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Mud Mash: infinite stories

Modified: Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Photo by Creig P. Sherbourne. The first of the actual mud pits at Mud Mash X was a doosey. Here, one racer gives another a leg up and over a 6-foot wall blocking the way while Grizzly Academy volunteers maintain order and assist racers through the obstacle.

SANTA MARGARITA —More than 600 people showed up to race the first Mud Mash X obstacle course race at Santa Margarita Ranch last week, and another 600 hung around to watch.

The race was actually two races, one 10 miles long, the other four. Both started with a run up a long steep hill and then over fallen trees and rocks, through a dry creek-bed, pushing barrels up a hill, through some bodies of water, over giant constructions floating in the water, over walls, over bigger walls, through the mud, over a deliberately unstable bridge and even over and under a bulldozer.

Navy SEAL Jeff Gardner helped design both courses. He and his SEAL friends did the 10-mile version while Jeff’s wife, Andrea, did the four-mile course.

“He didn’t tell me anything before hand,” Andrea said. “He kept telling me, ‘you’ll do fine, they’re easy.’”

But, she said, they weren’t. The hardest obstacle for Andrea was scaling the 30-foot wall with the rope attached to the top. “That one killed me,” she said. “That was the only one I couldn’t do. [But] it was fun. It kicked my butt, but not in a bad way.”

That was the general consensus among racers: hard but not impossible, and a ton of fun.

Case in point: Team Supergirls, a group of six women from the Five-Cities area “who like being dirty; and if we’re going to be dirty, we might as well dress like it.”

As a group, the Supergirls said the worst part about the four-mile course was going over and under the kayaks in the water toward the end of the course. The best part?

“The beer,” the six agreed with feeling.

The Supergirls weren’t kidding. Central Coast Brewing had its beer truck on-premises and gave a glass of beer to each racer. Likewise, Ripline catering was there, parting with pulled-pork sandwiches and roasted half-chickens. The Cadillac Angels brought live rockabilly to an appreciative crowd.

And 80 Grizzly Academy participants were on-hand helping in dozens of ways. Sgt. Jaydan Johnson said that Grizzly Academy’s roll was to “assist in any way possible with the event,” and he was right. Grizzly Academy members helped racers get a leg up over barriers, passed out water, and even held the occasional news reporter’s camera while he heaved over some of the harder obstacles.

Which isn’t to say the event went perfectly. Calstar flight nurse Suze Roehl was on hand for the event and she said there were a couple sprained ankles.

On the other hand, she said, “I’m going to race next year.”

Calstar was joined by San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department search and rescue personnel. One search and

rescue worker, Tom Diaz, said there was one non-missing missing person. That is, one racer took longer than a family member thought he should have to reach the finish line. Just as a team was deploying to find him, he crossed the finish line.

“It’s the best kind,” Diaz said.

“We also really appreciate [Santa Margarita] Ranch's patience and support with our endeavors to bring the public to such a well-maintained and pristine property,” All Out Events owner and event coordinator Kristin Horowitz said. “We were really excited to give the public some access to see what we've been able to enjoy for a few years as we've developed agritourism attractions to support the ranch's cattle and vineyard operations.”

For more information or for photos and results, go to www.mudmashx.com.

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