Saturday, April 13, 2013

Race Recap: Muddy Monk Double Down 20K

I'm just going to come out and say it - Muddy Monk races are awesome!  I had my doubts considering the preview pictures they posted on FB before the race. I wasn't sure how I felt about running through a very muddy and wet course on a very cold day that saw a few snowflakes.  I was running the race with my friend Chris.  I talked him into it after I had a blast running Chiller in Schiller last December, which was ironically warmer than today's race in April, go figure.  The forest preserve the race was at was near my work so I knew how to get there pretty easily, but I'm used to midweek traffic so we were there a bit early which was fine since I needed to use the restroom and we could also basically sit in the warmth of the car until the race started.  Things looked promising from the start...
You know you want one.

Ah yes, this is why I run.

I think the race started on time.  I did not bring my Garmin to the race.  I think I subconsciously forgot it since I was really just running for fun today and didn't want the pressure of having a watch tormenting to push myself during the course of the run.  I actually wound up surprising myself when I saw the results.  I had intended to run with about a 10 minute pace since that is what I do on my easy runs.  Trail running also tends to be 1-2 minutes slower per mile than what you would run on the streets given the rough terrain, and on today's trail the ankle deep mud.  I was simply shocked to see that I finished in 1:58:52 for a 9:33 pace.
I'm all the way on the left, green striped shorts
I think the course sprung a leak

I had a ball during the race.  I kept things nice and steady and picked it up for the few clean and level stretches we had.  Much of the race was high kneeing it through ankle deep mud and puddles though.  This was the first time I had conversations with fellow runners while out on the course.  It was relaxing and refreshing.  It was even cooler doing the Double Down and running the course a second time.  I felt like my 2nd loop was even faster because I was already prepared for all the obstacles.

What's a little water at this point

Finishing Strong

Waiting for my post race hot dog.

Muddy Monk does things right.  After the race was over all the runners got a hot dog and a beer.  They served Finch's which is a local Chicago brewery.  I drank their Fascist Pig Red Ale which I didn't realize was 8.0% alcohol by volume until I was most of the way through it.  My the time me and Chris had our hot dogs and beers, most the post race party was cleared out.  I don't think the cold and wind helped.

 The aftermath
Post race with my medal that doubles as a bottle opener

So now that I got Chris hooked on Muddy Monk I'm looking forward to the next one.  Looking at my racing schedule though I think I'm going to have to wait until 'Merica! on July 6th in which they are promising a redneck cookout after race with beer and brats.  Who could ask for more?  If you don't have an aversion to getting a little muddy you should come join us.  There is a group discount for 5 or more runners.



  1. Nice! Every time I read a Muddy Monk race recap, I'm jealous. I think I'll finally do one Memorial Day weekend (Mayday). That one is sort of by me and sort of fits in my schedule.

    1. They are certainly fun. I think everyone should try Muddy Monk at least once. The races are relatively cheap and typically include a beer which is just a bonus. You should do it if you can fit it in. I picked up a pair of trail shoes on clearance earlier this year in anticipation of doing more Muddy Monk. I will be doing 'Merica in July, Nearly Sane half in August, and perhaps the Chiller in Schiller in December.

    2. This was my first and now I'm hooked! I will definitely be doing another soon :)

  2. Congrats! Redneck cookout sounds hard to miss! I think i will have to check that out! Also, I am in the standing water pic (i am the one that wore my fuelbelt)... funny as i never wear water but wasn't sure if i would want more water than the aid stations. But MuddyMonk did awesome! Great race series and enjoyed the Chubby Weiners :) See you at 'merica!

    1. Wow, didn't realize I posted a pic of you. Unfortunately there is none of me going through the water. I wore my water belt as well since I was doing the 20K and wasn't sure of stations. I think I took a sip once during the race, but didn't really need it. Nothing like lugging around an extra 16 oz of liquid you don't need. 'Merica! is going to be great, see you there!