Today is Monday and my energy level has only now returned enough to rehash Saturday's race known as, the Columbia Muddy Buddy. As the name suggests it was a buddy race. My partner was, you guessed it, Brantley Wescott. Suffice it to say, it was a dark day for our marriage.When we signed on to do this crazy thing the description said it would be somewhere between three and four miles, so I trained by running three and a half miles at a time. Finding out two days before the race that it was going to be four and a half miles was a little discouraging, but what was one more mile, right?
I started out strong and steady. We paced ourselves so as not to run out of steam too early. I had to save energy for the ten military style obstacles that were ahead. About every half mile there would be an obstacle. We climbed up and over several cargo nets, scaled an eight and a twelve foot wall (read: Brantley threw me over an eight and twelve foot wall), as well as a few other things that are hard to explain.
Another thing that wasn't mentioned in the race description was the mountain we had to climb. You'd think they'd remember an enormous detail like that. To take it a step further, the entire race was a path that had been cleared going up, down and around a mountain. This made it impossible to run, even for the show-offs who would cling to this tree or that to keep from sliding back down. All up and down this mountain people were seated or leaning on a tree trying to catch their breath. This is the place where things got ugly for me. I failed to mention that the night before I had tripped and broken one of my toes. I have great timing. There was nothing I could do but tape it up and go. It hurt but wasn't excruciating, that is until I met the mountain.
As I chugged slowly forward following several steps behind Brantley, he turned around to look at me. "Come on," he said. "Put the move on it."
"Ok, look. I'm not going to make it off this mountain. You go on ahead for supplies. Bring back something to make a hammock."
He wasn't being sympathetic and the space between us had widened. "Oh, stop it. Just come on," he said and with that began climbing even faster.
"Screw you and screw this mountain!"
Brantley had heard enough and proceeded to ascend all the way to the top without his buddy. My tortoise pace continued up the mountain when I saw what angered me even more. Brantley had become bored from waiting on me and was on his way back down to get me and climb back up again. I said some very bad words, but ultimately put him to use by pushing me from behind. That was all I needed, just a little help for the last fifty or so feet. When we finally made it to the top I turned to look at all the people still climbing up behind us. Losers. But, the celebration was over. We still had two and a half miles to go.
There came a point around the last mile and a half when I began having cold chills. There were goose bumps all over my arms and legs. I was fairly certain that it wasn't a great sign, but we were in the middle of nowhere and there was no telling where the next water station would be. So I kept going. The next obstacle was a giant inflatable slide covered by a cargo net. I climbed the cargo net to the top then went down the slide. When I lost my stomach on the way down a wave of nausea hit me. I walked over to the water table and started drinking. One of the volunteers said something to me to which I replied, "I'm sorry, but I can't hear you because my ears a ringing so loudly."
"Hurry up and come on," my partner urged, so off we went. "Why are you shaking?" Brantley asked ever so insensitively.
"Because I'm cold," I said with a look that meant, "Don't ask anymore stupid questions."
The next obstacle came about a half mile later. It was a balance beam. I was in no shape to balance on anything, so reluctantly I had to pass. Fortunately, there was only another mile to go and we finally made it to the end. The very last obstacle was the giant mud pit through which you had to crawl under a net. Mud had never felt so good.
And that was the Muddy Buddy. It was over. Believe it or not, I had a good time. As awful as I made it sound, there was never a point when I regretted being out there. I did regret not having trained in the heat more (I trained mostly in the early morning). Heat intolerance was a definite factor in my performance, but we finished and we weren't last. Even though I hadn't completed every obstacle and I had to be partially pushed up a mountain, I was proud of myself. I may even do it again one day.
|Finish line in the distance to the right|
|Before the race|
|Everyone hosing off after the race|