuff, but I’d bet that after the first dunk in the mud you get really into it :)

I once did a 5k race that was straight up and around a giant hill, and ended with archery, keg tossing, and an obstacle course. it was awesome :)
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16 michelle August 27, 2011 at 6:39 pm

I think my 18 miler was easier than that this morning. Wow. That looks tough.
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17 Amanda @ the beauty notebooks August 27, 2011 at 6:53 pm

This looks like so much fun! I can tell from all of your pictures that you had an awesome time. I would love to try a mud race sometime!

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18 Turtle-speed runner August 27, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Wow, that looks like so much fun!! I wish they had that where I live… :D

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19 Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance August 27, 2011 at 6:57 pm

My boyfriend Will & I just read through this entire recap and are inspired to sign up haha. He says he just needs to get in better shape first– this looked so intense!
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20 Lindsey August 27, 2011 at 6:58 pm

That looks like a lot of fun, I wish we had a race like that around where I live – I might have to research it out some now!
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21 Melissa @ TryingToHeal August 27, 2011 at 7:13 pm

hahaha…those mud pits sound like work I did in FL! Too funny!
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22 Allison @ Happy Tales August 27, 2011 at 7:14 pm

ohhhmigah. i want to do a mud run SO badly!!!! good call on ditching the shoes. I must ask, though, how in the world did you get through that race with your camera??!?! (and without losing your sunnies?!) I’m super impressed!

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23 Meghann August 27, 2011 at 7:19 pm

It’s a waterproof camera. I run with it in my races and it’s been through hell, but it still takes photos! :) And I would rather have lost the sunglasses over the headband. They’re cheapies from Target. I think the rule is – the cheaper the sunglasses, the longer they last – right? ;)

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24 Allison @ Happy Tales August 27, 2011 at 7:23 pm

sadly, i think that rule is true. wahhhh. such a bummer about the headband!! ps. were you able to look into those earbuds?
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25 Meghann August 27, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Not yet! But I want them :)

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26 Mallory @ It's Only Life August 27, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Wow! You are a rockstar. That is all.
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27 Paula @ Eat: Watch: Run August 27, 2011 at 7:20 pm

That looks SO fun! It looks just like Warrior Dash with more obstacles. I haven’t even heard of Savage Race. Awesome review, Meghann. I even made my hubs read it. I said…read M&M dammit! :-)

I would love to do that race but man, it was HOT today. I don’t know how you did it.

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28 Meghann August 27, 2011 at 7:21 pm

All the water and mud obstacles kept me cool! Plus, the clouds and rain at the end helped. :)

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29 wymberley August 27, 2011 at 7:52 pm

5 guys has the best fries evah. I like them with malt vinegar. Savage race looks amazing. I totally want to do one. We have the Tough Mudder in Austin but my half marathon is THE NEXT DAY. Looks like you lost your headband in or around the tires. boo to that.
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30 Julie @ Wearing Mascara August 27, 2011 at 8:00 pm

I am so jealous! I really want to do a race like this in the next year. Awesome and inspiring recap!
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31 Alaina August 27, 2011 at 8:06 pm

That is one insane run!! Way to go!!

And yes, 5 Guys has amazing fries! :-)
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32 Pam C August 27, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Wow that looks like the hardest most intense mud run I’ve ever seen! I love it!

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33 Sana August 27, 2011 at 8:25 pm

I have a question, why not just wear running shoes?? I guess it would be too muddy?
I def want to try the 5 guys veggie sammie!
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34 Meghann August 27, 2011 at 9:20 pm

I didn’t want to ruin my good shoes. :)

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35 Sana August 28, 2011 at 4:58 am

Duh, good call :)
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36 Dani Eats Veggies August 27, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Wow, congrats on finishing that race! Looks like a lot of fun!
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37 Denise August 27, 2011 at 8:37 pm

I was in the 12pm heat and as we started we saw the clouds, then about halfway through the race we got the first lightening strike which felt like 5 feet from us, the came the incredibly painful sideways rains and then more lightening which of course closed the swim as we got to it yet we finished the course. The sand trail was now mini waterfalls, the 35′ sandwall was nice and packed and a breeze to get over but every obstacle was like someone covered it in baby oil yet me and my camo faced crew LOVED IT and all finished safely – - good times!

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38 Leigh August 27, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Looks like such a fun race! There was one similar in my area, but I had a wedding shower that day so I couldn’t do it :( Maybe next year!

Love Five Guys & Fries. So, so yummy!
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39 Mary August 27, 2011 at 8:57 pm

I did a Warrior Dash back in July in Michigan at 1 pm. I think it was the hottest day of the year! They only had 3 water stations counting the finish so I was glad to see you had a few more than that. Great photos! Obstacle/mud races are so fun. Nice that there was a cool off swim in this one!

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40 emily August 27, 2011 at 9:14 pm

That looks like so much fun, I’m so jealous that there aren’t any mud runs in my area! I’m also jelaous not to live by a 5 Guys anymore, but that’s a different sort of thing!
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41 Allison August 27, 2011 at 9:17 pm

That race looks so cool- I wish they had one in the DC area! Congrats on completing it but bummer you lost your polka-dot band :/

P.S. Why did you choose those shoes? Are they a new sneaker?!
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42 Meghann August 27, 2011 at 9:22 pm

I chose them because they were cheap and old and I didn’t care if I never saw them again. :)

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43 Allison August 27, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Ahhh, haha- I was wondering if you bought them new specifically for the race aka some special features for battling all the mud ;P
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44 ML August 27, 2011 at 9:39 pm

I’m so impressed with your ability to take pictures while racing in the mud! I’ve always wanted to do one of these mud runs, and I think I may just sign up for the next one in my area!
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45 Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio August 27, 2011 at 10:04 pm

You’re a champ!!! Seriously, I love that you run races like this. It really motivates me to conquer my fears and to run one too!
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46 Jessica @ Sushi & Sit-Ups August 27, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Whoa sounds like an awesome, muddy time! Sorry about your headband though!
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47 Kiah August 27, 2011 at 10:06 pm

That looks amazing! I’ve GOT to find one near me :-)
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48 Jennifer L August 27, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Love all the pictures you got during the race! especially the one on the slip n slide… couldn’t have been easy! well done on finishing that insane course!!

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49 Deva (Voracious Vorilee) August 27, 2011 at 11:07 pm

It looks like this was a really fun and challenging race! I want to do a Warrior Dash at some point in time – I just need to find one in my area!
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50 Gina @ running to the kitchen August 27, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Wow that race was no joke! It looked like it was going to be pretty hard core a couple months ago when you visited the course but this is crazy! Nice job finishing!
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51 Khushboo August 28, 2011 at 12:02 am

Wow what a badass race! No wait, I mean YOU are badass!
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52 Melissa (MelissaLikesToEat) August 28, 2011 at 12:53 am

All I can say is Wow!

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53 Pamela @ girlgonewestblog.com August 28, 2011 at 4:59 am

That looks like so much fun! You are a champ for getting through all that with a smile on your face – and the pictures to prove it! I want to sign up for one now!
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54 Sara@RunningInPinkProject August 28, 2011 at 8:22 am

I totally wish I could get to a place where I could so something like that. Thats truly impressive to me!! Way to go!

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55 Sophie August 28, 2011 at 8:46 am

That race looks mental!
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56 Brittney August 28, 2011 at 8:46 am

Did you run with a camera?? Or did Kelly take most of your pictures? Looks fun but VERY messy! Nice job!!
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57 Meghann August 28, 2011 at 9:07 am

I ran with my waterproof camera. I would politely ask volunteers along the way to take my photos at the obstacles.

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58 Erica August 28, 2011 at 9:49 am

That looks BRUTAL but AWESOME!!! I think I would love to do one, just for the sheer difference-ness of it (yes, I just made that up;-)). You definitely would not get bored…tired yes, but not bored! Very cool, Meghann!

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59 Meghann August 28, 2011 at 10:07 am

This post makes me want to do a mud run soo badly! I’m amazed that you had time to take so many pictures as you were running. Congrats on finishing it!
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60 amyt @ chicken nugget momma August 28, 2011 at 10:14 am

Oh man such awesome pics – this looks like SO much fun!!! I’m glad you were able to capture the whole race! I would love to try it!!! I love some five guys!!! Their fries are tha’ bomb!!!
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61 Ashley K. Edwards August 28, 2011 at 10:16 am

I’m almost certain Kim and I saw your “ditched” shoes along the trail! Although we saw many, many pairs…so who knows!
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62 Candice August 28, 2011 at 10:34 am

I love obstacle courses! looked like you had a blast!!

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63 Jonathan Root August 28, 2011 at 11:25 am

That was an awesome recap. Wish I could have been there. I look forward to seeing how fast the times were.

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64 Kristen @ The Concrete Runner August 28, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Sounds like an awesome race! Why did you choose to wear those shoes in the first place?! I learned my lesson after Living History Farms in Iowa – old running shoes are the way to go. I always keep at least one old pair just for a race like that because your newer running shoes will be trashed. Glad you had a good time!
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65 Liv August 28, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Serious question, why would you think wearing those “sneakers” to a race was ever a good idea?

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66 Meghann August 28, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Because I didn’t see savage race as a serious race. I wasn’t doing it for time, I was doing it for fun and knew I would be walking a majority of the time. If I were to go back in time I would do the whole race barefoot from the beginning.

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67 Lauren @ Sweet and Twisted August 28, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Looks like fun and a lot more muddy than the last one! I was looking at signing up for a similar race but there’s a part where you get shot with paintballs and there is some sort of crowd participation and I don’t know if I’m ready for that yet!
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68 Danielle Dillard August 28, 2011 at 5:01 pm

So great seeing you! Good job on the race. Wish I could have done it as well – looked like soo much fun.
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69 Lisa (bakebikeblog) August 28, 2011 at 5:39 pm

now THIS is my kinda race! What fun!
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70 Rachel August 28, 2011 at 6:23 pm

this is the craziest looking thing i’ve ever seen and i want to do it SO BADLY!
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71 ashley @ cooking for john August 28, 2011 at 11:56 pm

what were you thinking with those shoes? ;) did you buy them for cheap just before the race? i read about you didn’t want to ruin your running shoes, sucks you didn’t have an old pair. good call going barefoot- looks like a blast!!
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72 Meghann August 29, 2011 at 6:21 am

I’be had the shoes since college. They actually are really comfy and I’ve walked a couple if 5ks in them. I just think they didn’t like the mud.

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73 Dina August 29, 2011 at 6:17 am

The race looks like it was a lot of fun. Love your pictures and am very impressed at your sandbag carrying/picture taking skills.
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74 heather August 29, 2011 at 8:45 am

The race looks awesome but so hard! What a bummer about the sweaty band! Great job though!
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75 George August 29, 2011 at 10:02 am

I always wondered where pictures taken by random strangers with me as background filler ended up. Now I know. I see me. :)

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76 Meghann August 29, 2011 at 10:34 am

haha Just goes to show that you never know just where your face may end up!

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77 Allie August 29, 2011 at 11:43 am

Such a neat race! Loved your re-cap of it!
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78 Julie (A Case of the Runs) August 29, 2011 at 12:05 pm

I did the Camp Pendleton Mud Run last year… a 10k course with wall climbs, tunnels, etc. After that, I have not wanted to do another mud run… ha ha.
Julie (A Case of the Runs) recently posted..Marathon Training: Week 7

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79 Raya August 29, 2011 at 1:40 pm

This race looks AWESOME, and your pictures are great! The one of you going down the slip ‘n slide actually made me LOL, for real! I’m def going to have to find one of these types in the Phoenix area :)
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80 Axel August 29, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Looks a lot like the Warrior Dash I did this summer; I was thinking you didn’t look muddy enough, then I read about the swim! That would have been a welcome addition to my race…
Axel recently posted..Learn to swim you @$#%!

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81 Carissa August 29, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Wow! What a crazy race! I really wanted to do it, but as you said the $$ does add up! Those obstacles looked insane! Those mud races are really taking off, but I think they make a shorter distance race more inviting to pay for and run!

You’re awesome girl!
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82 Yolie @ Practising Wellness August 30, 2011 at 11:55 am

That race looks absolutely AWESOME I would love love love to do something like that! Seriously huge high fives to you for kicking that race’s butt, while it kicked yours! Soooo cool! :-)) xyx
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83 Tyler April 19, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Wow for some reason I hadn’t heard of this one before. Done tough mudder, warrior dash, spartan race etc. have to check this one out as well.

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