I have to admit that I have a special affinity for the Irvine Lake Mud Run. It was our first mud run that lead us to where we are today.
Distance: 5k (3.1 miles)
Elevation Gain: 100 ft.
Elevation Loss: 115 ft.
Terrain: dirt road, dirt trail, obstacles, mud.
2009′s run was a fun event. The organization already seemed to have a good idea about the ins-and-outs of what a mud run needed to be. On-site registration was a little chaotic, but the heats were well organized. The obstacles were fun and it was a good sample of what mud runs could offer. As well, it was easy to decide, “do I want to run this or play?” We’re definitely runners.
2010 was a major improvement over the previous year. We ran with a good friend of Jaimi’s and the three of us had a blast. There were more pits with gnarly, soupy shoe-saturating shirt-ruining mud. Brightroom was on-site again and snapped a lot of great photos. Richard Blade (from long-ago KROQ fame) emceed the starting line to keep the mood energetic.
The course is relatively painless, flat dirt trail that circles the south-east shoreline of Irvine Lake. Starting out at about 800 feet above sea level, the course gains a mere 100 ft in the first half mile traveling west along a steep embankment known as Vulture Hill, then drops back to starting altitude by the three-quarter mile mark. On to a few obstacles like an ankle-snapping cargo net (I got caught) and stacks of hay bales.
Around mile 1.1, there’s a steep 50-foot incline to a ridge where we cross back over the trail at Cactus Curve. Heading north back towards the lake we come to a fire road that runs east along the shoreline. There’s lots of direct morning sun exposure here for what feels like forever. This is where the sunblock and sunglasses pay off. No obstacles here, just hot dirt and golf-ball sized rock.
The last mile of the course consists of the majority of obstacles. This year there were 3 mud pits, mud ramps and the longest crawl pit with the best photo ops. Soapy foam wrapped up the course.
The beer garden and live entertainment wrapped up a fun morning. Overall the event is always a good time and it improves every time we attend.
Some things I’d like to see at Irvine:
+ Better showers
+ More food options – We have amazing food trucks in Orange County… they should be here!
+ Mailed bibs. I love Runner’s World, but I don’t want to go stand in line for bibs.
Perhaps these improvements will already be made by the time we run in July. Looking forward to it.