50 Shades of Mud

Whilst standing in the shower post-run this afternoon, I watched as my brilliant white bathroom suite became spattered with a delightful shade of Derbyshire brown from the mud on my legs. It got me pondering about mud. Now I know what you’re going to say; this chick needs to get out more! But hey, it’s an interesting subject for a fell runner honestly!

Travelling around to different races at various times of year, it’s amazing how many types of mud you encounter! Each one affects your run differently so I decided to catalogue my muddy encounters! Yes, you’re right. I do need to get out more.

1. Mud so thick it instantly clags up the grips on your trainers rendering them as useful as a pair of loafers up Kinder. I find this seems to be the favoured type of mud for cross country season

2. Slippy slidey mud which turns even the gentlest of uphills into the travellator of ‘90s show Gladiators. Each step forward slides back to almost where you started from = double the effort for the same pitiful gain

3. Peaty mud from the moors, richly dark and thick. That stuff is impossible to wash off without stealing a scourer from the kitchen sink (just rinse it off well before putting it back!)

4. Frozen mud, possibly the best kind to be encountered as you can trot across with minimal worries. Don’t get too smug though, there’s invariably a bit that’s thawed out ready to catch you out!

5. Deceptively deep mud, the kind that devours legs up to your hips and consumes trainers, the occasional child and numerous small dogs. Beware as this mud is a master of camouflage and you won’t know it’s there until you fall into its trap!

6. Stinking mud, the kind that accumulates around cattle field gateways. Invariably unavoidable it fills the entire area with sloppy pungent gunk which you have no choice but to run through. Your trainers may never be the same again

7. Mud that never disappears. We all know a path that never seems to dry up even in the midst of a high summer hosepipe ban

Have I missed any? Happy running x


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Phil Deakin says:

    In my last two Cross Country races I encountered two very different types of mud. Very slippery mud as part of the short sharp hills at Trent Meadows. This was interspersed with the bitterly cold shock of zero degrees marsh running headlong through water up to your knees!

    I then encountered the thickest, claggiest mud at Wollaton Park in the Midland Counties XC Champs where you are forced to run 3 or 4 times (depending on gender) through a foot-deep bog for 200 metres. This is the kind which sucks at your shoes and saps every ounce of energy from you.

    I’ve not yet decided which is my favourite, but your insight makes for a very interesting post! I’ve found in such circumstances that I need a shower to be clean enough to have a bath!!


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