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Race Destination: Big Sur Mud Run

  • By Linzay Logan
  • Published Mar. 13, 2012
Photo: Steven Shepard, flickr.com

Want to get down and dirty? Register early!

What do you get when you add some mud, fun and a climbing wall to the picturesque Big Sur Marathon along the coastal, tree-lined central coast of California? The Big Sur Mud Run—a sister race to the iconic marathon, which attracts participants from all over the country.

At just over five miles, this race offers more than your typical mud run—four mud pits throughout the course and five exercise stations with members of the military manning each station. Don’t be surprised if an army drill sergeant yells at you to get down and give him 10, said marketing communication director Julie Armstrong. “There will be marines or army guys barking orders to get down and do pushups or get over the wall again,” she lightheartedly warned.

RELATED: Big Sur’s Mud Run A Military Experience

Taking place on the grounds of the California State University-Monterey Bay campus and the former Fort Ord Military lands, there is a strong military presence at this muddy event. More than 130 military people will be manning the mud pits and exercise stations, while 190 active military participate in the event.

Apart from mud pits and climbing walls, be on the lookout for some non-traditional aid stations. “There is a beer station,” said CSMB alumna Hayley Tharp. “And everyone stops to drink a few beers.” Non-traditional race outfits are common sites, as well. “There are always guys in tutus,” Armstrong said. “And the first year I went out there were five guys who painted their chests to look like the American flag; they would wiggle and it was like the waving flag.”

After crawling through the final mud pit, filthy runners are greeted at the finish-line festival with showers, live music and an awards ceremony for the top individual and five-person team finishers in civilian and military categories.

But Tharp said the run is more about having fun then being the first to cross the finish line. “It was really fun,” she said. “Who doesn’t like running through mud?”

Capped at 3,000 participants, the race has already sold out for this year’s event on March 24. “It always sells out so it’s best to register early,” Armstrong said. “But we might grow to 3,500 next year.”

Registration for 2013 opens Nov. 1. www.bigsurmudrun.org.

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Linzay Logan

Linzay Logan

Linzay Logan is a contributing editor to Competitor magazine.

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