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Posts tagged ‘Lathrop’

Why you really need no reasons to do a mud run


I’m a little behind in posts. The life of a blogger? You end up having four of five posts in queue, needing more polishing and not quite ready to launch. I need to write my race report on the Oakland Half Marathon and do some other things, but today I’m going to write about something I highly recommend every person does at least once.

A mud run.

Yes. I think you should do a mud run.

Why? Seriously? Why not? Why wouldn’t you want get yucky and dirty? Why wouldn’t you want to jump through hoops (literally in some cases) and down water slides and tramp through gross mud knee deep?

See. It sounds amazing. Right?

If you live in Northern California, around my neck of the woods, you’re in luck. Dell’Osso Family Farm is hosting a mud run on April 6. Registration ends early next week. And it’s the perfect opportunity to get a full-body workout on a Saturday!


Plus, I have a coupon code for those wanting to register!

The run goes down beginning at 8 a.m. on April 6 with waves starting every twenty minutes through 1 p.m. The mud run includes 30 obstacles! Yes, 30!

And if you know anything about Dell’Osso Family Farm, you know that it’s always a fun time out in Lathrop, right off merge of interstates 205 and 5 near the end of San Joaquin County. In my former life as a journalist, I often wrote stories about the Dell’Ossos. A few years ago Susan and Ron Dell’Osso expanded the farm’s offerings to include a holiday aspect, with a snow-tube mountain.

Needless to say, I’ve been out there quite a bit. So when the marketing manager asked me if I wanted to offer my running group (the Mountain House Running Club) a couple code, I jumped at the chance. I also asked if I could offer it to my blog readers.

So why should you participate?

It’s pretty obvious.


This seems like an obvious. But really, it is A LOT of fun. You start out completely clean as you run into the first obstacle is an uphill run around the snow-tube mountain. If you’re a reasonably fast runner, you’ll soon be jetting down the hill and into a crazy mud pit. I mean serious mud. There’s no avoiding being completely drenched in it. Don’t even try.

The moment you hit the mud, you’ll realize that it’s not all that bad. But you’ll also realize that you have a lot more obstacles in front of you. Like? Oh, some tires to run through, hay bales to cross, etc. It just keeps getting more and more crazy.


For those serious runners out there, a smaller-style mud run isn’t exactly on the top of the sign-up list. Why? Mud runs take longer. You often get behind a slower crowd. Sometimes you have to wait for an obstacle.

You’re probably thinking: Why would I want to do that?

Mud runs are about taking in the moment. They’re also about doing something completely different. When I first did a mud run at Dell’Osso Family Farm in 2012 it took me 54:18. That’s not exactly PR material. But this isn’t a PR course. This course is about hanging out and getting dirty. It’s also an adventure.

Most people don’t even do trail runs, so a mud run can be the only exposure to running on trails, dirt, etc. Basically a runner’s only exposure to getting dirty if you prefer road races over the other side of the great outdoors.


I register and run quite a few races throughout the year. I’m always more inclined to do so if the run sponsor is giving money to a local charity. Most of the smaller runs in my area do this.

The Dell’Ossos are huge community contributors in the first place. Each year, volunteers from the community come and work shifts at the corn maze. In return, Dell’Osso Family Farm contributes money back to those organizations. As of last October, before the pumpkin maze opened, the farm pumped close to $1 million back into the community in it’s 15-year run by giving back to those organizations.

The money is likely more, considering how many people are brought into Lathrop for visit to the farm.

It’s fitting, then, that this specific mud run is benefiting the American Cancer Society and other local charities. It’s a win-win: You get to run, get dirty and have a good time. Local charities benefit.


I mentioned the 30 obstacles. Those include a lot of variety. It’s not all mud pits. The photo above is the tire area, courtesy of the Dell’Osso Family Farm Facebook page.

You’ll have to run through tires, over bridges, jump over hurdles (those got me last time),¬† make your way over a tire pyramid and cross over muddy ditches, among other things.

Check out a full map of the course here.


The registration package includes a the standard T-shirt. You also get a medal (for a 5K!), a ticket for a free beer at the Fleet Feet Beer Garden (sponsored by my favorite local running store) and free parking. There will be a ton of stuff to do out at the farm post race. Plus, you can bring a picnic lunch and set up to each after you take on the course.

You’ll likely be done in less than an hour. Some people will be done sooner. So you can easily make a day out of it. (We’re all adults, so be sure to designate a driver if you are drinking. It should go without saying, but some people need the reminder.)


Then check out my review of the first mud run ever hosted at Dell’Osso. You can also find a post on what exactly I wore that day, even though it didn’t quite work out.

Think it’s too challenging? It’s not. I’ve had issues with my upper body strength in recent years, basically my lack thereof, but I was able to get through it fine. I was also completely comfortable about running the Big Sur 21-miler the weekend after with no problems. The majority of the people I saw out in the field were older than me. In my wave there was a group of women celebrating a friend’s 40th birthday. They wore tutus. And tiaras. I’m not sure how that worked out for them because I know by the end I was barely hanging onto my bib number. My beer coupon was long gone by then.

And I looked pretty messy.



That’s a tough question, but here are a couple suggestions.

  • Nothing with pockets, according to Susan Dell’Osso. Imagine all the mud getting into your pockets and dragging you down? Not pretty.
  • Dark clothing: If only so you don’t have to work as hard getting the stains out.
  • Speaking of clothing: Make sure you wear something you aren’t necessarily attached to, since you may not be able to wear it again.
  • Old shoes: Use Duct tape if you’re afraid they’ll fall off. If you don’t use Duct Tape, make sure you tie your shoes tightly. I saw at least two people lose their shoes during the process of the run.
  • Sunscreen: Even though you’ll be covered in mud, you can still get sunburned. I learned that the hard way.
  • Few accessories: Don’t bring your phone with you. Or a camera. Don’t bring anything you wouldn’t be OK having ruined, really. I walked around in a daze for nearly 30 minutes before I found my husband. It was worth it to not mangle my then new iPhone 4S.


Definitely. Unfortunately I won’t be able to participate in the April 6 mud run because I’ll be heading to San Luis Obispo to run a marathon the next day.

Plus, I’m barely getting back to exercising my still broken, but healing, left T-rex arm. So there’s no way I’ll be able to join in on the fun this year. It’s a bummer, because I wasn’t able to participate last September either since my students had a journalism conference in Sacramento all day that day.

Want to sign up? Want $10 off?

Use this code: 1MTHRC13

And be sure to sign up by April 2, when registration ends.

Happy mud running!

(Disclaimer: I was provided a coupon code for my running club and asked if I could share it with my blog readers. Dell’Osso Family Farm did not pay me or influence this blog post in any way. I’m just happy to share my experience with my readers.)

Gearing up for a muddy run

Do you know how many times I’ve Googled “what to wear to a mud run?” this week? It’s not even funny how many. I did it at school. At work during my Weight Watchers lunch break. At home in the evening. Even this morning.

You know what I found? Little to nothing. Lots of reviews. Nothing tell me what I should wear outside of “not something you love because it will likely be stained.” Well, yes. I figured as much.

The shoes, above, were easy.

That specific pair of Nike Equalon’s have been sitting in my garage for more than a year. I wore them during the Brazen Mount Diablo 10K in March 2011 because it was a wet, rainy day, which kind of turned it into a mud run in itself. I actually lost one of the shoes in a ravine and had to chase after it for a good while.

I had phased this pair out four weeks before. The week after I was running my first half marathon. So they were essentially “retired” when I last wore them. And they are still covered in mud. Perfect, I figure. No problem on the shoes. (Though I do need to track down some innersoles for them since I don’t want to wear my nice ones.)

But what else?

I asked my running club this week. I was told a sports bra and “booty shorts.” Ha. I couldn’t pull that look off it I tried on one of my skinniest days. I did enjoy the conversation that ensued on Facebook with the club, though.

I started going through my clothes last week and suddenly realized I faced a challenge: I had nothing to wear.

Why? Because here’s the point in which I sound pretentious. I have nice running clothes. After the first 10 months I ran in cotton, I decided to invest in some seriously nice clothes. Now my cheapest pair of capris is a $55 pair of Nike Relay pants. My most expensive? Lululemon Run: In the Sun capris.

So I stopped by Target (I love Target. I hate how you can walk in there for one thing and leave with 10, but I love the low prices and good quality) and picked up some new, inexpensive clothes, which can be used again if I can get the mud out.

A new Champion shirt for $15. I’m 100 percent sure I can wear this again too because it’s black and the material is slicker than most shirts. I don’t think it was absorb any of the mud/dirt.

And some colorful shorts. These were a steal for $10. I wanted something, anything with color. The best part is these are reversible. So the blue will likely get destroyed, but the black side will be good for gardening and other housework I usually do now in my Nike running shorts. So, really, I can wear both of these things again for the money.

I’m wearing a pair of my Nike socks too, but only because they have holes in the big toes and I’m about ready to throw them away. Too bad too, because they are still good, but I can’t exactly fix the hole. I tried on another pair and the seam just rubbed my toes the wrong way.

I actually decided to wear a pair of compression shorts underneath the blue shorts too. I’m hoping it prevents mud from getting up in places I don’t want it.

Even better, this week I got a new special edition of Runner’s World Magazine.

And, if you look closely, you can see why I was more than a little excited.

The magazine had a really good article about how mud runs are growing in popularity. Want proof? The one I’m running in today launches 300 runners every 15 minutes from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. My way isn’t until 2:15 p.m., which is why I’m sitting at home writing a blog post instead of out running. I did do four easy on the treadmill this morning just to warm my legs up.

And I figured it would be OK to run because this afternoon is more endurance, slow run and fun than it is a real run. (Is that bad to say? Mud runs aren’t runs? I don’t know yet. I haven’t done one. This is my first today.)

I finally had a chance to read it and loved the little primer on mud runs and how to prepare.

This has basically answered many of the questions I’ve had about what to expect and what the experience will be like. This is why I love Runner’s World. I swear, the magazine is great for both experienced and new runners. And it seems to answer my questions before I even know I have them.

So what else am I taking to the mud run? Nothing. Maybe some cash, but otherwise absolutely nothing. Not even my phone. (I literally just got a new phone two days ago because my Android X decided to finally cut out on me. What did I get? An iPhone 4S. I’m a big girl now, really.)

Because the mud run is midday for me, I decided just to throw on my clothes after my four mile run and shower this morning.

Look! I have bathroom vanity doors again! To be fair, I’ve always had them. I finally decided to finish them. Half hearted, because they didn’t turn out as well as I want, but still. And that’s my dog Beau. He likes to photobomb. It’s how he rolls. Even better, this photo doesn’t show the tire in my abdomen I’ve been carrying around for the past couple months.

I’m also planning on wearing contacts and slathering on the sun screen.

My husband asked me why I was wearing black, particularly because for the first time this season it’s supposed to hit 90 degrees in the valley. I wouldn’t be so upset about the heat if we had actually had a winter. We didn’t, for real. I had about 10 days where I had to wear my Nike thermal compression shirts underneath my clothes, but that’s it.

We didn’t even have a lot of rain until a couple weeks ago. So summer temperatures this early? Not cool.

I’m hoping the mud isn’t too warm today.

But I’m outfitted for this run. Am I ready? Maybe not.

I mentioned that last night and was told that I’m making other people nervous. But really, I don’t know what to expect. Besides mud. I expect mud. But what else? Can I really climb a wall? Can I handle the monkey bars? Will my thumb continue to be a problem?

I only have a couple hours before I find out. The clock is ticking…

Getting mud run ready

It’s time.

After months of not training for the mud run that I’m doing tomorrow, it’s happening.

I have to say, my training lately has been sub par. And I’m supposed to run a tough 21-miler in Big Sur next weekend. Yikes.

I have an inkling of what to expect on Saturday.

I even bought some new clothes as to not have to destroy my Lululemon or Nike gear. I found some seriously cheap clothes to get dirty which, hopefully, will clean up well after.

Now I’m scared.

The number I was assigned doesn’t help.

I’ve read reviews about the toughness of the course, despite it only being 3.47 miles. I’ve read that, in one area, runners can experience some¬†claustrophobia. That kind of scares me a little. The whole getting dirty part also does too.

And I’ve been freaking out all week about what I’m going to wear. I’ll write a more extensive post about the conundrum of that tomorrow. I just finished an eight-mile run on the treadmill. Now I’m whipped. And ready for bed.

And so glad my wave of the mud run doesn’t happen until 2:15 tomorrow.

I’m sure I won’t sleep well, though. I think I’m more nervous about this race than I’ve been at any lately.

Hopefully the nerves translate into a cool start at the race tomorrow when the temperature is high (it’s expected to me in the 90s in Lathrop).

Ugh. I hate nerves.

Getting dirty

I’m not sure if this makes me crazy. It probably does.

I’ve never done a “themed” race. I’ve never ran a race in costume (though I really want to). I’m typically not into that sort of thing.

But I was too tempted when I head about a mud run within five miles of my house. My running buddies and I wanted to do a Warrior Dash race about two and a half hours a way in late October. We just never got organized.

But the Mountain House Running Club mentioned, possibly doing it together in April. I didn’t sign up fast enough for that, but I finally did sign up, albeit one day after the price went up (UGH), but I’m now ready to go.

My wave start is 2:15 p.m. I even have time to sleep in that morning (woo!!).

The course goes over a 3.47-mile area at Dell’Osso Family Farm in Lathrop. There are 16 obstacles spread throughout the course.

The obstacles range walls to climb over to tires to run through to mud…and more mud. Lots and lots of mud.

I’m pretty excited. I have no idea what to wear. Definitely throwaway clothes. But since I’ve never done one of these before I’m a little timid about it. I’m running the Big Sur 21-miler the following weekend. I’m kind of hoping just not to get injured.

The most exciting part about this is that a couple days ago I could swear the mud run was only on one day.

I signed up yesterday to make sure I could even get a spot, any spot.

Today, they are advertising for the Sunday in addition to the Saturday. It’s pretty cool that many people want to do something like this. That makes me really want to do it even more.

So my next step is training. How do you get in shape for something like this? Do I need to find some monkey bars somewhere? Or a jungle gym to climb? Maybe lay down some tires and run through?

Or just keep running?

Maybe all of the above. Or, perhaps, just run it for fun. And have fun. That sounds like a plan.