Monday, September 23, 2013

Lodo Run in the Mud

My legs have turned pretty colors today.  Those of you who know me know that I bruise pretty easily (thanks for that inheritance, Mom), and that I treat each bluish-purple mark as a trophy and evidence that I did something awesome (or was rather hysterically clumsy). 

Yesterday was the Lodo Run—a mud run that a group of 25 of us from my school signed up for together.  It was my first Mud Run, because they’ve always sort of intimidated me in the past.  I mean, the running through mud and getting covered in filth sounds fun (embrace your inner child, right?), but the obstacles along the path always seemed a bit hardcore to me.  Climbing vertical walls, army crawling through mud…I didn’t really want to wear myself out too drastically. 

But when a group of 25 teachers (or 20 teachers and 5 friends/boyfriends of teachers) decides to sign up and go in matching orange or white jumpsuits with the theme “Take No Prisoners,” who wouldn’t want to join in? 

And what a fantastic experience!

The before...

At the start, our group got split up almost instantly as some people ran ahead to get through the crowds, and some stayed back.  Adam and I decided before the first obstacle to stick together, and we did all day. 

1st muddy hill...pants already split.
(Adam right behind me) 

The obstacles started fairly tame…a big muddy hill to clamber over, a ladder to climb up and over, etc.  At the first big structure, Adam and I met up with Carrie and Carmen, and the four of us continued together.    After pulling ourselves up a muddy hill with a very muddy rope, climbing up a vertical wall with wooden supports, and splashing through knee-deep mucky water, we came to an slanted wooden wall with a tiny knotted rope to pull yourself up.  There, we met up with Jordan and Dan. 

That inclined wall was the first obstacle I got over solely via the power of teamwork.  2 or 3 guys gave me a boost at the bottom, and someone at the top grabbed my hands and pulled me up.  I am not exaggerating here—I was lying on this board and sliding upward until I could get one hand over the top and pull a foot over the edge.  I used pretty much none of my own strength to get over that one.  Thank goodness for strong strangers willing to help!! 

From that point on, the six of us ran together.  It would not have been the same run without them there, as we all supported each other and pulled each other along.  We slid down what was essentially a GIANT slip and slide into a brown pool of water, army-crawled through murky mud, and employed “quick feet” to keep from tumbling as we ran through supremely slick mud in the forest. 

The slip and slide
(Photo from GuatEventos) 
And then we came to another intimidating obstacle.  It was a vertical wall, with a ramp at the bottom, and no ramp to help you up and over.  A big crowd was gathered at the bottom of it, and a bunch of people just bypassed it.  After watching several girls struggle up with the help of strong guys at the top, a few of us (me included) were quite willing to just skip this one.  But Dan…oh, Dan.  He told us to go on ahead, but he wanted to do each and every challenge, so he couldn’t skip it. 
So of course none of us could either. 

Again, it was a great feat of teamwork that got each of us up and over (and maybe a little bit of resourcefulness that we won’t label cheating right now).  Jordan positioned himself at the bottom, and someone we didn’t know (and later a few of us, as we got to the top) waited at the top, hand extended.  A bit of a running start, push off of Jordan’s shoulder to grasp the waiting hand, and then (here’s the resourcefulness) one foot on a support board that stuck out of one side a little bit, and we were up and over.  We all made it, and though it may not have been one of our more graceful challenges, we did it!

There were more obstacles—a slide into a lake, another army-crawl mudpit, a forest run.  Somewhere along the way I lost one leg of my jumpsuit, and I severely bruised my inner thigh.  But there were really no other injuries.  Our group of 6 finished in about 1 hour and 10 minutes, and since we weren’t running it for speed, and actually spent a bit of time waiting at the base of many challenges, I think we are all pretty happy with that time.  It wasn’t a race in a competitive sense for any of us. 

Start of the end (notice the missing pant leg)
(photo from GuatEventos) 

Crossing the "finish line"
(photo credit to Denise!) 

It was about teamwork, and bonding, and doing silly, grungy work, and realizing you can overcome obstacles you weren’t sure you were capable of—with a little help from your friends. 

I mean, who can ask for more than that?  

The after.  :) 

Would not have been the same race without these people!  

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