Sunday, March 25, 2012

Buck Mountain Mudslinger Trail Run, 6.5 never-ending miles!

Back in January was my best friend Tonya's birthday...I had it all planned out.  A surprise trail run that fell
 right on her birthday.  A few day's before the run, I received a e-mail, due to flooding it was moved to May 12th (same day as our 1/2 marathon, Hippie Chick)....oh no!  I was really bummed, but I was able to transfer our fee to another race.  We picked the "Buck Mountain Mudslinger Trail Run".  It was yesterday.......

Registration 
We left Dallas at 7:00am and headed to Howard Creek State Park at Silver Falls.  It's only about an hour drive. As we drove up the mountain we began to see snow.  We turned off into to park and got out to pick up our race numbers...burrrr it was cold out.  We got a good parking spot right next to the port-a-potties and the starting line, lucky us!  We sat in the car, yes we did!  I found it very interesting watching people, and we were staying warm lol!

Waiting in line to start 
A few minutes before 9 am they called everyone to line up.  Off we went to the start line alone with about 300 other runners.  We found Keith and Laura, some fellow runners from Willlamette Valley Running Club. Was good to see we weren't the only crazies out this morning trying to run muddy/snowy mountains, lol.   We started on a park road, but soon went off onto a trail.  As we turned off onto the trail we were forced to go really slow, then came to a walk.  I thought, "wow, the trail must really be narrow."  As we came a little further I realized what the hold-up was....we had to cross a creek.  It was all muddy colored from all the people in front of us.  It was at least knee deep and very cold.  We weren't even warmed up yet!  There was no getting around this ..... we had to go through it.  Two of my toes felt frozen after that but all we could do is keep going or quit...keep going it was!  

The trail was narrow, muddy and slick.  We quickly came to a muddy mountain.  Tonya and I train on hills most every week so the thought of hills really weren't intimidating to us, but we do not ever trail run, mud run, or snow run....hummmmm, this was going to be a challenge.  As we started up the mountain our toes were freezing and with all the people it was very tight.  Most of the time we had to go single file because of how the trail was.  It seemed that every two steps we took we slid back a step.  We had to tighten muscles and brace ourselves from slipping.  I have never been in mud like this.  It was exhausting.

We left our garmins home so we had no idea what time or mile we were at.  We just had to keep going.  At one point my calves started burning and I wanted to stop so bad.  It was hard.   A lot of the time we had to walk.  With the path so narrow there were places you couldn't pass, and if you tried you would get injured going around.  At one point a women behind a group of us finds a spot to pass.....as she zooms pass us in some deep mud she totally biffs it a few steps ahead.  It was funny!  

Tonya stuck in the mud, I had to pull her out, lol!
We finally reach the top of the steepest mountain  and enjoy running slowly down the mountain in the mud/snow.  There were mud pits and you never knew how deep they were.  I saw someone loose their shoe in a mud pit and was digging it out.  As we went through another mud pit, Tonya sinks knee deep and I have to pull her out.  All we could do was laugh.  We were so tired and so done, but we had to keep going.

The trail leveled off for a little bit, but we then found ourselves in deep snow.  We must of been at the top of the mountain.  We stopped for a quick photo.  By this time my toes were no longer frozen...I was very warm.  But my ankle was hurting (I'm used to road running only).  As I stepped into the deep cold snow I felt relief to my hurting ankle.  It was like a but a ice pack on it. A little relief to my hurting body, lol!

Finally, the top of the mountain!
We tried to have some fun going down the mountain.  We flung mud at each other, but then that became too much work.  I never expected this run to be this hard.  It felt never ending.  It was 6.5 loooong miles.  On the road, Tonya and I could run this any day and run it at a good pace.  Today...nope!  All we could do is keep going and talk to people along the way trying to keep our minds off what we were doing.  We had our Newport Marathon shirts on, so lots of people asked us about Newport.  We talked about how hard this run was, how we would never do it again....how tired we were, how we wanted to be done.

I found that going down hill in the thick mud was kinda fun if you galloped instead of running or walking.  You see, we had to be careful because off all the rocks and sticks.  If you run or walk you just go down into the unknown mud.  If you gallop, you slid into the unknown mud.  I would rather slide into a rock/stick then land on it and hurt my ankle even more!  I know, boring stuff, but I had to keep my mind on something other than what I was doing.

Just before the Finish Line!
As we went a long someone told us the last two miles are all down hill.  Well, we were going downhill!  YES, finally the last two miles.  We were so happy we even picked up the pace a little knowing the muddy mountain was forever in our past.  We went by a few people then our dream came to a sudden halt......what!  Another hill?  We really weren't expecting this, that person was wrong!   All we could do was keep going and that is what we did.  We weren't happy, but we had no choice.  We finally seemed to level off a bit and then saw a mile marker.  6 it said.  I was all excited, only 1/2 mile left!!!!  As we came to a little creek we had to run through a photographer was there.  He told us we had about a mile left?  Hu?  I wasn't happy.  I guess the trail mile marker was not the same as the race markers...sad.   We stayed pretty level, but we were still in mud and snow.  Finally, we heard some human shouts...At the same time, Tonya and I went, "YAH!"  When you are in a race and you hear human shouts, you know you are about to see the FINISH line!  A sweet moment!  We raised our hands in victory and Keith captured the moment for us with his camera!  

Done, time 1:36:34....oh the shame....lol!
We were done, we just ran 6.5 miles up a mountain, in the snow, mud, and water on a narrow trail.  It felt never ending, yet there were times that we laughed so hard and had fun in the moment.  Tonya pretty much hated every minute of it and will never run that race again.  I hated it, but not as much as Tonya.  I do enjoy trail running, but would rather not run through mud pits and creeks.  Next year we will not do this race, but plan other doing another trail run by Run Wild called Willamette Mission Trail Challenge.  This one is muddy yes, but I not as hilly and the trails look wider.

Keith, Me, Tonya and Laura hoping to win something in the drawing.
We went over and waited for prizes to be given out (drawings) and stood by the heater thingy with Keith, Laura and lots of people we didn't know.   None of us won, boo!  Tonya and I peeled off our muddy knee high socks and muddy pasted shoes and headed home.  The hour long drive home felt long...we were tired.  All-in-all, I'm glad we did it.  It's a fun memory even if it was hard.


"... run with patience
the race that is
set before us ..."
Heb. 12:1-3
..



2 comments:

  1. Nice race report! I met you at the finish line, Keith introduced us. Willamette Mission can be just as muddy, FYI. But definitely not as steep and probably not snowy. I ran it last year and fell twice because the mud was so much more slippery. I didn't fall at Buck Mtn. Just thought you might want to know :) Nice to meet you out there.

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  2. Thanks for the info Mackenzie and nice meeting you too! Happy Running!

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