time: approximately 4 hours (not officially timed)
first, i want to say that this event was not as great in comparison to last year's experience. who knows... maybe because last year's was so amazing i just expected this year to be the same. maybe i'm just over the whole mud run experience altogether. maybe it was a little of both but either way... this experience didn't quite come close to last years.
my family (minus my eldest) and myself left the house at 7:45am because the drive to the event course would be around 1.5 hours. the drive up was awesome... no traffic and great spirits on the way there. we arrived with not much fan fair and parking was amazingly simple which was a bonus compared to last year. we parked within minutes and walked a few yards to the entry point. it was really crowded already and when i was picking up my packet we heard the shot for a wave so the event had begun! in and out of packet pickup really swiftly so that was awesome too. lots of fun costumes that other people were wearing. many super heros were afoot.
as we took stock of the morning sky we realized that the "scattered showers" were going to come sooner than the dopler originally said. like NOW!
we went into the merchandise tent to wait for the rest of the team (mudding rhinos, to be exact.) and the rain started in full force. pelting, sideways streaming rain with thunderous lightening to boot! pretty great start for certain!
my little was less than pleased as i had forced him to come under the guise of it being my birthday present and he felt guilted into it. in fact, his response was "you're going to pull that on me?" to which i replied a resounding YES! we waited out the storm while i tried to contact my teammates.
kelly called and via speaker phone i was informed that her and gert (pronounced garret) were about 30 minutes away. later i got a facebook message from my other teammate saying they were there and in the parking lot. about a half hour passed and the rain was letting up. i looked out into the still very overcast sky and scanned the crowd for my people. i saw kelly and gert by chance! so now we have THREE!
it was now creeping up on 11am which was our start time. kelly & gert were anxious to begin but we were waiting for abby & charlie. i stood and scanned the crowd but didn't see them anywhere. it was about 10 minutes to 11am at this point so we decided to go ahead and hoped that they would be at the line for the agreed upon start time.
i was sad to see they weren't there.
at this point it was raining again and i was shaking like a washing machine with unevenly positioned clothing. it was SO COLD!
and then we were off!
the rain was really fun to run in and had warmed up enough that i wasn't shaking anymore. lots and lots of mud was afoot! huge puddles for jumping and we were COVERED pretty quickly. one of the first obstacles was kiss of mud which we hit during a full on THUNDERSTORM! while it was awesome it was simultaneously terrible because (for whatever ridiculous reason) i lifted my head up just before heading under the barbed wire and I CUT MY FOREHEAD! blood everywhere because of the rain making my face all wet... lots of blood for such a little cut.
i have to say that the rain was the most fun part about this event and that was only the first 4 miles!
mile 5 and 6 were a lot of running back and forth through huge mud pits and (unfortunately) not very memorable obstacles. in fact, most of the event's obstacles i don't remember... odd. we were running pretty slowly with a considerable amount of walking and resting breaks (which accounts for the long time and slow pace) because poor gert got a calf cramp really early on. it just wouldn't let go and plagued him throughout the entire event. by the time we got to mile 8 kelly and i accidentally lost gert. we had been running ahead (and i ran faster because i just wanted to get some real running in) to the next obstacle and for whatever reason... WE LOST HIM! kel and i waited by the funky monkey for 15 minutes scanning the crowd but since everyone looks the same covered head to toe in mud... it was really challenging to pick him out. we decided to do the monkey bars and then wait on the other side for gert. funky monkey was A BREEZE! i was really intimidated by this obstacle last year as well as deeply pleased when it was closed our first time around. so we get started at the same time and the guy 3 rungs in front of me when i'm on the 1st rung... FELL OFF! ugh... talk about confidence crusher! so i sucked up some breath, puffed up my chest, and went for it. one rung at a time up up up and then down down down... I MADE IT! easy peasy lemon squeezy!
we looked for gert s'more but to no avail. onto the next obstacle...
too bad the pad on my left hand had ripped open by my ring finger... no desire to do ANOTHER rung obstacle. this one was pull ups... as many as you can do.
we spent 30 minutes looking for gert and didn't find him. all the while wondering if he was taken away on a stretcher because of his calf.
we decided to finish and look for him then. the line for everest was rediculously long and since we had done it last year we decided to skip it. the tough mudder does not allow people with metal in their bodies to do the 2 electrified obstacles ( electric eel and electroshock therapy ) so i couldn't participate in those... titanium plate in my wrist and all.
yup... that's what happens when you roller skate without wrist guards kids... consider this a PSA.
i digress... so no electricity for me and then we were done. just like that.
when i think back to what stuck with me for this experience it was very few obstacles.
most memorable in an "ugh! that was awful" sort of way was the arctic enema. most notably because this year (which was different than last year) the wood in the middle was lower making it right at the water line so in order to complete the obstacle you had to be FULLY SUBMERGED underwater. when i came up on the other side i was shocked into immobility for a moment or two. it is seriously THAT COLD! the second half had a lot more ice in it and was so cold coming up. it was awful! i mean... just look at my face!
the hay bales (called bale bonds) were memorable because THERE.WERE.SO.MANY.OF.THEM! seriously... the first 4 were one thing. i mean... yay! hay bales... aren't these fun and challenging... but then they used them as fillers 2-3 more times! i can't remember how many but by then we were over it. they did the same thing with these wooden hurdles. the first couple were fine but then they had them peppered all over the course. not nearly enough variations... they also had stretches of 30 lunges and 10 push ups placed all over the course. i would have much rather just run for a stretch than kept doing the same thing over and over again.
this was my second and will likely be my last tough mudder.
it was fun to spend time with my friends and i wish we would have found the other 2 of our team because i think that would have made it more fun even... but overall that was the best part of the experience. because i was with amazing people and we laughed and enjoyed each other's company for the 4 hours it took to complete. there were also a TON of awesome costumes so the people watching was top notch. i suppose that's what it's all about anyway.
now to keep training for the brewers mini-marathon (but really it's a 1/2 marathon).
and THAT'S all i've got to say about THAT!
UPDATE: remember the teammates (abby & charlie) that we couldn't find at the beginning of the race? well... turns out that they were IN THE SAME WAVE as we were! so weird because i was looking for them the whole time we were waiting at the start. i can't believe that they were right behind us throughout the entire course!
additionally, i realized after reading this today that i sound like a complete negative nancy. i just want to say that in spite of the comparisons i made between my first experience and this experience i truly DID have a good time. i think that if this course were someone's first experience they would likely love it as much as i loved my first experience. that being said... here are some pictures to prove i had a great time in spite of what my recap portrays.
lastly, i want to share a picture of what the mud looked like throughout the course... SO.MUCH.MUD!!!