We finally made it through the traffic jam - about 25 minutes to go 1 mile. And then we finally parked. And we finally figured out where we were supposed to go.
They started the race in waves to insure that everyone didn't get bunched up at the obstacles. The "real" runners started in the first wave. And by "real" I mean people that were actually competing for awards. There were 4 waves all together and because Jennifer and I signed up late (thanks to my unwillingness to want to participate) we ended up in the 4th wave. Which was fine because all the slow people were in the 4th wave. Well, the slow runners and the late signer-uppers!
The starting gun for the 4th wave finally went off and we took off running. The start of the race was a very large hill. We made it up that with no problem and then the fun began. In very short order, we were running through the woods, over streams, through streams, up muddy hills, up very muddy very high embankments with ropes, under ropes on our knees through streams, over wooden wall obstacles, up more hills...you get the picture.
And finally, when we thought we could take no more - we reached the end of the course. A giant, muddy "river" that the Marines created just to watch us get dirty. But to me, that was the best part because it signaled the end. We made it! I did it! (And I didn't get hurt!)
The second best part to me was the very large embankment wall with ropes. The ropes were there to help you as you tried to climb up this steep hill/embankment. It was probably 20 feet high. The Marines had gotten it real wet so it was nice and muddy and slippery. But they were very kind to post ropes at the top of it.
At the bottom, you grabbed a rope and started for the top. I used every bit of strength I had to hold on the rope because my feet were getting no traction. I was able to use tree branches and roots to get some leverage with my feet. I was determined not to be one of the people that were sliding down the mud back to the bottom of the hill.
I only really had trouble with one obstacle. It was a very high wooden wall and for the life of me I could not jump up high enough to get over it. It was about 7 or 8 feet high. But a nice Marine gave me a little nudge and I was able to grab the top of the wall and propel myself over and down.
After our made it through our 3.1 miles of fun, it was time for the kids Pollywog race. My intent was for Dan to do it with them, but they were running on the actual course we just finished and he wasn't exactly dressed for it. Jennifer and I were afraid that Sarah and Cheyanne wouldn't make it through the final mud pit so we did it with them.
Yay! Because what do I want to do after I finish 3.1 miles of mud and obstacles? Run another mile in mud and obstacles, of course.
But I'm glad we ran it with them. It was so great to see them doing some of these same obstacles. The kids had zero problem going up the rope wall. I guess it's because the don't weigh very much. And they loved running through the streams and in the all the mud. I was so proud of all of our kids!
In fact, at the end of it, they all asked, "When can we do this again?!"
I'm glad Jennifer got me to go outside of my comfort zone to do something I was a little (maybe a lot) afraid to do.
She asked me if we were going to do it again next spring. I told her I would do the Mud Run again with her in the spring if she did a 10k with me in the fall!
Because, hey, what are friends for?
Jennifer and I finished the race in 51:55 which put us 1099 and 1100 out of the 1640 individual racers that completed the race. In my age group (40-49) I finished 94th out of 155. Not bad!
I would also like to add that there were a total of 1804 individual racers (I guess not everyone finished) and there were another 1760 racers that ran in teams after we finished and a total of 400 pollywogs. That's a lot of crazy people!
|Here we are going through the final mud pit. Please note the Marine stationed in the mud to yell at everyone!|
|Here I am with Sarah and Cheyanne as we were entering the mud pit.|
|Peter in the mud!|
|At this point, I was holding the girls because I was afraid they were going to slip under the mud. (Look at the sheer joy on their faces!)|
|So proud of all of us!!|