so the day gets off to a bad start.
rachel gets an early phone call from her dad that there’s a family issue. (i really want to weigh in here but for the moment i’m restraining myself. all i’ll say is that one of my mother’s favorite phrases, ‘the world doesn’t revolve around you’, should be considered by a certain person.) rachel would have to stay home, spending almost all day on the phone with different family members, trying to save things. it’s probably just as well, tho, that she wasn’t at tough mudder to see the end of the race.
I set off by myself. stop at mcd’s for an egg biscuit and a large OJ (hydrate!). want to get some calrories and potassium in me (cramps are my achilles heel). Sara and Alex are driving together, and Dan is driving with Jonathan. Clearly we are all very organized seeing that there is a $10 parking fee for cars with less than 4 people and between the five of us we have three cars. but there are good reasons tho they are not very interesting reasons.
we all are within about 10 min of each other on the road. i get a call from sara about halfway there saying her muffler has blown out. fortunately dan and jonathan are right behind. she ditches her car at a walmart and they all drive together thus saving $10 after all.
there are some problems with gmaps directions but we all sort it out and park in a big field. we meet up and get on one of the (long line of) yellow school buses waiting to take us on the 30 min drive to the drop point. from there we walk another half mile to the registration. it is a clear, sunny, morning in the low 50’s. it’s about 11am and our wave starts at noon.
we register. i don’t have my id. not a problem since that is only to determine if you get the wristband for the free beer. you have to be over 21. he laughs and gives me the band. i do not take the black UA sticky squares to put high on my cheeks below my eyes. i already look tough without these. ;7)
it’s about 11:30. we turn everything in to the drop zone. i walk out, see a guy putting on his gloves, and remember that i left mine in my bag. i go back, check out my bag, get the gloves, and check it in again. we all get our pictures taken by our fans. (we have 7 on the team and we have about 12 fans). our team name is mudder fudgers. dan thought it up after spending about 8 seconds on it. he is not proud of it. we don’t have uniforms. as cecilia said, ‘we know our team’.
the team is alex, cecilia, debbie (cecilia’s friend), aaron (dan’s former roomate), jonathan, carl (dan’s former roomate and friend from growing up) and moi. and of course dan as an honorary captain. he organized and recruited the team and then broke his foot playing basketball a month before the race.
they call us to the start line. we have to scale a 6 foot wood wall just to get to the start area. MVI_1454_zps6a7d42a6
we get a motivational speech/sermon/drill sargeant session that includes brothers and sisters in boston. IMG_1133_zps190f0581
i look around and notice there’s nobody else within ten or fifteen years of my age. i’ve been in triathlons and long runs and i know there are plenty of people my age and older that are way fitter than me. i conclude this is a judgement issue. then we’re off. there’s a drone in the air with a camera filming the takeoff.
the first few obstacles were routine. in fact most were routine. they weren’t all easy but if you weren’t a navy seal and couldn’t get over a tall one yourself someone helped you. the recurring theme was jumping into ice cold muddy water and climbing over barricades. some of the water was deeper and colder than others. and also doing things on your belly. most of those also involved ice cold water and mud. and it never got much above mid 50s on the day.
the first one that made me pay attention was the electric eel. big shallow depression of water with a poly liner on the bottom and electric wires hanging down from the top. several lines of people. probably 50 wires hanging over each person’s route, hung low. the object was to go on your belly and avoid the shocks. i figured out early if i put my head down so my chin was in the water, and ran my stomach on the bottom, i wouldn’t get shocked. not everyone figured it out. lots of raised heads, butts and elbows. trouble was, as everyone is in the same pit of water, when one gets shocked everyone gets shocked. overall i was happy it wasn’t as bad as i thought it was going to be. secondhand shock, yeah.