The ten of us (Me, Jake, Joy, Noah, Dave, Micah, Tovah, Trevor, Sue, Jamie) met up at Cici’s Pizza in Charlottesville to stuff our faces with carbs before the race, and then we headed off to Richmond.
When we got there, we went to park, and we drove past all these people plastered with mud and looking utterly exhausted, and I thought to myself, “that’s what I’m going to look like in a little while.” I had been pretty excited all day, but it wasn’t until then that I really started to get psyched. We went and got our race packets and pinned our numbers on, then got in line at the start of the race. (Tovah and Trevor held our stuff for us…they’re the best!)
With a mighty, warrior-like roar, the pack surged forward. Joy and I stuck together and took our time, just having fun and not really worried about speed. Maybe about a mile into the race was the first obstacle, the Barricade Breakdown, which was basically jumping (or in my case climbing) over barricades and then sliding under barbed wire. After that was a little more running and the second obstacle, which was a bunch of tires hanging from ropes that we had to push through. I got bashed in the face several times. It was awesome.
Then more running followed by the third obstacle, rows of junk cars that we had to clamber over. Since we were one of the last waves to go through this obstacle, the cars were coated with a nice thick layer of mud, making them slippery and somewhat frightening. But we made it through and ran on to the next obstacle, which was like horizontal cargo nets that we had to crawl over, and that was really fun.
Next, when I was beginning to get hot and sweaty, was the first water obstacle. We had to cross through nasty, murky neck-deep water and climb over giant logs, and that was really fun and the water felt good after all the running. We got through there and headed on to the Teetering Traverse, which was a lot easier and more lame than I’d expected. There wasn’t much special about it…the name gave me the impression that we’d have to run across see-saws or something, but it wasn’t.
Then came the most terrifying obstacle: the Deadman’s Drop. I had to climb up a ladder to a wall maybe fifteen feet off the ground, and the wall was at a slant so every time I tried to get over it I kept sliding back off, and I nearly fell once and had a heart attack. When I finally got over the wall I grabbed onto it and lowered myself down so I could just let go and fall to the ground.
The next obstacle was slightly less terrifying but required a lot of upper body strength, which I haven’t really been working on lately so I didn’t know if I could do it. But it ended up being easy; I grabbed onto a rope and used it to scale a fifteen-foot (I think) wall and climb down the other side, and then we ran some more.
The next obstacle wasn’t much of an obstacle; we just had to run through waist-deep water for a good while. It felt so good to be in the water with no gravity, because by now my ankle had been hurting me for a while.
Before I knew it, the finish line was in sight, but we had to traverse three more obstacles before we got there. The first one was a cargo net which we had to climb up and over, and the second was rows of fire that we had to jump over, and then the last one was where the mud came in: we had to jump into a knee-deep mud pit and slither underneath barbed wire.
When Joy and I got out of the mud pit, we were thoroughly coated with slimy, gritty mud. It was awesome. We met up with the others and took a group photo.
Then we went and jumped into the lake to get the mud off. After we were clean (relatively speaking) we headed out to find a place to put dry clothes on and get something to eat. We ended up at Subway, where we stuffed our faces again. And I changed into my other clothes, which felt so good because wearing muddy, wet clothes when it’s 50 degrees and windy isn’t much fun.
So that was that. This was definitely the most fun I’ve ever had at a race, and we’ll definitely be doing it again next year.