They Don't Make Shoes for This

So yesterday was the 2007 Ugly Mudder. Seven and ¼-ish miles over the steepest, ugliest trails in Reading. That’s how the race always comes. This year, three inches of ice were added to it for good measure.

In my head, I always picture these races to be smaller than they are. This time around, I figured a lot of people wouldn’t come because of the impending snow. I think I was wrong, though final figures aren’t in yet….there was a crazy mob of people there. They call this one of the largest trail runs east of the Mississippi and it probably had 700 or so, total.

Literally, the entire course was on either hard crusty snow, except the parts that were on hard crusty rocks and a few very short parts over roads. Mud would’ve been welcome, actually.

I think I lined up in about the right place… knew the course wouldn’t be ideal for passing. I’d say throughout the entire race I probably didn’t move up or down more than twenty paces. I did a great job moving up miles two to five, but think I probably gave up some of that in the final two miles.

The worst part was in the third mile, which had a very long downhill – over three inches of packed ice. I did most of this on my butt. Turns out polypro tights make a decent sled if you don’t mind looking like a jackass. Actually, if you stayed on your feet, you ended up falling, so the jackass thing was pretty much a guarantee.

Going into it, I knew that the course record was seven minutes per mile; that’s how hard this thing is, so I had no time expectations… I mean, if you know a course is already two minutes slower than a road course and you add three inches of ice to it, how do you set a goal? Other than not hurting yourself, of course.

I wore my road shoes, thinking that this would be last race in them since they’re old and the “mud” would finish them off. This would’ve been a good idea, if not for the fact that old road shoes have very little traction, particularly on downhill ice.

I wiped out twice. I define “wiping out” as when un-intended body parts smacked ice or rocks and people shouted, “Are you ok?” There were other numerous near-misses when people said things like, “Careful! Watch it” or “Whoa, that was close!” I also commentated others’ falls and near misses, too.

I picked up people. I was picked up. Much of the course was crawling over fallen trees or rocks.

I saw the coolest parts of the hills (mountains?) around Reading and many large animal tracks. Afterwards, I got a great pancake and egg breakfast and yummy goodies and a very cool shirt that would frighten small children.

In the end, I came in 180th out of somewhere between 700 and 900 people – will let you know exactly when the body count is posted. Hoping for top ½ in my age group. I’m sore today and have no idea if the soreness is from falling or running. Either way, I earned it.

Diabetes-wise, I started the race with the blood sugar of 247… With it being morning, I decided to take a half unit of insulin and remove my pump. So, in essence, after the bolus, I was running seven miles with no pump, with a starting blood sugar of 227. After the face, I was a perfect 137 and spent most of the rest of the day in the 70’s as my body kept burning up whatever I put in it. Good race, and a good day.

For more Mudder coverage, you can see what some other people have said, including a Garmin profile of the elevation on this nonsense.

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