Let’s Get Pretty Muddy!!

Yesterday, Mum, my sister Kelly, my aunt, my cousin Sian and I took part in Cancer Research’s 5K pretty muddy event at Hylands Park, Chelmsford.

Our run started at half 12 but we arrived an hour early as requested by the guys running the event. We used this time to take photos, put on our signs and have quick toilet breaks.

We were all really excited and a bit nervous at the same time. Cancer has affected all of our lives so the morning was pretty emotional. On my sign I had Grandad with a love heart – he suffered with bowel cancer.

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Finally, it was half 12 and we were called up to where the stage was. A lady on stage told us how much Chelmsford had raised and there was a short interview with two ladies who were also taking part. One lady had lost her mother in law 6 years ago to cancer and was also recently diagnosed with breast cancer, there were lots of tears in the audience! Then, an elderly gentleman came on stage with another woman and they took us through a quick warm up. Finally, we made it to the start line..

After a suspenseful count down from 10, we were off!! With no idea what to expect we started running. Kelly and I ran on as the others slowed down to a walk (we didn’t realise how much space there was between each obstacle!!)

It was hard going; the sun wasn’t out but the air was thick with humidity (I was sweating just waiting to start) Our first obstacle was to crawl under a pink sheet and then jump over two inflatable sausages. This isn’t too bad we said to ourselves, no sign of the mud yet; we spoke to soon.

Next, we queued up to climb over another pink bridge with a pool of mud on the other side. There were volunteers to each side as well with water guns who took great pleasure in squirting us!

There was a bit more of a run until we came to a longer queue waiting for the next obstacle. We waited out of breath and red faced for 5 minutes until we caught sight of the others coming up behind us. After a lot of waving and yoohooos they saw us and we stood with them in the line. We waited some more (could’ve been 10 minutes, could’ve been 20, we had no idea but it felt like forever) We then noticed to our horror that they weren’t only shooting water, but mud as well. It was like slow motion, I looked up just to see a load of mud shoot into the sky and then I thought, oh shit. The others pelted to the sides so I got all of it. It went in my hair, my eyes, my mouth and covered my gym gear. Little did I know, that that was nothing compared to what was to come. Luckily Mum came to my rescue with a tissue.

After a while we were next to take on the challenge. It was a big inflatable pink pool filled quite high with water and mud with two heavy nets hung over the top. The five of us stood in a line while they counted us in. As soon as they yelled at us to go we raced in, pulling the net over our heads as quick as we could whilst they covered us in more mud. The water was freezing and we didn’t want to hang about. After climbing through we threw ourselves over the other side of the pool and started running, yelling our heads off, we were soaked through!

We asked ourselves quite a few times round the track what were we doing?! Mum never goes out unless her makeup and hair is done and it’s the same for Sian, Kel and my Aunt so this was a bit challenge! As I’m not too bothered about that, I didn’t mind it over my face or hair too much – I think it was more of the shock of it than anything else.

We stayed together for the rest of the course. We faced crawling through big drainage pipes, more nets to wiggle under and a couple of high frames to climb over. Some of them weren’t too muddy at all but they still hit you with the water guns.

After a quick wee stop in the bushes, we finally made it round to the finale. Rounding the corner we saw our friends and family waiting for us, taking videos and photos. It was good to see them as it meant we were so nearly finished. There was an even bigger queue waiting for the large pink slide so it was good to stop and catch our breath. We stupidly didn’t take any water round with us so it was good our partners had them to hand.

Waiting in the line it was starting to get colder as we were wet through. There were volunteers who were shooting water at us which started to get a bit irritating as instead of doing it in the air like they had been doing around the course, they were pointing it directly through the crowd, getting a lot of water in our faces and eyes. Mum, Sian and I had a couple of bickers with the men who were doing it as Sian had contacts in and she can’t see without them (me and her couldn’t wear our glasses for obvious reasons) We asked nicely for them to shoot it upwards but they clearly kept ‘forgetting’ and carried on anyway. Apart from that we couldn’t wait to be finished and had a bop to the music playing loudly on the speakers.

When it was our turn we hurried up the rope on one side to sit on the top. We saw another inflatable pink pool at the bottom, filled with more water and mud. A man was lying in wait with a bucket and as soon as he saw us sit on top, he threw the bucket of mud in our direction. With a few ‘OMG’s’ from us and a couple of ‘there’s so much mud!!’ we came down (or should I say flew down with great speed) I literally felt like I had no control on my landing (even though I tried to plan it in my head, feet first, stand up instantly, jump out the pool in 2 seconds) it didn’t amount to anything. I flew down and landed straight in the pool on my bum right into the back of my Aunt, luckily I had closed my eyes. It was everywhere and it felt like ages until I got my bearings and hauled myself out. I’m pretty sure my head went under as my face was wet and I didn’t want to open my eyes. Like a zombie I stumbled forward calling out to someone nearby that I couldn’t see. I felt Mum grip my arm as she led me to the side where my Uncle was waiting with a tissue (all very dramatic obviously) From the video Sam took, which I watched afterwards when I was dry, I saw that the man with the bucket dumped two loads over Sian’s head when she stood up to get out. Lastly, it was just a quick sprint to the finish line and we could get dry!!!!

We had some photos taken with our medals on and then it was shower time. There wasn’t actually any showers or hoses provided so we all brought litre bottles of water to douse ourselves in.

We are all very proud of ourselves, especially as half of us didn’t really train much for it. It was hard work but we had many laughs along the way and it was nice to spend some time together. It’s all made us a little bit closer (even thought we are close anyway) and Sian raised £500 which her work will also match so £1000 in all for a brilliant cause!

Well done to every who’s taken part or raised money!!

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