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Fun in the mud

August 19, 2014 - Brett Van Waus
I’ll never forget last Saturday when I was a runner in the Warrior Dash, a 3.3 mile-long obstacle course.

I put on athletic shorts, a tank top, my Nike Frees and didn’t know what to expect. The weather was damp and misty. It was a long drive to the field it was located at in Earlham Iowa.

My boyfriend asked me to do it with him and we were in it together.

We walked up to registration in the midst of thousands of other people. We received a number bib, a t-shirt and a cotton helmet with horns. We walked back to the car to put that stuff away and my shoes were starting to get muddy.

I started wiping the mud off. This was a lost cause because there was much more mud to come, more than I could even imagine.

We were in one of three large groups participating in the race. We and hundreds of other people in our group stood under a flame on top of the starting line and began to run on the grass.

The run wasn’t bad. We weren’t the best, in-shape people at the race, but we weren’t the worst, so we kept pace.

We ran up a hill, down a hill, up a hill and about a half of a mile later we hit the first obstacle— climbing over a wooden board.

It wasn’t a hard obstacle, neither was the next one. We continued to run after completing small obstacles.

After running more we came to our first challenging obstacle. We had to go in the ground down a muddy hill in water and under barbed-wire to get to the other side. There was no way of not getting muddy.

My shoes were solid and my legs were covered in mud. I felt a real connection to the Earth.

There was no way of running.

We sped walked down muddy hills, through creeks, up rocks, completed more obstacles and encountered more mud.

We skipped three obstacles. The first one we skipped was and obstacle where we would have to climbed up a mud hill and slide into a mud pool and swim across. We didn’t want to get more muddy so we skipped it, that was a lost cause.

The other two we skipped because the lines were massive. They were long because even the most in-shape people had a difficult time completed it. We just walked around.

We started to hear loud music, we were close to the end. We jumped over fire and ran to the last, and in my opinion, the best obstacle of the course.

We climbed up a rope, crossed a wooden board about 30-feet above a pool of mud, slid down a water slide into a mud pool, crawled under barbed-wire and swam in a mud pool to the finish line.

One and a half hours later we were done. We crossed that finish line and survived. We got a medal and were soaked with mud.

It was a memory I’ll never forget. I can’t wait to do it again next year.



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