Once again my Dirty Chick teammates Kay and Julie joined me, as well as my friend Emily dressed as a patriotic Captain America’s daughter complete with bright red hair. As we waited for our heat to begin, we looked around the Storm baseball stadium at our final obstacles. For the last ¼ mile we would be climbing up and over a 10-foot cargo net wall and running through a huge tire obstacle…and that was just the end of the race.
Ten minutes later, our heat began and we found ourselves racing through the hot and dusty landscape toward a dozen and a half challenging obstacles. Now I have really worked on my cardio vascular endurance and my leg strength, but I have the weakest arms in the world (and I really think this is no exaggeration). So as I approached the seemingly endless concrete barriers that we were to scramble over, I was a little worried about how I was going to make it over them. It was not pretty, but I climbed over them sideways without looking too awkward. However, my arms were already hurting (I told you my arms were weak).
The next two obstacles were not as difficult as they involved my legs (I had to climb over a 15 foot mud wall and a mountain of hay bales), but the next obstacles were hurdles even higher than the concrete barriers. Darn wimpy arms! I have to admit I crawled over the hurdles in a most embarrassing manner—toosh up in the air trying not to land on my head as I made it over the other side. Five hurdles later I was headed toward four different mud obstacles: two mud pits, a mud puddle where we had to climb over and under huge logs, and monkey bars over another mud puddle. Confession time: again, because of my noodle arms, I chose to just dive into the muddy water rather than embarrass myself by showing that I couldn’t even move across one bar before I fell in anyway.
By this time I was covered in mud, soaked to the bone, but believe it or not enjoying every minute of it. This time last year I would never have dreamed I could even attempt a race like this and here I was doing my second mud run in two weeks. Despite being completely exhausted, I couldn’t wait to see what was coming up next.
My next challenge was crawling through long metal tubes on my hands and knees. I was wishing I had worn longer shorts as my knees were all scraped up, but I made it through fairly easily. At this point I was more than halfway through the 3.87-mile course, and the fun was just starting. The next obstacle made the whole race worth it. As we headed toward the lake, up ahead was an inflatable waterslide that ended with a huge splash into Lake Elsinore. This was so much fun I honestly would have run back up the hill to do it again!
The last legs of the race consisted mostly of running up and down rocky hills and swimming through the lake before the stadium that was directly ahead. I knew that I still had to climb over the tall cargo net and run through about 200 tires, but what I hadn’t seen was the woven spider web of rubber ropes that had been hidden behind the homerun fence. This was a lot harder than it looked because as you climb over and under the ropes, other runners were pulling and pushing the ropes so they could get through as well.
At last I was headed toward the cargo net. Amazingly, this was probably one of the easiest obstacles, and I headed right up and over toward the tires. I managed to run through the tires without tripping and was so relieved to see the finish line until I noticed the last mud obstacle right at the end. After having washed some of the mud off in the lake, I now had to swim through mud under ropes before crawling out the other end and running to the finish line…and my medal.
I crossed the finish line in a not-stellar 1:01, but I was proud of myself for finishing such a challenging course without injuring myself. I was even able to do a 10-mile run the next day in order to get some final miles in before my half in Long Beach. Over the last year I have pushed my body to do things I never even dreamed I could do. Who would have thought that an overweight, inactive mother of three could have come this far? Certainly not me. But I am starting to realize that when we put our minds to something, we are all capable of great and amazing things.