Sunday, October 31, 2010

Muddin' on Halloween

A very exciting day here - Halloween, of course, gifts of hutches and a fowl new friend, and volunteering at a muddin' event.

For the first time EVER, we failed to take ANY photos on Halloween. I blame it on photo overload from the trip and a return to a funky external hard drive that tend to erase random images when (not if) it crashes. Or maybe we were just too busy enjoying the evening to take photos. Either way, realized it too late. E went as Rapunzel, complete with a VERY long braid, thanks to some crafty yarn work on her part. I was the witch with the giant scissors. (Refer to your Rapunzel lore for reference.) Mr. B was the Prince. V was a horse. Maybe she was the prince's horse, but to her, it was all about BEING the horse, not about ownership. A friend and her daughter shared in our neighborhood romp as did a grandparent and a granddog while another grandparent helped hand the Prince hand out candy.

But the day all started with an early wake-up for me. I had a GREAT time as a volunteer today at the first ever SLO Mud Mash!

While I waited to fulfill my designated assignment (cheerleader and spotter and, as needed, heckler) I stepped in to help people sign up for the shirts. The race organizers have found themselves overrun with extras in their first few events, so this time tried to guestimate a bit closer. Problem? Lots of late registrations! So, they ran out of shirts quickly! But they had sign-up sheets in hand so runners could specify sizes to be delivered in coming days. I talked to more than 100 people about it (easily more) and only ONE was incredulous. Even he backed down quickly when I assured him that if he left his info he'd get a shirt. People were super cool about it!

The 5K (3.2-mile) course included significant water hazards (one chest-deep, one hip-deep), climbing ropes, Tyrolean ropes, a 12' wall, hay bale hazard, a hill climb and related descent and the final monster mud hole. It was FANTASTIC and looked like a GREAT time! MOST runners came in costume, some as matched sets. (One team of five included two "cops," one of whom carried a box of jelly donuts for the entire TWO-LAP 10K!) Even the top two finishers, while serious and focused during the race, stopped by the lake again afterward for a rinse, clearly enjoyed each other's company and shared some tips for a would-be masher.

From the course, I saw lots of smiles. It was so extra special to see runners turning around to help 10 or 15 other runners (clearly not just friends, or even acquaintances) up the tough exit from the Tyrolean rope (over/through water) area! As helpers moved on, a new set of runners would turn back to help the following set. THAT really helped add to the fun of the day for me. True sportsmanship, lots of laugh, fun, dads and sons, kids in the mud, and running into folks I haven't seen in years.

The ONLY complaint I heard from runners (and I heard it several time) wasn't really a complaint...more of a recommendation for future events: more mud! Yep...lots of folks said they'd like more obstacles, more mud and THICKER mud somewhere if you can get that cooked up.

Oh yeah...I'm comin' back next year, baby, but don't count on me during race time, though! I'll be IN THE MUD!

And I'm bringing FRIENDS!

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