10km The Recaps[Posted on ]

Recap: Camp Pendleton Mud Run

Race: World Famous Mud Run
Date: June 11th, 2011
Start Time: 9:00AM
Location: Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base (Oceanside, CA)

After several years of trying to get into the Mud Run — it always gets sold out so quickly — thanks to Jo Nisha, I finally got to participate… and run with her and Sheryl (alongside her two friends) as a team! I was not disappointed with the race, either and though I’m writing this race report many weeks later, the memories of that experience will stay with me… until my next mud run with Sheryl, and Jo, anyway! 🙂 Yes, I had that much fun that I want to run it again next year.

Anyway, before I get ahead of myself, let me go through the checklist… 🙂

Registering for the race
Find yourself a dedicated friend who will remember to go to the Camp Pendleton Races website at 12:01AM on new years’ eve to sign up your team. I’m very grateful again for Jo for doing this! We later found out that the race sold-out in a record 8 hours! I wasn’t even awake at 8AM on January 1st. The biggest part was waiting for June to arrive, but as the weeks drew closer, so did the nerves and last minute planning!

Again, thanks to the fabulous Jo, we found a hotel that was literally steps away from Camp Pendleton Marine base — the Holiday Inn in Oceanside. This turned out to be a big plus because there was already a queue of cars at the freeway exit and the queue to enter Camp Pendleton was getting longer; since we were right there, our wait-time to enter Camp Pendleton (past 6AM, mind you) was fairly short (less than 10 minutes). The cost, well, it’s a bit pricier than other hotel/motels and they charge you for buffet brekkers, but considering the convenience, it evens out, I believe.

Team GGPH (or Golden Girls Party House… lol long story), decided a long time ago (or rather, a week before ;)) that we wanted to stand out from the crowd of superhero costumes and whatever slutty costumes some girls wear to races. Haha. Armed with my screen printing skillz, I found some plain technical shirts on sale at JCP and applied the design myself. It turned out “OK” and not my best work given the time. We paired our hot pink shirts with black leggings/capris and the result was pretty awesome, I think. Tips for those that run this: wear black or dark-coloured technical-fabric attire if you want to salvage what you wore at the race! And yes, I was able to salvage all my clothing!

Team GGPH! Photo courtesy of Brightroom.com

Team GGPH, pre-race! Photo courtesy of Brightroom.com

We were lucky that the weather on race day was overcast! That meant wearing the capri or leggings wasn’t too horrid. Our thinking was, less scraped legs if they’re covered!

As for shoes, I paired our outfit with my VFF KSO’s (aka Frodo shoes!) and they worked out beautifully; shedding the water/mud as we ran through the course! There were some areas which made it tough to run (i.e., steep declines) but that’s what ankles and springy knees are for, no? 😉

Race Day
After entering Camp Pendleton, getting to the parking area took somewhat of a drive and then since there were two lots where one could park, there were Marines redirecting cars to the other lot as they saw it fit. Jo Nisha and I saw that the second lot was going to be quite busy, so we were able to turn around and head back to the first parking area where we were able to grab a spot that was not too far away from the shuttle stop (again, keep in mind this was well past 7:30AM!) I actually had fun driving on the dirt road on the field to park since I had my sis’ FJ Cruiser 😀 — i.e., it was a bumpy ride but vehicle could take it!

Getting on the shuttle was efficient (naturally) and arriving at the race site was speedy thanks to the dedicated shuttle lane/route. Had we paid for the “VIP” package (i.e., you get to park at the race site), it probably wouldn’t have made that much of a difference, albeit it was more convenient if all your gear were closeby, rather than a queue-and-shuttle-stop-away. Still, that’s what gear check stations were for! After checking in our bags and pinning the race bib to the back of our clothing (as suggested/instructed!), we made our way to the start line where literally a boatload of other teams were already waiting.

The Course
The start was a bit anti-climactic because when we thought we had started the race, we actually haven’t because the actual start line was a few hundred yards away! LOL. When we finally begun, we were greeted with Marines wielding hoses attached to a water source. i.e., they were preparing us for the onslaught of mud! One could avoid this initial deluge by running in the centre of the road, rather than on the edges. Not that you’ll be able to run, anyway since at this point, there were still so many people that it reduced our pace to something sort of a jog/walk.


Ze pre-wash

I won’t reveal too much about the course as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone else! Still, there were a few things to note about this “World Famous Mud Run” obstacle course:

  • Hills.
    Yep, the famous Pendleton hills. The first half felt more like hiking as we went up one-too-many hills! There was this particularly long climb (but thankfully, not steep) where I had to keep reminding Jo Nisha and Sheryl to push their hips forward, rather than lean/bend forward as we jogged up. At the peak, though, we were greeted with a water/electrolyte-replacement station where we actually rested a bit by taking some photos. 🙂 In the photo below, you’ll find Jo and Sheryl posing in front of breathtaking Pendleton vista (of hot Marines observing the madness that was the mud run from a distance) 😉

    Top of the Hill

    Can't really see the Marines in the background. But they're there. 🙂

  • Mud.
    I’d like to be perfectly clear; there was mud at this race. LOL. Just in case you were wondering if you can somehow avoid getting dirty at any point — you really can’t. The great thing about it though, you don’t get too dirty during the first part of the race. It seemed most of the obstacles came at the second half. Not to say that the first half was boring and all about *gasp* running. Well, maybe it was but the mud made a lasting impression on me, mostly because you were reminded by it until the end. 😀 Also, it amazingly did not stink or smell of sewer, per some reviews out there on the interwebs. I was seriously prepared for the worst foul/vile smell, but was pleasantly surprised. I mean, look at Jo and Sheryl strike a pose. There’s no stink there. 😉 *Disclaimer: In hindsight, the overcast weather probably helped by preventing the Sun/heat from stewing the mud ^_^
Jo Nisha. Vogue.

Jo Nisha. Vogue.

Sheryl. First Mud Bath.

Sheryl in first mud bath.


Crotch-deep mud

Crotch-deep mud


Muddy mud mud!

Muddy mud mud!

  • Swim.
    I knew we had to cross some body of water, I didn’t realise that we had to swim to go across! It wasn’t too bad, since the water was only 6 ft deep, and there were lifeguards/Marines closeby in case you needed assistance. Also, there were two lines with floaties where one could rest upon or pull themselves forward, as was the case for Sheryl and Jo who were somewhat terrified of the water! I attempted to allay their fears by making them pose for photos to keep their minds off the water and it somewhat worked but for the part where they had to focus on what they were doing else drown, or swallow some lake water. 😀 Lucky for us, two strapping young men from our other group doubled-back to help the girls swim across. 😉

    Jo and Sheryl keeping afloat!

    Jo and Sheryl keeping afloat!


    Our own personal swim butlers

    Our own personal swim butlers


    Smiles all-around

    They were having fun, yet annoyed cos I took one-too-many swim photos 😛


    Happy to be on solid ground

    Jo, exiting the lake first.


    Sheryl relieved to have survived.

    Sheryl relieved to have survived. So proud of both!

  •  Obstacles.
    Again, I could have been psyching myself out before the race by reading several accounts of other peoples’ experiences, but I didn’t find the obstacles harrowing at all. From the wooden walls, to the mud walls, mini-mud hills, steep muddy climb, tunnels, flag crawl, etc. they all seemed just right to me! 🙂 It wasn’t too tough that you were totally tired, nor was it too easy that you got bored. They even had a baby wall for those that were totally tired and didn’t feel like climbing another 6ft wood wall! There was the danger where you might twist your ankle because about 80% of the course was on uneven terrain, but I was prepared for that and taped them beforehand. I might’ve scraped my hand, however, sliding down one of the mud hills — so next year, when we participate in this race again, I’m going to have to wear gloves or tape my palms, as well. 😀

    Jo on the wall

    Jo on the wall


    Sheryl's turn

    That wall was higher on the other side, FYI


    Me and Sheryl; notice lady on the right! :)

    My (odd) mud pose with Sheryl.


    Sliding down

    Sliding down

Summary (too late ;))
We finished just under two hours, which is fine considering the number of times we stopped for photos and even took a quick shower mid-race just before crossing the finish line! I would definitely recommend others to run this “original” race; that’s if you can get in before it sells-out, of course! Again, see my notes above on how to register on January 1st, 2012. You will want to run this race with a team. Being in a team makes the experience 10x more fun. Of course, I haven’t ran it as an individual, so I shouldn’t really say that it wasn’t as-fun, however, with any situation, one always has the most fun when running with friends! And participating in this mud run with a team = awesomesauce. 🙂

Muddy backs

Muddy backs of GGPH. Photo courtesy of Brightroom.com


Making our way to the finish!

Making our way to the finish! Photo courtesy of Brightroom.com

’til the next Camp Pendleton mud run! Thanks for reading. 🙂


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