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5 Mud Pits, 9 Firehoses, 1 Lake - Plus 'Suicide Hill'

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When I tried to get friends to do the mud run with me this year, I probably should not sell it as a Hard Corps race on a Marine Base. It's the truth, but it scares them away. Sure, they can do a 10K (6.2 miles). Throw in a 2-mile hill and it's still doable, yet a bit annoying. Have fire hoses spray you down within the first few hundred feet? Sure! It's hot out!

Last year was my first Mud Run experience and it was a bit scary going into it. You conjure up images of drill sergeants screaming at you as you drag yourself up 'Suicide Hill' -- an extremely steep incline with a fire hose spraying water down it -- and wonder if the prize for winning the race is a trip to Iraq.

In fact, it was one of the most fun races I have ever done. I mean, I did not feel that good running up that interminable hill and I felt even worse once the hill ended when a charlie horse hit me going downhill. But there's that high you get when you accomplish something crazy and physical. And there's the stories you get to tell: like how that guy half naked in a Hawaiian straw skirt passed you at mile 4.

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The race is so popular, it is held over three days (today, tomorrow and next Saturday) and sells out in January and February. If it is something you are interested in trying out, we recommend you start training now. The race happens twice a year with the next one on October 20th at Camp Pendleton.

As for me, I'll be huffing and puffing tomorrow morning trying to beat my time last year (without as much training as last year, I have no idea how I will do that. Yippee!). I wish I could do a photo essay for you, but when you are in muddy water up to your neck while crossing a lake, it just doesn't work that well after.