I have a group of friends that I run races with. You might be familiar with them from my Facebook race selfies. Four years ago I could never have imagined that I’d have running buddies. That’s a whole post of its own. I love them.
Between all of us, we get a lot of emails advertising races in the area. We send them around to each other to see if we want to participate in them together. Usually we are able to come to some sort of agreement about how fun a race is going to be and how we should run it together.
I recently sent one out that advertised the Frederick Mud Dog Run. No one bit.
But then I was all, “Aw, obstacle course races are so fun!” and “They’re not hard!” and “I’ve done them by myself but never with anyone and I think it would be really fun to do one with someone,” and by then everyone just felt sorry for me so my friend Lyda signed up.
Then her husband Bob signed up without understanding much about the race past the fact that it was a 5K.
No one else was kind/dumb enough to join us.
Race day was a couple of weekends ago and we all showed up at the start line scrubbed, fresh, and ready to go.
Lyda and Bob had, by this point, spent a fair amount of time circling and fretting, both literally and figuratively. To be honest, I wasn’t completely sure that they were still going to be my friends after the first mud puddle.
Incidentally, the first mud puddle is where Lyda learned to keep her mouth closed when you jump into muddy water. That’s a tough lesson to learn.
While she was learning that, I was learning how hard it is to climb up a slippery, muddy slope, even if someone is giving you a hand as long as your foot keeps getting stuck in the mud bog you are standing in.
We had a really fun time, mud, blood, and all. We climbed walls, forded streams, walked across seesaws, and ran between every single one of those obstacles and more. We were awesome. I laughed a lot, even when Bob teased me about all the mud and smeared some on my shoulder. I got back at him by smearing mud on his face. Unfortunately for very many reasons, my finger ended up in Bob’s mouth, which shut him up pretty effectively. (Sorry, Bob.)
I kid them of course. They rock. They defeated each and every obstacle with vigor and good cheer. My guess that it would be fun to do an obstacle race with other people? I was right. These two are cheerful and tough—two things I also consider myself to be. We were a good team.
We were a good team even when we came across the bog filled with deep mud that we CRAWLED across. It is maybe the worst thing I’ve ever done. It wasn’t even soft mud either. Under eight or so inches of mud there was no shortage of sharp branches that left little cuts up and down my right shin.
I was really happy when I got to the other side.
It wasn’t all mud though. Roy Rogers restaurant was a sponsor of the race, so they created an obstacle where they mixed BARBECUE SAUCE with the mud.
Barbecue sauce. Imagine that for a moment.
We finished happy, victorious, and with all our glasses and hats intact.
We dropped some stuff in the car and headed back to the finish line for two very important things: our free beer and a hose—a hose with a very long line. We opted to get our beer first.
Standing in line waiting for the hose was way more fun once we were a little tipsy and I was able to function again because I’d used the beer to clean off my fingertips because if there is one thing I can’t handle, it is dry dirt on my fingertips. You’d think I wouldn’t do these kinds of races with that sort of sensory issue. To that I say I am a bundle of delightful and infuriating contradictions.
There were a lot of people in line for the one operating hose. We patiently stood there until it was finally our turn. Chivalry isn’t dead and/or I was whiniest and Bob used the hose to clean me off first. Then Bob hosed off his wife.
Then, just as Bob was ready to hose himself off, the water pressure dropped and there was no more water and so Bob had to drive home covered in mud. No good deed goes unpunished.
It was right around this time that I started feeling even worse about putting mud inside Bob’s mouth.
I had such a good time with my friends—and I am happy to say that they are still my friends, even after I quite literally dragged them through the mud.