When registering, I registered with my team for the 1pm wave on Saturday. There were waves about every 15 minutes, and we didn't want anything too early. My friend Mel had registered for 11am, though, so the Thursday before I tried to change my wave time. The site wouldn't let me, so I decided to just wait and see what happens the day of. We got about 3 emails the week before the event with updates on parking and check-in, and reminding us to bring a change of clothes!
Mel and I left Augusta around 6:30 on Saturday morning, and got to Lake Lanier around 9:30. The event was taking place in the same area that the Iron Girl was held last May, so it was all pretty familiar. We parked, walked about 10 minutes up to the parking lot where registration was set up, and waited. There was a HUGE line of people trying to check in, and the line seemed to be hardly moving at all. Some recon showed that each of the 2 registration tents had a guy with an ipad checking people in. They were mostly volunteers, and didn't seem too familiar with the system. Bibs weren't customized or organized by team, rather, each check-in volunteer just had a stack of bibs and was handing them out when you checked in. After standing in line about 45 minutes, we finally checked in, got our bibs, and moved on. The next stop was for swag pick up. We picked up cotton t-shirts, which were general Dirty Girl t-shirts, not customized for the day or location, and a Dirty Girl necklace. Here's the swag:
The bib also had tear-off tickets for bag check, and a beverage at the end. Our next stop was for an age verification bracelet, where they told us to tear off the drink ticket and keep it somewhere safe. WRONG! We put it in our checked bags, but drinks were being served at the finish line, so when we finished, we had to trudge back to bag check, get our bags with our tickets, and then go back to the finish area for our drinks. KEEP YOUR TICKET someplace safe on your person.
Bag check was a very large tent organized by bib number. There was no size limit for the bags you could check, so a lot of people brought duffel bags or backpacks, and pinned their bag check tag on them. I brought a large plastic bag that I got at the Disney Princess Half, which held all my stuff and kept it from getting wet. After dropping off our bags, we headed over to the start line!
Even though I had registered for the 1pm wave, no one was really checking or asking what wave you were registered for, there was nothing marked on the bibs, and a lot of people had to wait in line so long to check in that they missed their original wave time anyway. Mel and I jumped in on the 10:45 wave, and were off!
Everyone seemed to be REALLY EXCITED for this run! There were a ton of husbands/boyfriends milling about, taking pictures, and LOTS of teams wearing matching t-shirts or some sort of costume. I saw a lot of tu-tus, one team wearing pink goggles, a team wearing glittery shower caps, and lots of creativity. It was really fun to be surrounded by women of all ages and shapes and sizes and fitness levels, all excited to be doing this mud run!
As soon as our wave started, Mel and I were off, weaving through all the girls ahead of us, and soon were at the head of our wave. After the first obstacle, the Barn Raiser, a huge blow-up obstacle, we could almost see the 10:30 wave. The next obstacle was pretty close, and was a large wall to climb up and over. I stopped trying to remember them all after that, but, I do remember there were several large mud pits filled with freezing mud/water. One, called the funky monkey, was a large cargo net suspended above the ground. Definitely really awkward positions getting across that! My favourite one was another blow-up obstacle, with a large side to climb up, then a slide on the other side down into a mud pit!
I suppose it would be possible to get through the entire course without getting too dirty. All of the obstacles had signs saying "If you go around, we won't tell!" but what's the fun in that!? While I didn't low crawl through any of the mud pits, I did get plenty dirty!
Running from obstacle to obstacle wasn't too much of a challenge. The area was a little rough, and pretty wet from rain the day before, but very clearly marked the whole way. A lot of teams walked most of the route, but Mel and I were all about the challenge. This event is not timed at all, but that didn't stop us!
The finish line was right on Lake Lanier, at the beach area that hosted the Iron Girl swim. Running into the water definitely rinsed us off a little, but it was cold! The finish chute into the water had a pink carpet, which I thought was a really cute touch (I now want long pink carpets all over my house!), but it was pretty covered in sand and mud. There was loud music, people dancing and cheering on everyone finishing, and lots of sun! After walking out of the finish area, labelled "CLUB DIRTY GIRL," we saw the beverages tent and thought, OH NO, our tickets are up in our bags! Oh well.
We walked up a little hill to bag check. Picking up our bags was a little less organized. They just let everyone in, after checking that they had a bib, and let them rummage through all the bags to find theirs. Thankfully mine was right near the front of my line, but Mel had to dig a little. There was security at the exit of the tent checking bibs and tags on the bags, to make sure you were only taking your own bag. We carried them back down to the finishing area, dug out our beverage tickets, and enjoyed a nice cold beer. We also took pictures at the end, one of which I sent to my mom after receiving her text that it is snowing in Ohio. No snow here!
One small note about the music: there was music everywhere! Most of the obstacles had speakers set up nearby, which kept the energy up, but after being in the area for about 2 hours, Mel and I realized we had heard Call Me Maybe about 15 times. Also, What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction. Thankfully, I love listening to these songs, but if I didn't, I can see how that would be annoying! Definitely a great soundtrack, but a little bit repetitive.
Next stop was the rinse tent! This was a fully enclosed tent to let everyone rinse off and change after the run. Outside was a HUGE pile of muddy shoes that were being collected and recycled.
There goes my shoes! Good thing I wore an old pair from last year!
Inside the tent, everyone was rinsing off with hoses (so cold!) and changing into clean(er) clothing. Mel forgot to pack a pair of flip flops, and had already lost her shoes in the pile, so she was walking around barefoot for the rest of time! I wish the tent included a few tables or cubby holes so we could pick our bags up off the wet floor while changing.
Final stop for us was the Dirty Girl store. They had some really nice jackets and shirts, all displayed at one end of the tent with sample sizes. You could then get in line and request the size and item you wanted. I really liked this set up! I picked up a technical t-shirt with a list of the obstacles on the back, even though it was white technical material! It was not see-through, though, I checked.
I would definitely love to do this event again!! Maybe I can get a group together to do it in Baltimore in August, since I'll be up there (hopefully) by then starting law school. It was a little expensive, and maybe not entirely worth the price, but amazing! Notes to self for next time:
- Arrive early! Check-in is a little slow, so plan on standing in line
- Wear something fitted. I wore some Underarmour shorts and a loose top, and the top did get a little uncomfortable when it got wet and drippy.
- Bring a plastic bag to put your dirty clothes in. I brought a plastic bag for all my stuff in bag check, and a smaller tie-off bag for my used clothes after.
- Wear old shoes, and be ready to donate them! You're probably never going to wear them again anyway
- You have two choices: get pretty much naked in a tent full of women, or leave the area covered in mud. Your choice.
- Keep your beverage ticket with you! Keep it attached to the bib, or, I saw a few women who safety-pinned it to their shirt.