Mark Danger Powers

Muddy Buddy

Check another item off the ol’ bucket list! As I mentioned a while back, the Muddy Buddy is a two-person, off-road, bike/run/obstacle course that concludes with a crawl through their infamous mud pit to reach the finish line. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for years now, ever since reading about it in a mid-flight magazine.

And I finally did it!

The middle of last month, friend & fellow percussionist Steve Schob and I aired up the tires on my old Trek mountain bike and [literally] dove into one of the most fun outdoor events I’ve ever participated in.

Set in the beautiful Milo McIver State Park just outside of Estacada, Oregon, the 5.7-mile course consisted of five 1 to 1.5-mile stretches of running and/or biking. Each two-person team shares one bike, swapping it at transition points, so that the team members are continually alternating between run/bike duties. An additional obstacle also has to be completed at every transition point. This particular race included a high wall to scale, a low crawl, balance beams, climbing a 20-foot inflatable wall and, of course, a filthy scramble on all fours through the [at least one-foot deep] mud pit!

As I pulled myself out of the muck to run the last few feet across the finish line- face, helmet, gloves, shoes, socks, shirt, pants and underwear completely full of dark, squishy mud- I felt . . . incredible! The combination of reaching such a longtime goal, splashing away in the cold, wet mud, post-race adrenaline and the brisk morning air, all put me on a serious high.

Mind you, my initial goal was to participate in the Muddy Buddy, not necessarily to be competitive. Which we certainly weren’t. For a variety of reasons (or excuses), neither Steve nor myself trained at all leading up to the event. Saying we were prepared would be about as far from the truth as you can possibly imagine. Our goal was to bust out there, have a blast and get dirty.

Mission accomplished, 100%!

That said, after having experienced the Muddy Buddy firsthand, our views have changed a bit. We both want to do it again! And we want to go out and kick some butt next time. Not that it’d be realistic to assume we could win the thing (or could we?). The fastest team had a time of 39:19; ours was a sad 54:09 (28th out of 41 teams in our age bracket; 217th out of 587 teams overall). But we both know that with even a bit of training beforehand, we could better our own time significantly, and otherwise better ourselves in the process.

So, here’s to setting goals, checking them off, making new ones and growing as a result.
Here’s to Steve for teaming up with me, and helping to cross this one off my list.
And here’s to the next Muddy Buddy!

Have a goal of your own that you plan to pound out in the near future? Post it in a comment below so we can all support each other in our endeavors!


  1. . . .once again inspiring, Mark – I am going to publicly profess my desire to run a 2-mile race on Thanksgiving. TWO MILES! I’m an ex-runner who at one time smugly thought that anyone and everyone should be able to run at least three miles. I have completed a tiny tri (1/4 mile swim, 17 mile bike and 6.2 mile run) and ran road races for years, but due to a wrecked body from that and other abuses have been limited to yoga and other low-impact activities. NO LONGER MAKING EXCUSES FOR MY WRECK OF A BODY: I can do two miles. Can’t I?? I have a few weeks to get ready.

    Loved the Muddy Buddy story. You are ready for one of those Discovery races now . . .

    • Yay, Gretchen! Good for you for deciding to make the two-miler happen. Of course you can pull it off- I’ve got 100 percent faith in your abilities! Please keep me posted on it. And yeah, The Amazing Race? Here I come! 🙂

  2. Yeah BUDDY.

    Glad you did this :).I think you know already know, but adventure races are awesome 🙂

    • Right you are- tons of fun! Totally dig that you’ve done the similar Mudathlon. That looks like a blast, too. Thanks for dropping a line, Joel!

  3. Hey Mark,
    Congratulations to you and Steve!!!
    I am inspired to chip away at my ever growing bucket list more than ever.

    • Thanks, Dave . . . I’d love to hear what you’ve got on your list!

  4. Mark,

    Woohoooo Congrats!!

    I discovered adventure racing in May of this year and I’m absolutely hooked. My goals are:

    1.) Show up
    2.) Have fun
    3.) Finish in the 3-hour time window

    I’ve met my goals on the 3 races I’ve run. Now I’m training to build endurance so I can keep a steady, fast pace on the bike and trek portions. Who knows maybe some day I’ll place in the top 3. For now, it’s all about the challenge and the FUN of it!!!!

    • Yeah, Maria- good for you! I’ve only gotten this one in so far, but I have a feeling there will be more to come in the future!

  5. Hey man – Congrats on checking another item off the list! Sounds like a great time. I’ve got a couple of races coming up (a 5k and a 10k), but I haven’t done an adventure race yet. Hoping to change that in January when I’m going to try for the Ragnar Relay in Miami. What’s your next challenge?

    • Thanks, Trever! Very cool that you’re doing the Ragnar. Are you doing the Regular or Ultra? Not exactly sure what my next race will be. I’ve got a few other personal goals that need pounding out in the near future. But, although there’s plenty of time before it happens, I do need to start thinking at some point about the Sprint Triathlon that an Australian friend and I will eventually be doing. The plan is to do the race together when we’re 35- most likely in a country neither of us has yet visited!


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