Race Recap: Delaware Mud Run at Frightland

So, to back it up a bit: I ran Spartan Race Citizens Bank Park in Philly on a Saturday… and then the Delaware Mud Run at Frightland the next day.

I ran as part of a team with three women from my CrossFit box (two Laurens and a Heather) and I’m glad I did, but man, getting out of bed in the morning was not a happy time. There was some rending of clothes and gnashing of teeth and wailing of WHAT WAS I THINKING.

My left calf was super tight— I’m guessing it was running all those stairs— and all the aggressive tennis-balling in the world couldn’t get it to loosen up. (Based on how I felt on Monday, I’m going to say it was actually my ankle that was messed up and the tightness in my calf was a result of that stiffness.)

100% of proceeds from the Delaware Mud Run benefit the Leukemia Research Foundation of Delaware, so if you’ve never run I’d say please plan on it for next year! Here’s the lowdown so you can prepare.

Or, if you’re not local: here’s a bunch of pictures of me looking dumb. Enjoy!


group_DEmudrunPhoto? Oh, let me look over here for a sec. These ladies kick my ass in group photo posing.


The run:

There’s a fair amount of running, unlike Spartan where the running is well broken up by the obstacles. Here, the obstacles tended to be grouped together, especially at the end.

The running is all hard packed mud/grass and trails, a good deal of it hilly, and it did not do wonders for my ouchy calf/ankle. It did not help that volunteers told us on at least five different occasions that we were halfway there. There is a special place in hell for people that do that.




The scenery:

Pretty awesome, actually. Cornfields and the backdrop of Frightland (I’m guessing. I’ve never been.) There was a lot of cool stuff to look at, which is always a bonus when you’re a runner that hates running.






The obstacles:

Comparatively easy, mostly climbing over big mounds of dirt or using a rope to get up the side of one. Some crawlthroughs and crawl unders that were rough on the knees, a net wall and a couple 6 foot walls. There were a couple obstacles that were more mentally difficult than physically: walking across a log over water (a log that I would run across if it were on the ground, but I cautiously inched across because I was afraid of falling in), tightroping over water.

The worst one by far in my opinion was a rope swing where you had no choice but to let go and land in the water. My own fear of water aside, people were showboating— which is fine— but they weren’t watching their timing, so they were totally landing right on top of other people. I did the most pansy-ass swing imaginable so I wouldn’t get totally soaked (this was pretty early in the run) and got out of there as fast as I could.

My favorite was a slide into an ice bath, which totally woke my legs up. Right after we cleared it, we watched a dump truck unload tons more ice— it’s entirely possible I would have felt differently going in at that point.



mud_climbphoto credit Lauren’s mom

v-wall photo credit Lauren’s mom



The mud:

At this point I’ve done my fair share of mud runs, and this was one of the muddiest; as in, the whole dang course was muddy. And as Kelly (who ran with a different team) said, it smelled like a whole different kind of mud. We had a soaking rain a couple days before and I guess they wet it some more the day before, but in any case it was stinky. And we were one of the first waves on a relatively cool, overcast morning; I can’t imagine high noon in the hot sun! Not telling you as a deterrent, mind you, just letting you know so you’re mentally prepared.


net_under photo credit Lauren’s mom


photo credit Lauren’s mom
Clearly, I didn’t want any of that getting in my mouth.


photo credit Lauren’s mom


The cleanup:

Fairly standard mud run “showers”— plenty of hoses. I’ve been to some where they ran out of water or the water pressure on the hoses was near nil but that wasn’t a problem here. The mud came off surprisingly well, but you’re still going to want to bring a change of clothes (there were little popup changing stations for a bit of privacy which was nice), bags for your wet/dirty stuff, and a towel to sit on for the ride home.

There was a potential creeper taking photos of the hoseoff area with a zoom lens that Heather was giving the skunk eye, so it was pretty funny to find Lauren’s mom had also taken some pics of us in the showers 🙂





The verdict:

A great first obstacle course race or even first 5k, and a good choice for breaking out those costumes. Some mental hurdles for those who can’t swim or have a fear of water, but definitely doable.

You can run individually or as part of a team of four. Teams have to finish together to have their time count, so if you run with a team choose people that are at about your level physically or won’t mind waiting for you (or vice versa). I was our team’s weakest link for sure.

Although the day is child-friendly (and spectators are free, there’s just a $5/car parking fee), the race is for ages 14 and up. Delaware Mud Run Jr (1.5 miles for kids ages 6-13) happens in June.

Excellent people watching. Bring money for the after-festival; Heather and I refueled with some pumpkin beer and funnel cakes. Mmmm. Breakfast of champions.

It’s fun and you should sign up next year.



 Seriously, these girls have got group shots down pat, especially #411 Heather there in the middle.
Me, not so much.


But I’m looking at the camera in this one!


The next day:

I didn’t hurt nearly as much as I thought I would after Spartan on Saturday, and a race the next day that was a whole lot more running than I was used to. (And there was none of that funny business during either race with my foot going numb!)

My left ankle was swollen, either from my failed rope climb or too many stairs: it didn’t hurt but I wasn’t getting full range of motion for sure. I was walking like I had a peg leg, but I still went to my RivFit class. No rest for the wicked 🙂

I wouldn’t say I’ve caught the running bug again, but I have a whole lot more running to do over the next 6 weeks. That I signed up for. Voluntarily. Like I’m a runner or something.


I’m not an athlete, I just play one on the internet.

Wish me luck.





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