To visit the Hamilton Area Trail Runs website, please go to:

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ugly Mudder Race Report

Ugly Mudder '09 results are now available here.

What a day! We started the commute out to Reading, PA from Hamilton at 8:00am and arrived at our destination by 9:45am. Most of the way out there we drove through showers and as we pulled off 422 to start our ascent up Mt. Penn it looked like the showers would dampen the event. However, by the time we reached the parking lot of the Liederkranz House the showers had turned to flakes.

Excited about the opportunity to run in the falling snow we headed inside to register and use the much appreciated facilities -- not neccessarily in that order for some of us who were hydrating all the way out there. It wasn't long before we saw the man himself, Bart Yasso, setting up shop for his book signing. Bill S. and I quickly jumped on line where I picked up an autographed copy of his book, My Life on the Run: The Wit, Wisdom, and Insights of a Road Racing Icon, and then took a great shot of Bill S. and the "Mayor of Running".

After everyone got the pre-race stuff out of the way we then headed down as a group to the start line. It was basically the same jog down to the park that we took at Chilly Cheeks except this time the start line was on the opposite side of the street which was nice because it was a bit roomier, even with the 267 additional runners that had come out for Ugly Mudder. That roomy feeling would end though once the race got underway and we were squeezed onto the narrowing and winding path which eventually led out us of the park and into the trails that would put the Ugly into Ugly Mudder.

This race wasn't quite as challenging as CC but that's not to say it didn't have it's challenges. For most of the race, you were either climbing a mountain or running on trails covered with loose rock...and I don't mean that little stuff you use in your landscaping beds either. When you weren't stepping down onto the loose rock you were hurdling branches, boulders and anything else the earth threw at you as if you had entered a steeplechase race. While the climbs didn't come as often as they did in CC they were pretty intense when they did come. And they were different too. On many occassions you were stepping (or crawling) up natural rock walls that led from one monstrous uphill climb to another. When you were making an ascent you were in it for quite a while too, wondering if the next wall you stepped up over would be the seemed it never was though.

The one thing that this race had that I don't recall from CC was some nice flat straight aways. Of course, you were still running over loose rocks and roots at that point but at least it was flat for the most part so your quads had a little bit of a break. If you had anything left when you got there you could really make up some time on these sections. There was one straightaway, however, where you came across a fallen tree. At that point you had two options: to crawl underneath or to go up and over. It's mammoth size prevented you from finding any other solution. I'd like to think that most of the gang, like myself, went "up and over" but judging by a couple of the dirty a$$es I saw after the race perhaps that's not the case...

Other than that it was your typical Pretzel City Sports event, which we've all come to love in that I think I'll go slam my fingers in the door now sort of way. Honestly though, all it takes is one race out there and they'll have you coming back again and again.

Here's a couple of pics from race day:

Bill S. w/ Bart Yasso

Jogging down to the start

Ready to roll

Yes...that IS a trail!

Evidently, running is optional for some...pfft..."on your right!"

No end in sight

Seriously, how much more can there be...just one more hill maybe...

Diana getting down and dirty on Mt. Mud!

Imagine the poor guy behind Butch when he let go of that branch!

Ninja Lee

"Let's go Peroni!"!

1 comment:

  1. Great report & race! Hurley you kicked some arse at the Mudder, way to go.