I guess the name of the race, RunaMUCK, kind of says it all. But let me describe the mayhem anyway…
The Runamuck Challenge is a “fun run” in County Kildare where crazy, adventurous, loony bins give up their saturday afternoon to run a 5km obstacle course. I use the word ”fun” with caution because it could arguably be called “Hellish” or even ”painful“. Participants spend up to an hour in almost sub-zero temperatures leaping over hay bales, over ditches, under nets, through rivers and tyres, down slippery slides into mud pools, through trees and wading through endless mucky pits filled with more mud than any pig could possibly care for!
I have to say that although it was fun and I would actually do it again, I must admit that I have NEVER been so cold in my life. And please note that this is coming from a girl who survived a winter in South Korea where temperatures drop to -25′c. A girl who ‘enjoys’ Christmas day swims and has lived in rainy Ireland most of her life. So when I say cold, I mean achingly, pain numbingly cold.
I was so cold when I crossed the finish line the young boy handing out bananas had to actually peel the skin off for me as my fingers had stopped working. I was *this close* to asking a random stranger to help take my soaking wet, mud drenched bra off as my hand wouldn’t stop shaking and I was willing to do anything to get some warm clothes on!
One of my friends informed me he was so cold upon crossing the finish line that when offered a small cup of tea or coffee he too both and instead of drinking them poured them over his frosty arms in the hope of warming up. I think poor toby was close to hypothermia, due to the fact that he had lost a battle with the mud in the first 1km and the thick, sticky mcuk had captured his trainers, causing him to have to run the full course BAREFOOT!!
At the finish line, groups of tired runners huddled around a burning mattress willing their bodies to warm up. As I stood over the same burning ring of fire, steam poured off my mud soaked legs and I felt a weird burning sensation…was I on fire?? I was so achingly cold and my legs were so numb I honestly couldn’t tell!! I stepped away from the fire anyway, just in case.
Besides the cold, it really was GREAT FUN. I loved the slides, the team spirit, all the crazy costumes, the smiling, the laughing, the crazy hokey pokey dancing at the start and finish line and the pure randomness of spending a day on a farm in the middle of Ireland “running a muck” through ploughed fields with about 5,000 other mad hatters.