When we signed up, none of us had any worries about the weather on May 4. I mean, we live in the South, May is practically summertime, right? My biggest concern was that it might be too hot for me at our 12:30 race time.
As the weekend approached, I kept hearing about a massive cold front that would be moving into our area. By midweek I was obsessively checking the weather every day. The prediction hovered between 55-60 degrees, with lots of rain. Okay, not ideal for being soaking wet and muddy, but we remained pretty optimistic.
Until about Friday afternoon.
That's around the time it sank in that yes, it was probably going to be pretty cold, and raining on top of that. Now we all know why the race organizers make it very clear that there will be no refunds.
When this was our view all the way to Nashville, I was pretty worried:
Still, we powered on. What else could we do? I think at this point we were all just thinking, "This will suck, but let's get through it and then we'll go out and have a good time tonight." At least, I know that's what Jeremy and I were thinking!
When we arrived at the race site (where, I must mention, we had received an email reminding us that parking would be in a field...and they would have tractors on hand to pull out any vehicles that got stuck in the mud. Comforting, right?), it had blessedly stopped raining for the most part, but it was a cool 49 degrees. Yep, at this point, we were all pretty convinced it was going to suck. A lot.
We look ready, though, don't we??
Once our heat began, I think we were all pleasantly surprised to find it wasn't quite as awful as we feared. There was very little running to be done, at least for our group. The mud was just SO ridiculous that we were sliding all over the place. It was hard to walk and stay upright, much less do much running. (Which was okay with me, I will admit!)
There were a couple of obstacles in the beginning--a moon bounce filled with foam and water, for instance--then a looooong stretch with nothing but muddy trails. And the hills...there were so many hills. At one point I remember my friend Kelly saying something along the lines of, "This hill has to go down sometime, right?!"
A little over halfway through, we began to encounter more obstacles--5 ft. walls, then a set of 8 ft. walls (which I turned out to be good at...who knew?), an inter tube crawl across part of lake, wading through a huge mud hole, a lily pad run (on top of the water--that was pretty neat!), a gigantic cargo net climb, two enormous blow-up slip-n-slides, and even an electric mud crawl. Yes, with real electricity running through the ropes we were crawling under, as we found out the hard way! Surprisingly enough, there was only one significant injury in our group...Jeremy twisted his ankle when he turned around to see our reaction to the electricity. (He finished the race limping, but he's doing okay. Just swollen now.)
Finally, just over an hour after we started, our group finished together.
No, we didn't lose one...Shane was so cold he went ahead to change and warm up the car. (My legs are red because they were FROZEN, in case you're wondering.)
I checked the temperature when we left, and it was around 46 degrees. We were soaking wet, muddy, tired, and freezing. But still, I felt pretty triumphant. I completed every obstacle on the course (except the electric mud crawl, which I skipped out of halfway through--I don't do electricity, thanks!). We all stuck together, helping one another up when we fell and encouraging each other through the tough parts. It was, dare I say, actually a lot of fun. I never want to be that cold again in my life, but I am definitely glad I did it.
I might even go so far as to say I'd like to do it again next year....as long as the temperature is above 60 degrees!