Sunday, May 7, 2017

Medved Madness 2017

This year Medved Mudness would be a more appropriate name for this race. Though running 15 miles through mud and rain, on a course that runs through a pond, does require a certain amount of madness. Pete signed us up for this race months ago, but after a rainy week with nothing but rain, rain and more rain predicted for the weekend, I started to get cold feet. Cold rain is my least favorite running weather. Well, that's not entirely true. I suppose that honor belongs to hail. But when I woke up Friday morning to a steady rain, I figured eh, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em and ran a few miles to acclimate myself to the deluge. Saturday I went to play on the Crescent trail for 4 hours with Bertrand, Green, Mertsock and crew. There were a few very wet and muddy sections but most of the trail was in decent shape and luckily the rain held off until we were done. I knew I wouldn't be so lucky on Sunday.

Sure enough, my figurative cold feet turned into literal cold feet less than a mile into the race. At the starting line, Mort had promised us four things: mud, wet feet, good food and beautiful trails. Madness/Mudness delivered on all four. The first (blue) loop, I ran with Pete. It was like some kind of weird mud tasting event where we sampled all the different types of mud - brown stinky mud, black slightly less stinky mud, shoe-sucking calf-deep mud. It wasn't too bad though. We've definitely run through worse mud (I'm looking at you, Finger Lakes 50K 2015). After 5ish miles, and running around the bucket in the pond, per course directions, we ran back through the start/finish chute (well, I ran. Pete moonwalked). We high-fived Mort and headed out for the second (pink) loop.

By this point, everyone was spread out so we got to run the next 5ish miles with the woods mostly to ourselves. I've missed running with Pete and it was so nice to get in 10 miles together, even though it was a bit cold for my liking (Though there are far worse things than having to wear gloves in May). Loop two wasn't terribly muddy, at least in comparison, although it was decidedly windier in places. The sun managed to peek out a a few times, but then it would get cloudy and drizzly again. Pete decided he wanted to stop after 10 miles and at first, I was a little bummed that I'd have to run the third loop alone, but once I was out there running, I was like a kid me in a candy store. No matter the weather or whatever else is going on in life, once I'm out there, I'm just running wild and free and happy. 

I'd left my hydration pack with Pete and decided I would try to finish the third (orange) loop in under an hour. This was by far the muddiest loop. And that's really saying something. I walked through the obscenely muddy spots where it was hard to judge how deep it was, but I ran all the rest. It started to rain again, but I was warm enough and close enough to the finish that I didn't really mind. I was just happy that I felt so good (thanks, body!). Even Cardiac Hill seemed shorter than usual. And I did manage to finish this loop in under an hour. It may not have been the smartest way to end a 52 mile week, but it was fun. 

Madness is one of those races I have to be talked into (I don't like Sunday races), but every year I leave full of salt potatoes and very glad I ran it. Because running for hours in the woods is a kind of madness. The very best kind.

Conehead & Husband Man on the far right. Photo by Daniel Medved

Previous episodes of Madness: 2106  2015  2014

Lyric of the moment: "There was a time when my world was filled with darkness, darkness, darkness. And I stopped dreaming, now I'm supposed to fill it up with something, something something. In your eyes I see the eyes of somebody I knew before, long long long ago. But I'm still trying to make my mind up. Am I free or am I tied up? I change shapes just to hide in this place but I'm still, I'm still an animal..." ~Miike Snow "Animal"

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