Saturday, July 21, 2012

Kids & Mud

So a few weeks ago, a gal from the running club asked if anyone could take her spot for the Dirty Girl Mud Run. I took the spot and 'ran' with a stellar group of gals through the dirt. Our kids came to spectate, and my girlios were hooked. Playing in the mud is a kid's dream. They asked me to find a mud run for them. The Columbia Muddy Buddy race was today, and there was a special race just for the kids, the Mini Muddy Buddy.

The starting line

I've been trying to get my girls involved in running for a while. My oldest thinks it's just too much work. My girlios did a kids run a few years ago after one of my first half marathons, and my oldest said, "I'm never doing that again." My girlios love biking. My youngest, at four, can put in a couple of miles. My oldest has paced me around the neighborhood for 7+ miles with just one gear on her bike. Why would they want to run?

Mud changed everything.

They've been talking about the Mini Muddy for weeks. "Is it today?" "Can we get our stuff ready?" Since we've signed up my oldest has even asked to do a 5K with me. The girls have run as well as biked. They ask if the runs I am looking into have a kids race. The power of mud.

I do a lot of races during the year. I decided to volunteer us before the Mini Muddy Buddy. It was nice for me to be on the giving rather than the taking side for an event. It takes about an hour to drive down to Gilberts, Il, and after arriving at about 8:30 we made our way to the volunteer tent. We were put right to work in the registration tent handing out shirts and bags. My two oldest rocked. They kept up with the long lines handing out bags for almost two hours. And they took pride in their work. My youngest was tired and got clingy early. She did help me hand out the Mini Muddy shirts. One-by-one the girlios' blood sugar dropped, youngest first and then each older girl got glassy-eyed. They had bagels on the way, and we had protein bars still in the car. After two hours the registration line died down, and I was given permission re-energize the girlios. Before their race the girls had time to piddy, hydrate and snack. They were ready.

It was hot by noon. Really really hot. The kids were lined up by waves. The 4-to-6-year-olds had to have a parent with them so the littlest girls and I were front and side. The course is small for older kids, but just right for the little ones. There were saw horses, tires, a ground crawl, a climbing wall and the mud pit. My oldest started late enough that we were able to see her off as well as see her finish.

My youngest who does sand angels at the park stepped in the mud pit and flipped out. What?! I was crawling through the mud watching my two youngest walking through the mud. They had no desire to crawl once they put their hands in it. It was not going as planned. My middle child tried kicking mud on me. Um? No. If you're not crawling, you don't get to fling. My youngest started crying in the mud pit and didn't stop until we got in the lake to wash off. The mud in her shoes wigged her out. And she wailed. The mud dried on her legs. And she wailed. People were looking at her. She looks strained in her picture. However the moment she got in the lake she wants to go swimming, virtually erasing the mud memories. By the time we got home, she wanted to do another mud run.
This is not the face of joy

My other two girls loved the race. Everybody had a great time walking and washing in the lake. I almost lost my shoe. And a sock. We were some happy wet dirty girlios.

Still some weeping but the lake is just steps away...

The ride home was long, and we were on the hunt for a shake, which sounded fabulous. We had been outside for six hours. A shake sounded fabulous. Doesn't it?  There was great rejoicing when we finally found a McDonald's nearly an hour later, and my youngest finished a whole medium strawberry shake in no time. She may have been hungry. I finished mine pretty quick too. Everybody perked up.

The girlios wore their shirts all evening. They want to wear them again tomorrow. My oldest wore her medal for the rest of today too. She said that this was her first real medal.

They're hooked. Mud is powerful.

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