Today is a big day – today is the first ever Hendersonville Mad Mountain Mud Run to benefit Hands On!, a local (awesome) children’s museum. Ronnie and I are both participating (on separate teams!), and our start time is a few hours away. It should be a lot of fun.
Last night was the Mad Mountain Family Mud Fun, the family event that included a mini-mud run for the kids. I registered all of us so we could run with Max and Kendra. I was thinking that Max would probably need some help along the way; after all, he’s a little fella and the course was a mile long with challenging obstacles, not to mention the crowd of older kids that were running as well.
Before the race started, we talked to him and assured him that we would stay with him. We gave him a pep talk so he wouldn’t be nervous or confused.
The organizers separated the kids into age groups, and the idea was to let the older kids go first so they wouldn’t run over the smaller kids (the recommended age for race participants was between 7 and 11). At the last minute, I told Max that we would let the big crowd go ahead of us, and then we would go.
The man in charge yelled, “On your mark, Get set!, GET MUDDY!!!”
Max took off!
He was in the middle of the pack of big kids, and Ronnie, Kendra, her friend, and I were way behind. I thought he would slow down, but he didn’t. Something just came over him. He must have experienced an adrenalin rush that propelled him forward at the speed of a ten-year-old. He was flying!
And we couldn’t catch up! He crawled through the first mud pit, climbed over the giant mulch hill, and I finally caught him as he got to the pyramid of bales of hay we were supposed to go over.
Any time he slowed down, I told him Kendra and her friend were right behind him about to catch up, and he would take a deep breath, ball his fists, lower his head, and kick it up a notch like a little freight train.
He finally got tired at the very end, and Ronnie carried him for about thirty feet until Max caught sight of the finish line. Then he wanted down and he hit the ground running. He went over the final logs, over the final hay, and sprinted to the finish line.
The announcer yelled, “Go blue shirt! You’re almost there!”
When Max heard that and looked at his belly to verify that he himself was “blue shirt,” he really ran. When he reached the finish line and ran through the tape, it was one of the proudest moments of his life. He was convinced that he won because he got to run through the tape (no reason to tell him that they were holding tape across the finish line for each kid).
It was a great night. From the mud swimming, clay sculptures, Chick-fil-A dinner, tug-of-war, to the live music and enthusiastic volunteers running the event, it was one of the best family events we have ever attended.
And, boy, were the kids muddy!
I wonder if Ronnie and I will look like that after our run this afternoon!