Events,  Outdoors

The Maldon Mud Race 2023: Everything You Need To Know!

The Maldon Mud Race is a charity event that happens annually across the river estuary located at Maldon Promenade Park. The event started in the early 70s and has since grown in popularity. Originally the race was held during the winter, however in 2010 the temperatures were too cold and so it was moved to the spring. Thanks to the success of it being held during this time, pulling in additional crowds, it has continued to take place during the warmer months!

Maldon Mud Race

Maldon Mud Race 2023 Event

This year the Maldon Mud Race will take place on: Sunday 14th May 2023

How Long Is The Maldon Mud Race

The Maldon Mud Race is 400 yards in length (just under 366 metres). The estuary is tidal and so the race only takes place during low tide. Participants cross the short stretch of water, race along a length of the riverbed on the opposite side, before crossing back through the river to the finish line. For safety reasons, the number of participants is limited to 300 people.

Maldon Mud Race Essex Events

But don’t be fooled by the short distance. It is honestly the hardest thing I have ever taken part in (and I’ve done my fair share of weird 5k runs)! I took part in 2011 and out of 241 competitors that crossed the finish line, I came 214th.

Running Through Mud

The mud acts a little like quicksand, it sucks you in. I think the key is to be the first one on the ‘fresh mud’. This is easier said than done. I tried to get as far to the edge of the pack as I could to try and do this, but it didn’t work. Everyone around me literally just swallowed me up and then I was left with the churned up mud. The fastest runners manage to complete it in around 5 minutes (the record is 22 seconds…HOW?!).

Maldon Mud Run Essex

The run attracts people of all different ages (over 16yr old) and abilities. I wouldn’t say I’m a complete running beginner. At the time I was completing 5k’s in around 25 minutes, but I was well and truly left behind. The majority of participants during my year were males. Putting this into perspective, only 44 women finished in front of me, the other 170 were all men.

Once the mud was churned up, I would sink up to my knees and get completely stuck, it was impossible to run. I tried to roll, thinking a larger surface area would stop me from sinking, but that didn’t work. Most of the time I crawled on my hands and knees. It was exhausting! At one point I had to be rescued with a waterski tow rope by one of the volunteers, who ‘unstuck’ me and helped me get to fresh mud! A lot of people were cutting the corners on the course for this reason, fresh mud is the key!!!

Maldon Mud Race stuck in mud
Me, stuck in mud & having a rest!

What To Wear At The Maldon Mud Race

Every competitor has to wear shoes, which have to be duct taped to your feet! I recommend buying some cheap ones that you can just throw away at the end of it. (Make Sure you bring scissors so you can cut the tape off too!!) I wore an old half length wetsuit and swimming costume under just a t-shirt (that I duct taped my name on the back of) and some old jogging bottoms, again stuff I could just throw away. Looking back, the wetsuit wasn’t really necessary. Many runners choose to take part in fancy dress. You’re also given a tag to wear that is cut off at the finish line.

Maldon Mud Race Shoes

There is a hose/shower system set up close to the finish line. It’s not a perfect shower, but it’s enough to remove the majority of the mud. It’s possible to get changed in the toilets once you’re ‘clean’ but keep in mind that the lines may be fairly long depending on the spectator turn out!

Maldon Mud Race Showers

Fundraising & Entry Fees

The entry fee for the Maldon Mud Race is £45 per competitor. I received a t-shirt, medal and certificate for completing the run. On top of the entry fee, everyone is required to raise a minimum of £50 for the charities that the Maldon Mud Race support. If the minimum isn’t met, then the competitor has to pay the additional amount.

Spectating

Part of the reason the race continues to be held in the spring, is to encourage spectators to come and enjoy the event! There is a fair amount of space along the sea wall to stand and watch. Participants receive a free parking permit to the event, but all other spectators will have to park in the car parks at Promenade Park, which do have a fee. There is also a duck race that takes part before the main race.

Celebrities Taking Part In The Maldon Mud Race

In 2011, British comedians Jo Brand and Sean Lock took part in the race, along with CBBC presenters Ed and Andy. So along with the footage that is filmed by the event organisers, you may appear on TV. (I was on Blue Peter looking like a beached whale)!

Maldon Mud Race 2011 Jo Brand
Photobombing Jo Brand & her TV crew…
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