Guess whose back? Back again?
Ethel’s back! Tell a friend!
WHAT. A. RACE.
The great thing about all of this mud is that it covers the myriad of cuts and bruises that now decorate the length of my body.
It may or may not look like I went ten rounds with a baseball bat.
Actually, what I really want to do is get a t-shirt that says, “Yeah, but you should see the other guy!”
Also, those running shoes did not return with me on the ride home. The mud was so thick in parts of the race that people were actually losing their shoes.
Talk about trauma-rama – at mile three we passed some poor girl desperately searching through the muck to find her long gone runner – arms and legs completely lost in the mire, trying to feel about for her sinking Nike.
(This was also in a section of the course called “Bush Whacking” which had seen us literally carve our own paths down the side of a forested mountain.)
Her incredibly supportive teammate (and by supportive, I mean exasperated as hell) threw her hands up in the air and exclaimed, “Fuck the shoe!”
Fuck the shoe you say?
Oh no no no no no no no….
There is no way in heck that the unfortunate mudder would be able to continue on to finish her race without something resembling a shoe strapped onto her foot.
And by resembling I mean an exact replica.
Shoes – they matter.
Because dudes, THIS was one hell of a course.
Over 12 miles long (of which probably a good two miles were in the snow!), we went through it all: crawling in the mud under barbed wire, crawling in the mud under ever lower barbed wire, scaling ten and twelve foot walls, running up half-pipes (this nearly broke my breasts – small though they are, no word of a lie that hurt like heck), traversing monkey bars over freezing water, ACTUALLY jumping into freezing water, electrified slip and slides, electrified finish lines, WALKING UP THE SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN THAT HOUSES A BLOODY SKY JUMP (at mile ten mind you), more mud (think the consistency of newly mixed cement), more mud, running up hill, running down hill – did I mention the mud?
And seriously, it was glorious.
A day of supreme bad-assery, if you will.
M and I worked together like a team on fire. It’s so amazing to see what we are capable of doing as a unit when put into these kind of situations. Neither of us complained, or whined; we continually checked in with one another, encouraged each other, let each other know what hurt, what needed to be stretched out, where we would next take water, whether one of us needed to use the loo.
Actually, funny story there.
After the Arctic Enema – even less sexy than it sounds, let me assure you – I realize that I need to quickly use the john. Well, what with my shorts and my underwear now super glued to my body, it was a hell of a time trying to get those bad boys down, let alone back up again (think removing the wettest, coldest bathing suit (re: speedo), and then trying to put it back on as fast as you possible can.)
It’s practically impossible, right?
Especially when you are trying to move it, move it.
My extremely competitive nature made me briefly consider leaving with just my shorts back in place and my underwear still straddling my upper thighs, but luckily I though better of it and made sure everything was good to go before getting back to business.
Oh, I also did the really classy thing of peeing into the urinal (this being an outhouse it was the easiest thing to access) instead of the actual toilet, because some schmuck had actually closed the lid – and there was no way I was making the effort to lift it back up. Plus, THAT’S GROSS.
Anywho, to get back to the race. What a day – beautiful weather, not too cold, not too hot, sun in the alpine, cooler in some parts but not freezing (that was what we had the water for.) M and I ran pretty much the entire course save the brutal, brutal track up the sky jump hill – the incline was just too much, and at way too far into the race. We jogged probably the first 50 meters before settling into as fast of a hike as possible.
It was pretty cool as we neared the finish line – you could hear the music and everybody cheering – what a way to pump you up to finish the race.
As soon as you crossed that line (after running through a massive obstacle filled with wires, some charged at 10,000 volts) M and I just collapsed into a huge hug, and just held each other for a second to drink it all in.
I cannot say all too much else except that I am so very proud of us. We achieved something pretty amazing the two of us together – 12 miles, 23 obstacles, 2 hours, twenty minutes of madness and glory.
Post-race however, as my brilliant friend K texted me later that day - “That awkward moment when you are scrubbing and scrubbing and you realize that it’s not mud, but a bruise.”
Phew, so there you have it.
Also, the next race is in Seattle on September 29.
I may or may not be able to wait to get out there again.
How about I get the team t-shirts? And will that be a small, medium, or large?