Grit in my teeth. Scraped knees. A bruise quickly developing on my right arm. Hair wiry with mud streaks. Impossibly and completely dirty. But never have I had so much fun.
Last weekend, the six of us (Mark and I along with Mark's two brothers David and Caleb, his cousin Ryan, and his youngest brother's girlfriend Valerie) suited up to run the Rugged Maniac, a 5k run packed with 25 daunting obstacles. The obstacles ranged from simple leap over a barricade) to difficult (balancing on a shaking beam) to downright dirty (commando crawl under barbed wire). With my deplorable running skills and fear of heights, I was beyond nervous to undertake this mudrun challenge, but my handsome and beguiling hubby talked me into it. He and his brothers have done several, with the most notable being the Tough Mudder. The Rugged Maniac, however, would be my first obstacle race.
And, oh my word, was it fun!
For me, the biggest challenge in this race was not the running or the physical exertion of the obstacles (although some of that was pretty darn hard). Instead, it was facing my fears. Those who know me well know that I don't mess around with heights. I stay away from beach-hotel balconies. I do not climb ladders. I don't even like jumping up to grab the pull up bar at the gym. In short, my feet prefer to be firmly rooted to the ground.
Insert the obstacle Beam Me Up. A straight-up wooden ladder contraption that we were expected to scale and then scramble down the other side. With roughly ten people on the obstacle at once, shaking and rattling it as you climb.
No, no, and another big fat NO.
The website claims it was about 14 feet. but let me just say I'm pretty sure it was closer to 20. It may as well have been 100, though, for how terrified it made me. Had Mark and Valerie not been by my side, cheering me on, I would still be up there, clinging for dear life until the race personnel came to dissemble the course. With my friends half-coaxing, half-cheering me on, I was able to get over the Great Big Scary and tackle the next one with (somewhat) less fear.
Why not just go around you ask? Well, what's the fun in that! If you skip every obstacle that challenges or scares you, what would be the point in running the race at all? It just goes to show that we have the ability to accomplish things we don't think we're capable of doing, if we just grin and bear it. Having awesome friends and family there to cheer you on doesn't hurt!
As scary as Beam Me Up proved to be, my least favorite obstacle by far was the fire hurdles! We jogged lazily up to it, expecting it to be a piece of cake. After all, the flames were pretty low to the ground. Holy smokes (no pun intended), were we wrong! Those fires were as hot as You-Know-What. My shorts and legs were dry in an instant after jumping over this obstacle. Ryan's expression above perfectly captures our shock at how hot it was! Sheesh!
Needless to say, the entire experience was awesome. We all had a great time, even as tuckered out as we were afterward. I highly recommend participating in the Rugged Maniac if it comes to a town near you. Mark and I are already planning our next obstacle course. It's truly a great way to spend a day with your friends and family.
Have you ever participated in a mudrun?