Running events used to be simple. Sign up, train to your level, participate, and get a T-shirt you will probably donate to Goodwill. Not anymore. Your simple 5k has morphed into a mixture of natural and man-made obstacles, laid out through recreational parks, corn fields, and thick woodlands … through the muddiest path possible! Why? I only know what I saw and experienced, so read on and see what you think. Mud is fun! Uh, seriously, when was the last time you were muddy from the chin down? Really? Then it’s been too long! I must admit I was tip-toeing through the first few puddles, avoiding the inevitable. But as soon as I was forced to crawl on my belly through the mud, it didn’t matter anymore. The pressure was off and the fun was on. You should have seen the folks at the finish line slapping muddy high-fives, chest bumps and hugs. Everyone had worked hard and had a great time doing it. The great equalizer Adding mud and rugged terrain to a “competition” can level the playing field, turning good runners into wallowing novices, which can really take the pressure off the other participants. In fact, the mud allows you to modify your expectations since you really don’t know how you are going to perform regardless of how well you have trained. This gives these events a very fun, low-key, social feel, which is very appealing to all fitness levels. See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for the full story.
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