Last summer, Danbo ran the all-female LoziLu mud run on her own. When registration came around for this year’s race, she asked if I wanted to join her, and since there was a discounted rate, I thought”Why not?” And so early in the morning on July 27th, I picked her up, and we headed north to Haverhill.
I have to give kudos to the LoziLu team for all the signage from the highway to the event. While most of them only said “Event”, it still made it ridiculously easy to find the location. And once there, the parking was pretty easy and close. (I should note that we were running in the first heat of the day, so everything was fairly un-crowded when we passed through.) The registration and goodie lines were well organized. They chose to give away a bag instead of a t-shirt – much easier since there are no size logistics.
After picking up all our our stuff, we found a spot to get ready – sunscreen, adorning our race numbers and so on. Then we shoved all of our stuff in to Danbo’s bag & checked it. The energy when lining up for our wave was practically non-existent. I don’t know if that’s because of LoziLu, the crowd, or it just being so early in the morning, but it definitely did not get me pumped up to run. Typically at races, and especially mud runs, there is excitement and energy in the corral. We got none of that here, which makes it hard to get the adrenaline going.
Thankfully, we were lucky enough to get off in the first heat of the day, and I started at the front, so there was no backup at any of the obstacles. While I’m certainly not the fittest girl in the world, none of them offered much of a challenge (the exception being the balance beam, because I’m just wobbly – but I stayed on!). Probably the toughest part of the course (and ‘tough’ being relative here) was the terrain. A bit of up and down on some hilly parts was the only time I was working hard on the course.
I was a bit disappointed by the lack/location of the photographers on the course. Of course they had one at the end, and one at the bottom of the slide, but there were definitely more options where they could have placed some photographers and gotten great shots. The lack of timing was a bummer too, but I totally understand their reasoning for excluding it. I should have worn my watch & timed myself, but that’s my own fault.
I always think it’s a nice touch when there is a table full of water cups right after the finish line, and LoziLu didn’t let me down there. As for any other post-race, healthy food, if it existed, it was hidden. Being Celiac, the free beer didn’t interest me (and being healthy, neither did the free soda). There were actually a decent selection of food vendors there are well – stir fly, shaved ice, jello shots (ok, maybe not a food item…).
Lots of port-o-johns, so no waiting there, which is fantastic with a 90% female crowd. While some may see it as belittling, I appreciated the tampons, mints and extra hand sanitizer on tables near the toilets. It’s a nice touch, and would come in handy should someone have a need. However, the showers weren’t working in time for the early finishers. We were told this was because of a low tide (turns out they were pumping water from the river/lake). I improvised and grab one of the free bottles of water to rinse off. Worked just as well.
The changing tent was a huge plus for me, and I think a lot of the other participants. Now, having been both a swimmer and a lifeguard, I can do a field change with the tiniest of towels, so it’s never been an issue at other OCRs. However, not having to do it was a nice treat, and allowed me to get a bit cleaner than I normally do.
Snack drawer was disappointing – I was expecting a lot of goodies and it was just Tootsie Roll Pops and chocolate. What about something salty?! The folks from EnergyBits were there with free samples, so I was able to chow down on some EnergyBits post-race.
As much as I wanted to love this event, I just didn’t. High marks for organization, and I personally liked the branded bag. The changing room is a nice touch, especially for those not familiar (or comfortable) with doing a field change. It’s a decent choice for someone looking to do their first OCR, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone looking to challenge herself or wanting to try something epic. No fire-jumping photos here friends.