The PsychoWyCo is a trail run around Wyandotte County Lake, which gives runners the option of 1, 2, or 3 laps. That is, 10-miles, 20-miles, or 30 miles (which sounds better if you call if 50 k).
My experience running 10 miles on the PsychoWyCo Trail Run will never be forgotten.
It was a muddy mess of a trail. For the first few miles it was miserable. First entering the trail, the mud was unavoidable. Yet instinctively, while wearing nice running shoes, we tried to avoid it.
But then… it continues.
And then… it doesn’t stop.
It is forever muddy and sloppy and disgusting. For those in the correct mindset, the circumstances become accepted. “This is my life now,” is what we say in our heads. Even if the path clears ahead for a while, it does not matter. The damage has been done. We are mud monsters. This is our life until the finish line is crossed.
Without fully embracing the situation, you only allow your misery to continue. By embracing the suck, you begin to laugh at the course. Out loud, in fact. You think it won’t get any worse, and then BOOM! You laugh out loud at a hill that is near impossible to ascend because of the slippery, friction-less mud. “Ha ha!” you laugh, because if you don’t, you won’t make it up the hill.
Oh, look! Some more mud. There was black mud, brown mud, clay mud, icy mud, peanut butter fudge mud, and peanut butter fudge mud with greenish horse poop smeared inside.
Then there was slippery mud, sticky mud, sloppy mud, and splattery mud.
Sometimes, you would slide 1-2 feet. Sometimes, the mud would threaten to steal your shoe from you. Mud would seep down into your socks and shoes. It somehow found its way into your bones, too.
And we would laugh.
The drums beat. “Am I nearing the end?” Maybe so, but first there is this huge hill. Good luck. Here are some men dressed in Braveheart clothing and war paint beating a drum for you, cheering you on to the finish line less than a mile away.
There it is. The finish line. It is beautiful. It makes us smile. Maybe you think we were stupid to come out and run such a long distance through mud. Maybe we are. But we did it. We faced a challenge on that day and conquered it.
And we’re so much better off for having done it, that it cannot be expressed in words alone. Some beating drums, some poetry, and a score by John Williams might get close.