Just a couple of weeks ago, I saw a living social deal for MuckFest Twin Cities, which I hadn’t heard of before. I looked into it a little, and asked Ethan if he wanted to do it. we decided the price was right and it looked like fun, so we signed up.
The MuckFest is a 5 mile mud run set up to raise money for treating MS. Comparing this to other mud runs we’ve done, this was a middle length (most are 5K, but the Tough Mudders have been 9 – 12 miles), had moderate hills, LOTS of mud, and the obstacles were challenging, but not overly strenuous. I felt like anyone who was in good enough condition to cover the distance could have accomplished this mud race and had some fun.
The distance was really nice, especially since most of the hills weren’t especially steep. At the end I felt like we could have kept going for awhile, and we still certainly had enough energy to do more obstacles, if we had to. There were a couple of unusual things about this course compared to other mud runs we’ve done; it didn’t have any mile markers to indicate your progress, and it had a 5K shortcut option if you felt you weren’t up to the full course. I can see how with two possible distances, the mile markers would have been more complicated to set up, but it was strange to have them missing and not have a clear idea of how far you’ve gone. On the other hand, I sort of appreciated not knowing, because the end of the course came as a pleasant surprise.
The course was, as expected, pretty muddy. About 2 miles of it (the part you could skip if you took the 5K shortcut) went through woods and had a lot of mud pits. It was slippery mud, too, so that we did quite a bit of walking so we wouldn’t slip and fall. The mud pits varied quite a bit in size and depth, with some over 20 feet long, and a couple that were chest deep. This combined with rolling hills and uneven terrain to make for some fun trail running and walking.
All of the obstacles were designed to not require teamwork to traverse, though on some teamwork was possible. There were some standard obstacles like rope net climbs, wall/fence climbs, and of course the hills and mud pits, but there were some unique obstacles as well. They had a few things that I’ve seen on dog agility courses, with ramps up and down, and teeter totter like obstacles that you have to walk up, tilt and then walk down the other side. For Ethan and I these mostly served to slow us down a bit and provide a chance to catch our breath. They also had a fireman’s pole that didn’t quite qualify as an obstacle, so much as a slowdown spot.
Some of the unique obstacles were really fun though. One was a muddy trench with giant inflated balls swinging from side to side, knocking you into the mud. Another was a giant rotating swing arm with dangling ropes. You had to grab on and swing an almost full rotation over a trough of mud and let go back on solid ground. The last obstacle I hadn’t seen before on a mud run was one of my favorites: a wooden wall, canted slightly backward, with a narrow ledge at the bottom and rock climbing handholds attached near the top. You had to go from one end to the other by clinging to the hand holds and walking along the narrow ledge.
We had a lot of fun and I would certainly enjoy doing this run next year. If I have any friends up for doing 5 miles I’d recommend it as a great first mud run, since none of the obstacles required you to be in spectacular shape to get through.