I signed up for Cinco de Muddo this year because I had heard such good things about last year's event. I transferred my 9:30 a.m. Cinco de Muddo registration to noon when I signed up for the 8:30 a.m. Cinco de Miler so I could make it to both races.
Two days before the race, I received an email confirming that my noon registration had been changed to 11:30, a request I'd not made, and I sent out an email and a Facebook message to the organizers asking WTF was up. I got a response on Facebook with a direct email to contact but never heard back from anyone with Cinco de Muddo or host TNMRA about why I was bumped, whether there was still a noon wave available, and whether I'd be permitted to run it.
I was running late leaving Cinco de Miler because of the long walk back to the DART station and wasn't sure I'd make it in time to run. Thank Hermes for light traffic on the DNT. I arrived at the given address with 10 minutes to spare, spent another 5 searching for the entrance, paid, and parked. I caught the last shuttle from the parking lot to the event site, arriving at 12:05. I jogged up the path and asked if they'd still let me run. The waiver people said yes. The registration tent volunteer advised me to wait until 12:30 to run with 4 other volunteers.
I got my race packet, went to the bathroom, and heard the announcer call out that if anyone else wanted to run, they needed to jump on the course in the next 10 minutes. I didn't want to pay extra for bag check, so I pulled out my race t-shirt, dropped the plastic sack under a tree, and tucked the shirt into the back of my pants figuring I could probably run with it well enough.
I didn't want to wait around, so I jogged to and through the start line a few minutes behind a trio ahead of me and am pretty sure I was the last runner but for the volunteers running later. It was hot, dry, and dusty that afternoon, but I slogged through and soon caught up to and passed a few other runners. I completed most of the Cinco de Muddo obstacles but skipped a few wall climbs because I was tired, had nothing to prove, and wanted only to finish without injury so I could run again the next day.
The aid stations were nearly out of water when we approached, and the last one on the course was abandoned and dry. Between the heat and my own fatigue, the course seem to drag on under the Texas sun, and I looked forward to the mud crossings, even though they smelled awful. There were two nice and cool water slides (plastic sheeting and hoses atop dirt hills) and little cactus to dodge. I passed a dozen people because of the two obstacles I skipped and a handful of others because I'm a solid pacer before finally crossing the finish line to claim my medal, tepid beer, and warm tequila shot.
I asked a woman I'd passed back and forth on the course to snap a photo for me since I was alone and hadn't a camera, and she sent it to me by text message. How cool is technology? It was an alright little event, I suppose, but pretty lackluster to run solo. I'm glad it supported the Sharkarosa Wildlife Preserve. At least I got a medal.
Then I had just enough time to drive an hour home and clean up before the wedding . . .