so far we’ve been running up and down (sometimes slippery) hills and through the forest in between obstacles. the whole route is about 12 miles. since you have to stop and wait at the obstacles, the longest continuous run was about a mile. there were 22 obstacles.
one, called walk the plank, involved things including jumping about 15 feet into water. by now you know this was cold, muddy water. there was some commotion there and a backup and they waved us past it. our fan club told us there were some people freaking out, holding up traffic, and the organizers wanted to keep things moving so we didn’t do it. i would have been perfectly fine about jumping 15 feet into water. it turns out that’s where the guy died on saturday. he didn’t actually die on the course, but did the next day from complications. apparently people kept landing on him and knocking him back underwater. tragedy. there was an article in monday’s paper about how many people were taken to area hostpitals and how emergency rooms were overloaded. besides the death there were a couple of heart attacks, one person treated for electrocution, and lots of fractures and orthopedic issues.
there was a fun obstacle that involved climbing up, and then back down, a steep pile of hay bales probably 25 feet high. it was soft, not muddy, and didn’t smell bad. that was a change.
there was a minor recurring theme of crawling through pipes underground. some had mud, some had (say it with me) icy cold muddy water, and one just had sharp rocks. a couple of the team members with a little claustrophobia didn’t do those but they cheered everyone else on. in fact all of the obstacles were optional, really. the race wasn’t timed. you just had to cross the finish line. if you couldn’t or didn’t want to do any particular one, you just passed it and went to the next one.
then the one i was dreading….arctic enema. a big dumpster, maybe 20 feet long full of ice water. not just cold water. (muddy) water with a 6 inch topping of ice cubes making sure that the water didn’t get above 32. there was barbed wire and a wooden barrier across it half way down the length. you climbed up on the front edge of the dumpter, had to jump in (it was about 5 ft deep) and then duck under and swim under the barrier before you could get to the other side. they were regularly pulling people out of that one. somehow i thought the barrier was deeper than it was so i dove to the bottom, reached up to pull myself through, couldn’t feel anything, reached again, still no luck, started to get a little worried, and figured i’d come up and try again. turns out i’d already gone under the barrier and when i came up i was on the other side. so i swam thru the last 10 feet of ice water and pulled myself out the other end. really glad that one was over.
it took a mile or so to warm up. well not really warm. just not frozen. lots of random mud puddles and small rivers we waded through. it had poured rain on friday. all over the course there were lots of good oppys to fall and people were.
the next memorable one was pirates booty. that’s where you swim across a little pond, climb up 20 feet of cargo net, get over a big slippery log at the top and let yourself back down 20 feet. you had to hang on the nets waiting awhile for people above you to make progress. seriously, it freaks me out thinking about it and the potential to seriously damage yourself if not die if you slipped off the top and either landed on people below you on one side or landed on the hard ground, probably headfirst, on the other. but i didn’t.
there were a series of mud puddles with ridges in the middle that you went up and down through. MVI_1469_zpsd9b7efac
there was a gimmicky one where you ran up a ramp, jumped over a line of flaming logs, and landed in a deep, cold muddy lake and swam out. MVI_1503_zps86ea0171
there was a buddy carry. i grabbed alex because he seemed to be the lightest. we didn’t realize we had to switch who was carrying whom at the halfway point. alex was the big loser on that one. aaron and carl had the most creative approach.
the next one could have been a little more fun. i’ve had a personal rule ever since i turned about 30 to not play on a slip and slide anymore. they were great when i was 10. there’s something about age that just doesn’t let you get down low and launch yourself fearlessly like the little kids do. for me it’s more of a belly flop onto the ground. and there’s also the part about being 6’3″. well, the next one was ‘greased lightning’. a long, steep hill with a wet poly tarp. like a slip’n’slide on steroids. the mudder dudes kept telling everyone to leap out and get some speed. they were screaming at us to do it. so i did and landed a big belly flop and let out an ‘ugh’ that you could hear for a mile. but i went racing down on my stomach to the bottom and didn’t break anything. it was actually fun after the landing.
the next one (the 20th obstacle, and i’d done all the previous 19)…and here’s where i got hurt….and here’s the irony…was called