Last Saturday, I hauled myself out to Frederick to volunteer with Kerry and her sister, Jenny, at the Mud Dog II. I had been wanting to volunteer at a race because I think it’s important to give back. I am always thankful when the volunteers at races provide water, point me in the right direction and cheer me on.
Now the Mud Dog II is one of the very popular races right now that are anywhere from 5k to 10 miles that are cross country and littered with obstacles. I did one in the spring, The Warrior Dash, and had a blast. There are things to climb over and mud everywhere. They really do push you hard. I mean, covering distance is one thing, doing it while leaping, crawling and climbing is another!
We were in charge of the hay climb thing. I’m sure it had a fantastic name, but I don’t recall it at the moment. It consisted of hay “bales” which were the roll type, so about four feet tall. There was a row that was two deep and one high that the runners had to face first and then one that was double stacked. Most of the people going over it said it was one of the harder obstacles on the course. There was no way around the second pile, but you could go around the second layer. Some people did that, but I think most people clambered over it. Everyone made it over the first row, some did it in a couple tries and others on the first. Some people needed a little help, but most people made it over on their own. It was a lot of fun to cheer on the contestants! I wish I had taken some pictures of them as they made their way past, but I did not. After the last runners went through, we walked back to the main area, got our free beer and bought some food. We chatted a bit and then went home. It was a really long day outside and really cold.
I had a lot of fun encouraging everyone over the hay. I think Kerry and Jenny did, as well. What I was not so keen on was that it was a bit unorganized when we got there. The person telling us where to go pointed in a general direction and told us it was “way over there.” When Kerry asked if they were going to give everyone a ride out, she replied with “Well, if he’s on time we will” and then turned away to end the conversation. I also never signed a waiver. Pretty sure I was supposed to. I was also disappointed that they did not provide coffee or water or something at the start to the volunteers and that we did not get a voucher for food. I mean, I was not in it for swag, but it would be nice to feed your free labor that was expected to be there at 0815 until 1400. Just sayin’. Not sure if I would volunteer for this one again, but I would totally do another race!
Have you volunteered at a race? Which one? Why? How did it go and would you do another?