Well That Was Abrupt...

Today was the Ugly Mudder in Reading, PA - billed as 7.25 miles on the ugliest trails on the mountain beside Reading.. trails that other races don't include because they're too damned rocky, bumpy, briar-filled, etc....

Last year when I did this race, there were 3 inches of hard-pack ice the entire way. I waddled through in 1:19, good for top 28%. Knowing the conditions would be different today, I didn't think much of time, only wanting to finish higher in my age group.

Around the 5.2 mile mark, I tell a young kid I've been trading places with that we had about 2 miles to go. Except, just after that I realized where we were -- close to the finish. A volunteer yells, "You've got a quarter mile to go," and I think I really need a refund on my Garmin.

I kicked it hard to the end (wouldn't you if you thought you have 2 miles left and in reality you had basically.. nothing?), and passed two people going up the infamous Mt. Mud.

In the end, it turns out the leaders took a wrong turn and took 400 of us with them (out of 675). Results are what they are and there will be no dq's.

I finished in 52 and change - 9 minute miles, compared to 11 last year.

The only thing worth comparing is place: I was pleasantly surprised to know that I came in 53rd, which should be top 8-10%, my highest placement in a trail race so far. I hope to be top 10% for my age group, but who knows... there's a lot of gnarly trail runners in my age group.

In the parking lot afterward, I witnessed an altercation between a man who allegedly called a woman a "whore" for passing him and moving him into a tree and a man who was the woman's husband. It was a weird altercation as the accused said something about, "it's a race." Blah, blah.

I always make it a point to be nice to the ladies around me. Where I am in the pack is usually right about the fastest women are, and I think it'd be a pain to get slowed down by a bunch of slower dumb men. I try to make it easy for them to "play through" if they've got the get up and go.

So a shorter race, but a faster race. Nothing wrong with that.

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