Welcome to a weekly feature on my blog – Ben’s Zone. Written by husband… Ben. A foodie, coffee obsessed, ex-smoking, ex-drinking and Ridgeback loving Dad. Who is also seriously into his fitness. You can find him on the blog (most) Sundays. Enjoy 🙂
Muscle Acre Mud Slog 2018 Review
It’s with a lot of sadness I write this last review of Muscle Acre at the original site. We got the news a month or so ago that this would not be the last Muscle Acre, but that it would be the last one at the site where it all started. I was doubly sad as I was not able to compete due to my surgery earlier on in the year. Not only did this mean I missed my last Muscle Acre of the year, it also meant that I would not receive the coveted ‘Tri-Event Finisher’ hoody for completing all 3 events. I was glad to at least be there to take Logan round the Mini Muscle Makers course along with best pal Bella and her dad (and fellow RAW runner) Andy.
Though I didn’t compete, I was glad I was there. Race Director Kev Lomas and Marketing Manager Jess came over and said hello and made a point of saying that even though they knew I wasn’t running, they’d got me a Tri-Event finisher hoody all the same. I was genuinely touched by this. Muscle Acre is a nice big event and so the fact that Kev knows his regulars, even the journeymen middle of the road guys like me shows how involved his is with every aspect of his race. I’ve known for a long time that Muscle Acre is my ‘home’ race and the gesture of the hoody made me feel part of things, even if I wasn’t running.
The Mini Muscle Makers itself was a great race. The weather was extremely cold and the kids all did really well to get round. I liked that the obstacles had not been dumbed down too much and were a challenge for even the bigger kids, but that there wasn’t anything in there that would be dangerous or that smaller kids could not do. As ever, the skips were a traditional sticking point and I have to say the water did look really cold. The kids still had a great time (check the pics to see how cold they were by the end).
As it was Logan that ran the race, I thought that I would interview him to find out his thoughts on Muscle Acre, so here it is, from the horses mouth:
What was your favourite obstacle at Mud Slog this year?
(We went through several iterations on this one but eventually arrived at….)
“The see saws that were before the huge waterslide”
What was the most challenging obstacle?
At this point his face clouded and his eyes narrowed slightly, he said two words.
What do you enjoy about Muscle Acre?
“The obstacles but most of all doing it with friends”
Which is better, Summer Madness or Mud Slog?
“Summer, in summer I like the skips best because they cool you down”
If Aria (younger sister) was going to do Muscle Acre, what advice would you give her?
“Watch out for the skips, have a nice time, wear your RAW shirt”
What would you tell her not to do?
“Don’t run off without your team mates”
With that, the attention span of a 7 year old ran out and his thoughts were elsewhere (chiefly, could he have more hot chocolate – yes, was he still on a lego ban – yes) but I think he captured the heart of it. I brought Logan to the Muscle Acre as his first OCR and he’s done it ever since. Over time I’ve watched him work at and conquer obstacles that overwhelmed him at first and seen him blossom as a runner. I’m glad to see that he’s picked up the key ethos of Muscle Acre, fun, friendship and for the hell of it and it’s great that he can share my passion for this kind of OCR.
I’d write a longer article if this was the end of Muscle Acre but I’m certain it’s not. In the new year we’ll have a new venue and as soon as I have those details I’ll start writing about it. It’s sad to be leaving that particular horse farm because of all the fun we’ve had there but it’s also exciting to see where we’ll go next. Most of all though I know that things Logan and I love about Muscle Acre won’t change. You only have to turn up to an event and see how many people are wearing T shirts from previous events to learn the secret, Muscle Acre is about the people that do it. Kev and his team have created an event where people can come together in the mud, make friends and have a great time, that’s not locked in to any one location. We’re not a place, we’re a people and I can’t wait to see where we go next.