Why I Do Mud Run After Mud Run

mud run

It's inevitable. After explaining to a non-mud-runner how much fun I have going through miles of mud, willingly dunking myself in dumpsters full of ice, climbing walls and cargo nets, and other nonsensical things (Electric wires! Cinder blocks!), I get the question: "How is that fun?"

To some, it sounds like torture. To me, it sounds like a regular Saturday afternoon.

I get this question all the time and — believe me — I understand. The first time I signed up for a mud run, I was terrified. I somehow got talked into signing up for a 10K event, for which I was grossly underprepared. I had never run six miles before, much less, six miles with mud and obstacles.

But after a two-hour adventure of climbing over things, crawling under things, swimming through things, and coming out the other side relatively unscathed, I was hooked.

Since that first race, just more than two years ago, I've participated in more than 20 mud runs (of the ones I can count, anyway) and enjoyed every single one. I have only truly feared for my life once — I was dangling precariously from a 12-foot wall covered in the slickest mud I've ever encountered with absolutely no on-course support.

I've had bruises nearly everywhere, including a pumpkin-sized bruise on the back of my thigh from crashing from an obstacle after getting too cocky confident.

(My editor just reminded me that I'm supposed to be telling you why mud runs are fun. Right.)

When the inevitable question comes along with a deer-in-headlights look, I do my best to explain:

A Different Kind of Challenge

Mud runs challenge you in all sorts of ways, both physically and mentally. It's physically challenging to run six miles; it's mentally challenging to talk yourself into a dumpster full of ice water. (It's also a physical challenge to climb out of said dumpster when your body goes into survival mode and your limbs stop functioning. Pro tip: KEEP MOVING.)

Doing Something that Terrifies You — and Not Dying — Is Pretty Amazing

A huge part of mud runs is overcoming fears. I have a friend who is terrified of climbing cargo nets, but she's done it countless times — and hasn't died. I personally am terrified of falling jumping off 15-foot platforms into water, and yet, I do it every time. Doing things we're scared of and making it to the "other side" is how we grow.
(Disclaimer: Don't do water obstacles if you can't swim. This is not the kind of terrifying we recommend.)

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About the Author

Summer Hogsed

Summer Hogsed is the Sr. Product Manager for ACTIVE.com and harbors a secret love for writing. As a former ballet dancer and journalism major, she is no stranger to the written word or being ACTIVE. While ballet is her first love, she is passionate about being active in many forms. Previous adventures include musical theater, flamenco dancing, a half marathon and running away with the circus. Current activities are yoga, running, mud runs and rock climbing. Follow the madness on Twitter and Instagram.

Summer Hogsed is the Sr. Product Manager for ACTIVE.com and harbors a secret love for writing. As a former ballet dancer and journalism major, she is no stranger to the written word or being ACTIVE. While ballet is her first love, she is passionate about being active in many forms. Previous adventures include musical theater, flamenco dancing, a half marathon and running away with the circus. Current activities are yoga, running, mud runs and rock climbing. Follow the madness on Twitter and Instagram.

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