Stanford Coachworks took part in the legendary Maldon Mud Race and its an experience we will never forget.
The lead up..
After the initial excitement of signing up to the Maldon Mud Race, we soon realised that they we were completely conned into participating in this race by the production manager Dave. As we began to research the race and spoke to people the horror stories started to come out, and fear well and truly kicked in! Stories of rusty metal buried in the mud, cuts leading to septicemia and taking over an hour to complete the course!
We soon started to change our minds about this. On the week of the race many of us were debating faking illness others suggested paying someone else to do it or buying out all together. But there was no getting out of it, on the Friday we had a team meeting, we got our Stanford t- shirts and talked team tactics – we start together and finish together.
The day …
We arranged to meet 2 hours before to allow plenty of time to register and enjoy the day. We arrived and fitted our time tags, we walked around and enjoyed the day sampling some food delights. We mingled in the crowd and spoke to some spectators. They filled us in on the previous years of the Maldon Mud Race, letting us know they would never take part after watching the event for many years. We were told if you’re not in the first 5 to start forget it, your going to be out there for the best part of an hour! Oh great … then the organisers started marking up the course, they walked across the mud it was above their knees what have we got ourselves into!
Finally we were called over to the warm up area where we enjoyed a fun warm up routine. We taped up our shoes tight, there was even suggestion of taping our trousers on. We tried to get as near to the front as possible and waited at the start line for what seemed like forever while organisers checked everyone had taped their shoes.
Ready.. set… go! We jumped down to tackle the first small section of mud before the water, easy right? Wrong my leg was stuck immediately, sucked in by the cement like mud and I sunk even further as competitors used me to get through the mud! Somehow I got out and into the water where I caught up with Karen. Both us looked at each other and said what have we done! We asked a steward how do you do this and her advice was to avoid any foot prints or tracks and look for flat surfaces, crawl you will end up on your hands and knees eventually and just keep going! Up we went up the hill crawling up, with each movement your arms sunk right in it was almost shoulder height!
The team was no longer together it was every man for himself, there was no turning back either, going back would of been just as hard plus the crowd was immense you just had to keep going forward. There were a variety of tactics being used some walked/run (not sure how that was even possible in the mud), sliding on their fronts, sliding on their backs and the best technique we all agreed on was crawling. Once you got across the never ending bank there was a downward slope, finally an easy bit, just slide down, into the water and your on the home stretch.
NO, once you slide down the hill you then get stuck in the worst of the mud, there is nothing solid about it and you can’t get any grip to get up again!
Eventually you make it into the water – nobody was running through it everyone just walks across looking dazed. Up the final hill and there’s only one way to finish … crawling!
Even though it was a horrible challenge we raised money for a number of worthy charities and had fun as a team. Special mention to Dom who came 37th out of 300!
Most importantly we all survived there a few cuts and bruises and a strange cough we couldn’t seem to shift the next day, but its another thing ticked off the bucket list. However there is already talk by some of competing next year! I don’t think so!
Thank you to everyone who sponsored us we managed to raise £590 for the Maldon Mud Race charities.
To understand the experience watch this competitors video of the Maldon Mud Race