The return of the muddy run season is upon us. Dirty, Dozen, Survival of the fittest, Rat Race, Spartan race, Nuclear races you name it there is a race for it.
I think I did my first one of these way back in 2007 or 2008. It was in Nottingham and the trend of these races was just beginning to start.
Splashing through rivers, crawling chest deep in mud and under barbed wire is great fun and you can really push yourself.
The first ones I did ranged from 10 km to 12 miles and I always ended up running on my own after losing who ever I was running with or setting off by myself in the first place.
I enjoyed pushing myself and trying to get around in as fastest a possible time as I could.
Then one year came the Spartan beast at Brands hatch and I ran with four other people. We kept up with each other and really pushed ourselves. My competitive nature took hold and I wanted to finish higher and higher up the field.
I even did one such race with my hand heavily strapped and in a plastic bags I had broken fingers at the time. Ironically that race is still my highest finish!
Then one day a guy from my crossfit box suggested that we all enter a team into our local muddy race. Little did he know that that suggestion would start a trend.
For the first time in one of these races we ran together, every step of the way. I didn't run off like I have in the past and we each helped one another over and under obstacles and encouraged each other on. We did this with the intention of finishing as a team and not going for a time to beat.
The camaraderie and silliness was at breaking point and each one ran with smile.
I thought I wouldn't like running as a team and would want to tear off into the distance and better my time.
I was proved wrong as we ran together giggling and being silly all the way.
Any excess energy that I still had I spent launching into obstacles and muddy pits full of water. Splashing about and being silly.
Basically was making a nuisance of my self. I am sure to the utter horror of most of the girls in our team.
To be honest if you run as a team chatting and laughing the entire experience is far more rewarding and much better. Yes time and podium places are important but enjoyment and fun and finishing with a smile on your face tops that.
Running as a team which is a mixture of all sorts of people is the best way forward and how I aim to continue running all of these.
Next up was the electro Dash and a music filled laser bean infested disco run! No mud this time but we had an even bigger obstacle to over come. Running drunk!
Long may these runs continue.......