A few months ago, Dana and I signed up to run our second NOTC race: the Spillway Classic. Jeff signed up too. He apparently always wanted to run that particular race but hadn’t gotten the chance to do so until this year.
The 5K race took place the morning after the Brownies’ shower, on July 17. This run is unique because a portion of it takes place down in the Bonnet Carre Spillway. Included is a special section called “The Gauntlet,” a quarter mile of muck, mud, and hip-deep water. It was freaking awesome.
The first mile of the race was brutal: we were running in the direct, hot sun up on top of the levee. I admit, I struggled. (I’m so glad the Disney half is in January.) But while Jeff was in the front of the pack (he actually finished 44th out of more than 1000 people!), Dana and I agreed that this was just for fun and we wouldn’t try to push ourselves too much. So we walked much of the way, chatted, and had a good time.
Then we descended into the spillway and hit the infamous Gauntlet. The muddy sections were super slippery, made even worse by the amount of people that had passed through before us. (Jeff later told us he just ran right through.) I knew I was going to get dirty, so I didn’t even try to avoid any of it. I splashed right through and just tried not to lose a shoe. But then I hit a small decline, my feet went out from under me, and I ended up falling into the muddy water. The last picture below is Dana’s reaction to the exact moment I went down, and I think she fell right after I did.
Here we are right after we fell, still trying to navigate the last part of the Gauntlet. Looks like fun, doesn’t it??
We made it through the mud, and then the course took us through the trees for most of the rest of the way. It was much cooler in there, thank goodness. We also remarked how much we thought the kids would like walking the paths we took.
Dana and I crossed the finish line with a time just under 50 minutes. Jeff, meanwhile, finished just under 24 minutes. The best thing about the finish area was the huge fire truck providing the biggest shower ever for all of the muddy runners to wash off in. It was cold and refreshing and amazing.
After rinsing off, we walked over to grab our free beers (at 9am in the morning) and snacks. We hung around for a bit as they were announcing the awards. One of the award categories was “Muddiest Female,” which I was told I was in the running for at the finish line. And lo and behold, I won. So crazy. The trophy is really cool: an alligator and a tree carved out of metal.
Dana and I also wound up joining the NOTC that morning, so we now get all of their emails. Take a look at what landed in my inbox a few days after the race…..we’re famous!
This was such a fun race to run. I think we all agreed that we would do it again next year. And just think: I’ll have completed my first half marathon by that time.