It was a clear morning not too cold (well 45 degrees but in the grand scheme of things it wasn’t terrible!). The boy and I were totally excited and ready to hit the road! Because of the parking situation (the park where the race was held have VERY minimal parking) we had to park at Target and ride a shuttle bus to the park.
They had busses that went every few minutes because there were more than FIVE HUNDRED people racing! That’s not counting all the spectators and other people involved 🙂 Waiting in line was interesting because there were SO many people!
My son’s sister and her boyfriend met us and waited for the entire thing! They followed us at the beginning part (before it got all muddy and terribly crazy) They brought me a poster! I have never had a poster before!!
There was a lot of waiting
This is from one of our practice runs.
We started on this giant hill, and both the boy and I were like “ummm WALKING!” I started out trying to jog it, but then I started having burning in my lungs and decided then and there that my LARGEST goal was to just finish (there were like only ten or twenty people behind us). We decided before even starting that I was not going to be last because Jeff would push me ahead of him and be last 😀 (I love that kid!!) So while we were in line and waiting for the balance beam we were talking with one group behind us about how we were going to fight for last place. It was some pretty serious competition 😉
The first obstacle was the balance beam which I sucked at during practice.
On race day I just hopped down into the water and slogged across. It was so muddy and slippery and I TRIED to go across but I almost fell on the first step and decided that being IN the water would be more in line with my goal of finishing 😉
And then it was the hay bales.
Race day was awesome. There were boys there from Fishburn (the military school here). We had planned to approach the bales and have Jeff go down on a knee and help me. So we got to the bale and I looked at him and said “down” and he went on a knee. The Fishburn boy started laughing his head off and was like “a well trained boy!” So I climbed on the boys knee and he pushed me up and I climbed over the top. The first set of bales was the hardest/tallest. At the second set of bales I stepped on the boys hand and he helped me up and the Fishburn boy pushed on my other foot, they pushed so hard that I went up and smashed my face into the bale. I nearly lost my glasses but I saved it and managed not to fall. On the third bale there was a guy on the top helping someone on the other side and when they helped me up I hit my face on his butt.
The next obstacle is the wall.
I did it in the race just like in practice. I struggled a little at the top but not terribly. The Fishburn boy clapped for me when I was on top.
And then were the over unders. They were big fence posts that were just higher than waist height. Jeff went over first and I threw a leg over and pulled against him to climb the rest of the way over. Then just crawling under the under ones. Then it was lather rinse repeat. 🙂
I have no picture of those!
Then it was the swamp, which really wasn’t a big deal. I have hiked harder marshes 😉 and I wasn’t really worried about it. We went for about a quarter mile maybe a half mile to the tunnels under the freeway. There was one river crossing before the tunnel, and it wasn’t even thigh deep. We crossed the river and then went under the freeway.
This was right before the tunnel.
The river crossing and tunnel.
On the other side of the freeway we went around some lumber piles and it was like we were walking through a post apocalyptic war zone. Then we went around a corner and we were right up on a golf course. The juxtaposition of landscapes was surreal. We went around the loop there and came back to go under the freeway again. We went through the other side and the ledge was narrow, so the boy walked in the water (it was very uneven) and I was on the ledge and he held my hand as we went quickly.
Then there was another balance beam.
This picture is Chris from one of our practice runs.
I went over it no big deal 🙂
Then we went on the longest stretch without an obstacle. It was the first place I fell. I decided “Oh hey look it’s long and flat and the mud isn’t terribly deep so let’s run boy!” step step splat. I tripped on a root and sprawled full length into the mud. This was where Jeff got the muddiest because I splatted him 🙂
There was another river crossing here, it was very shallow. The boy was like “I thought you said there was going to be RIVER crossings! We’ve crossed harder than this in our SLEEP!” Then we kept going around and came upon this.
and then up the hill
It really added to the post apocalyptic feeling of the place. We kept going, walking mostly with some small jaunts of faster walking. I was having a hard time with breathing, burning pain in my chest that I didn’t want to aggravate, especially since I intended to finish.
We met the water people at mile three and had one of them take this for us.
(I ripped my bib at the hay bales so I took it off and put it in my pocket so I wouldn’t lose it)
Coming around the flat area here during practice we found this
it looks like a femoral head or something. Chris said that it was fitting that there were bones and that I could pretend that they were the bones of my enemies. 🙂
We went about another half mile or so and saw this (it’s another pic from practice)
Around so many corners, then up this hill
to the tubes.
We had to go through a twenty foot section then over a section then through another twenty foot section and over a last section.
This one is from practice
we were so close to the end at this point that we could hear the after party. They were talking about the overall winners and their time. The number one female finisher was done in 37 minutes. Jeff was like “so next year you’re going to do it in 36 right??”
The last obstacle was another wall.
I wasn’t able to go over it. It was slightly taller than the first one. I got up on the spar and couldn’t pull myself over. So I just stepped around the outside of it on the horizontal spar. I was going to go down and just walk around it but I told myself that I was going to do all the obstacles so I at least put an effort into it!
After that it was around some more and up the hill and then the finish line.
The results email
Congratulations Jenn on finishing the Mad Anthony Mud Run on February 22, 2014. The weather on race morning was 45 degrees and sunny with NW winds at 6mph. There were 194 finishers in the Women age group and 490 finishers in the race.
Your overall finish place was 482 and your age group finish place was 190. Your time of 2:20:47 gave you a 35:12 pace per mile.
I spent most of sunday analyzing my feelings. I was trying to figure out why I felt so different. It finally hit me.
I felt like I belonged… it’s the first time I felt like that…. most of the time I still feel like I’m pretending to fit in… but I felt like I belonged and I was supposed to be there…
On the trail, on the run, afterwards I felt like I was supposed to be there. I thought, I could do this forever. THIS is what I was meant to do. I am fit and healthy and having fun. THIS is what life is supposed to be, me and the boy out here working hard having fun.