Maldon Mud Race 2015

Mud, Mud, glorious mud.
Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood!
So follow me, follow.
Down to the hollow.
And there let us wallow.
In glorious mud

Essex is a strange county to live in, with its traditions and customs – some traditions centuries old, such as the Dunmow Flitch, Plough Monday and New Year’s Day Molly Dancers.  Other customs are more recent, such as the Maldon’s Mud Race, which (according to its official website) was first “run” in 1973.

Maldon is one of Essex’s hidden jewels of a town.  But, for good reason, the town is locally nicknamed “Maldon-on-the-Mud”.  Its nickname certainly comes to the forefront with its unique race.  The race is “run” (or should I say, “crawled”) when participants have to make their way from Maldon’s beautiful Promenade Park, across the river Blackwater at low-tide, then crawl along through the mud on the river-bed, and run back through the river to return to Promenade Park.  This year, on Sunday 26 April 2015, three-hundred people took part; most raising money for local and national charities.

It is such a good fun race to watch that I thought I’d share with you some of my photographs from the day.  It would be good if modern-day technology had “smell-o-vision” because the pictures don’t give you the earthy salty smell of the thick black gloopy mud which wafts up from the river-bed at low tide. The poor “runners” had to contend with all of this, and it was a freezing cold day. If you look closely at some of the pictures, you will see some poor participants sunk upto their waist in the black mud and being pulled out with ropes from the helpers.

Maldon Mud Race 2015

First up – The Duck Race

Maldon Mud Race 2015

Ducks reach the finishing line

Maldon Mud Race 2015

Clearing all the ducks from the water ready for the main event

Maldon Mud Race 2015

Excited participants lining up – all nice and clean!

Maldon Mud Race 2015

The first participants walk down to the starting line

Maldon Mud Race 2015

Marshalls already strategically positioned on the far river-banks and in the river, ready and waiting for anyone who gets into trouble in the mud

Maldon Mud Race 2015

Where’s Wally?

Maldon Mud Race 2015

One by one, with arms outstretched, they navigate the mud…

Maldon Mud Race 2015

Super Mario looking very confident…

Maldon Mud Race 2015

Bright, bright colours. Soon to be turned black with mud…

Maldon Mud Race 2015

Walking in the footsteps of those that went before.. The mud now knee deep in places.

Maldon Mud Race 2015

Thick, thick mud.

Maldon Mud Race 2015

She’s down!

Maldon Mud Race 2015

Chloe’s mum being pulled out of the mud

Maldon Mud Race 2015

On your marks… Get set… GO

Maldon Mud Race 2015

They’re off!

Maldon Mud Race 2015

Some falling at the start

Maldon Mud Race 2015

First slippery mud bank to navigate…

Maldon Mud Race 2015

Mud, mud, glorious mud…

Maldon Mud Race 2015

Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood!

Maldon Mud Race 2015

So follow me, follow.

Maldon Mud Race 2015

Down to the hollow.

Maldon Mud Race 2015

And there let us wallow.

Maldon Mud Race 2015

In glorious mud!

Maldon Mud Race 2015

One of the Where’s Wally Team streaks into the lead

Maldon Mud Race 2015

There’s Wally

Maldon Mud Race 2015

Behind Where’s Wally are the front leaders

Maldon Mud Race 2015

Meanwhile, back at the start of the race…

Maldon Mud Race 2015

Hands and knees are easier…

Maldon Mud Race 2015

Where’s Wally making steady progress

Maldon Mud Race 2015

Streaking across the final stretch of water, two marshalls guiding the way

Maldon Mud Race 2015

The winner is… Where’s Wally!

Maldon Mud Race 2015

Back at the start, some still hadn’t made the first mud bank

Maldon Mud Race 2015

On the mud bank, the participants crawl on their hands and knees along the course. On the foreshore, two participants have given up the race.

Maldon Mud Race 2015

Some still haven’t made it up the first mud bank…

Maldon Mud Race 2015

Whilst others are streaking (or crawling?) to the finishing line…

Maldon Mud Race 2015

Crawling to victory

Maldon Mud Race 2015

Or not

Maldon Mud Race 2015

The last runners make their way home

Maldon Mud Race 2015

Only in this wonderful county of Essex can you see the surreal sight of crazy people (and someone dressed as a dog), all crawling their way to victory in thick black sticky Maldon-mud.

I wonder what John Betjeman would have made of Maldon’s glorious Mud Race?…

Thank you for reading this post.

 

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You may also be interested in
– John Betjeman’s Essex
– The hidden treasures of Essex by Fred Roe
– The only way is Essex: A is for arsy-varsy

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