Sunday, April 21, 2013

Tough Mudder

Michael ran his second Tough Mudder race yesterday. What is a tough mudder you ask? Here is what the website had to say,
"Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. With the most innovative courses, 700,000 inspiring participants worldwide to date, and more than $5 million raised for the Wounded Warrior Project, Tough Mudder is the premier adventure challenge series in the world."
Basically, Michael ran a 12.5 mile obstacle course up and down a huge hill including, electricity obstacles, ice water, fire, mud moguls, floating platforms, carrying your partner, inclined monkey bars and half pipes. He rocked it. He ran the whole thing in 2.5 hours and that includes waiting in line at the obstacles. Michael ran the race with his friend Phillip and Michael says he was a great person to run with.
We started the morning with a hearty breakfast of toast and oatmeal and the Martha and Clark picked us up around 8:30Am. The drive to Dripping Springs was long as traffic was crazy. We finally parked and then caught a shuttle bus to the event. Michael got his number and the boys got their face painted and we waited on Phillip. Finally we made our way to the starting line. Michael and Phillip took the Tough Mudder oath with their start group:
As a Tough Mudder, I pledge that:

I understand that tough mudder is not a race but a challenge.
I put team work and camaraderie before my course time.
I do not whine- kids whine.
I help my fellow mudders complete the course.
I overcome all fears.
It was actually really moving. Then they started off into a cloud of orange smoke as we held signs aloft and took pictures and shouted encouragements. We spectators, took off and parked near the fire jumping challenge (number 5) and waited for the guys to come by. Michael wanted me to take pictures and video for his Survivor application. I tried to run and get pics of obstacles 2 and 3, but I was too late. We cheered them on at the fire and then they were off again. We chased them a bit, but couldn't catch them at the next obstacles. Martha and Clark offered to take the kids to the food tent for veggie burgers while I tried to track down Michael at some more obstacles. I took off, covering at least three miles, trying to find them, but I couldn't. By then, their group had spread out and everyone looked the same, muddy. Instead, I took pictures of the different obstacles and cheered on the other contestants. I met the family back up after lunch and we all made ourselves comfortable by the half pipe, the second to last obstacle (out of 22). This was a fun place to sit and wait. Runners had to sprint up the wall and leap up to catch the top of the wall and pull themselves up. Some were more successful than others. We waited there about an hour and then we saw Michael and Phillip run up. We took pictures of them easily handling the pipe and then they waited for us while we ran to the electricity obstacle which was the last right before the finish line. They ran through a mud pit through dangling live electricity wires and crossed the finish line. Michael was covered in mud from head to toe. He was still in great spirits and we were so, so proud of him.
He says he completed all obstacles except for the second half of the incline monkey bars. He had a celebratory beer and a clif bar and then jumped in the river to wash off some of mud and changed clothes. We made our way back to the car and drove into Wimberly for a very early dinner/late lunch. We had a wonderful meal at Kate's Place and then came home to shower and relax.
It was a great thing to do and the weather could not have been more beautiful. It was low seventies and sunny. I was so happy Martha and Clark came with us and Michael was pleased to have us all there supporting him. He is in amazing shape and this was something he trained for all year. He says he's not sure if he'll do another one, but that he is very glad he did this one. Congratulations, Michael!

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