The race was today and it was wicked.
I woke up early simply out of excitement I am sure and got my gear set out so that I wouldn’t forget anything. I had eggs and toast for breakfast because I figured protein would be a good thing. Jodi and I met up at the gym in the morning to go to the event, we drove separately since she had to meet up with a friend afterwards. The drive was good, I had a tiny headache but it was nothing too serious. We got to the venue and met up with Laurie from Karate right away. She had beaten us up there and then we took a moment to reflect on our disregard for the environment as we drove up separately.
We went and picked up our SWAG (Stuff We All Get for the two people that don’t know what that means) some interesting things but mostly for shops in and around Uxbridge, which makes sense I suppose. I got changed into my shorts and the shoes that I was going to wear for the race.
I bought crappy $20 Wal*Mart shoes just so they can get ruined in the water and the mud. I’m not quite ready to wreck my $100 running shoes. We then went up to watch some of the 5k fun runners finish the race and see them slog through the mud, so great.
We were immediately pumped even more for our race. Eventually our race was about to begin and we got lined up, well more like grouped up. It looked to be that there was about 50 people. I’m hoping it was more than that, but it was a pretty good crowd. After a very short delay we were off. Jodi and I ran together for the first little while and then I guess I just got caught up in things and after the first hill )which was awfully steep and the first obstacle, ropes strung across the track that I rolled sideways under – like Indy under a dropping door (except I didn’t have to reach back for my hat). After that I was off and completed the first 2k in less than 8 minutes!
The obstacles that followed were ropes that you had to high step over, which I tripped on and nearly did a face plant. Then there was hanging PVC pipe at about chest level that you had to duck under. The course then took us through some really nice thick woods which was spectacular and nice and cool, a welcome change from the blistering sun during the first kilometre and a half. This through-the-woods trail lasted for the next 8k or so but there were obstacles along the way. At about the 4k mark one of the young bucks that took off like a shot to start the race was standing doubled over in the forest nearly heaving his guts out, which was not nice to see, but it was ‘nice’ to get past someone. There was a set of pipes mostly hanging at waist level probably around the 6k mark, it’s kind of hard to remember where all these middle obstacles fit into place. Some of them I bounded over, some I crawled under but I flowed nicely I thought, ducking under one then using my already bent knees to leap over the next, great fun!
Apparently Jodi got to watch most of my race as I was just far enough ahead of her that she’d see me through the woods, but on any stretch where I would look back I never saw her.
On one of the steeper hills they had put out tires to go over. I thought it would be far easier to run along bouncing on the edges and bounded up that hill with no issues at all, I pity anyone that tried to step in the middle of the tires, i hope no one was that foolish. The trails then began a series of ups and downs with switchbacks so I constantly saw the people that were just ahead of me but I never was able to catch up to them unfortunately. On a brief outing from the woods we had to go through a bus, leap out the back and then crawl under the back end of it, that was Jodi’s favourite thing. Finally we came out of the woods and passed through the field where the finish line was, which turned out to be a bit of a tease as there was still quite a way to go before the actual finish.
It was right around this time I began to have a bit of an issue. And when I told Jodi about it afterward she informed me that just about every running magazine will have at least one article or letter about it. I suddenly had to go. Like to the bathroom. Not a big deal at first, but it was there. As we ran through the field there were the roll style hay bails to get over and, like a boss, I just put one hand down and vaulted over all four of the sets. I felt great after that but then The Hill came. It seemed nearly vertical and it was useless to try to run up it. So I walked and it was at this time that Jodi, after 9k, finally caught up to me. It was also about this time that my guts were churning so bad I was hoping just to finish the race in time. On the way down the hill Jodi passed me and I didn’t have the concentration to try to keep up.
We ran through some more wooded area and then back through the field again where you had to step up on a rectangular hay bail and then onto a plywood slide (covered in vinyl) there were two of those. As I departed from the field again I saw the mark for 500m to go and was thrilled, but also nearly ready to explode. I came to the swamp crossing and I told the guy that I wasn’t sure I was going to make it, I was gonna crap my pants. Which is hilarious looking back, I’m sure he had a good laugh after. But I forded the water and continued running, up and down two mounds of dirt and then finally to the mud pit finish.
I slogged through the mud on hands and knees/feet like I was imitating a monkey and then dove down the mud slide to the muddy water, got up and tore off across the finish line. I don’t recall what my official time was, but on my watch I had 1:04:05 so pretty good. I asked the guy where I finished and he told me “Tenth” Awesome. Due to the number of people it may be outside of my goal of ‘Top 10%’ but I’ll take a top 10 finish as being just as good.
I spoke with Jodi very shortly and learned that she was the 4th girl (good enough for a $50 prize!), which means I was the 6th guy (just out of the prize ladder). Pretty bloody impressive if I do say so myself! The rush of finishing over, I bolted for the porta-potty, a race person along the mud pit commented that “Your running faster now than you were at the finish!” To which I replied “Because if I don’t you’ll have an extra obstacle on the course!!”
I found Jodi again and got a drink and a banana and we waited for Laurie to come across the line and took some pictures of her finish and of us all covered in mud.
All in all it was a wicked day, and I’m so there to do it again next year. It was such unbelievable fun. Upon my return home I got a call from my friend Damion who said he had got something for me for doing the race and being awesome. A huge Batman blanket – which will be put to good use in the winter! Thanks Damion!