Tough Mudder Four: The Finale...and then a couple more obstacles

So I mentioned I had a head cold during the race and my tissues got destroyed immediately. I also mentioned you cannot be vain and do this race. You are covered in mud, your clothes start to fall off or become completely see through and form-fitting, and if you are like I was, your nose is running. I tried everything: wiping it on my sleeves - muddy; wiping it on toilet paper in the one port-a-potty I used during the race - my hands were muddy; I tried wiping my nose on a banana peel at one of the refreshment stops - not helpful. At one point I looked at my teammate and asked, "is there mud and snot dried on my face right now?" and I got a matter-of-fact, "Yes." And on we ran.

And besides what you look like, you begin to not care how you get through obstacles. I mentioned strangers willingly being pushed and pulled up things but I also remember hearing a big strapping guy next to me during one of the low crawls grunting loudly with each new heave he gave to push himself forward. Even after I started giggling. Meanwhile, I had given up the "slither move" and had turned on my side, arm out, head on my arm, feet shoving myself along like some deranged dog on the carpet. You just did whatever it took to get through.

So I'm proud of myself because I did every obstacle and we finally come to Everest, which I mentioned is a half pipe that you run up, then leap and hope some stranger grabs you, holds you, and has the strength left to hoist you up over the top ledge, lest you fall to probable severe injury back onto the bottom of the half pipe.

And remember, this is after about 10 miles and about 23 obstacles. So you are tired. And the strangers on top of this thing are tired.

Then it starts to pour the rain.

My resolve starts to wash away. And the half pipe has emblazoned across it the words "No Quit In Here" and I start to think "well there's quit in HERE, buddy!" as I examine my own constitution. But I get in line and I'm prepared to give it a shot.

And that's when I find a man's tooth for him after he knocks it out on that darn half pipe.
I'm not even kidding. I'm standing in line and we see a guy bleeding, asking everyone to help him. So I leave the line and go over and find out he desperately wants us to find his tooth. And it starts to rain harder, and a bunch of us are looking, and I pray that I'll find it for him (I've had over a decade of looking for my own lost contact lens -- if anyone can find this thing, it will be me!) and I do. I'm the one who found it. So the paramedics take him off one direction, and I take off towards my team and I simply breeze past them with a "I just found a guy's tooth -- I'm out!" and I skipped Everest.


Sigh. In retrospect I wish I'd just ran up it for the sake of it but honestly I wouldn't have even wanted to get caught, that was what scared me the most -- that the people on top wouldn't have the strength left to hold me. And it didn't help that I watched my own tiny teammate get hung upside down and be suspended for entirely too long before she was finally pulled to safety (and if they can't pull her up, they sure the heck aren't getting my 5'8 self up). And the rain continued to get worse to the point where everyone I watched just slid back down unsuccessfully. Not even half my team made it up so I do think it would've been futile had I even tried.

After that, we sort of had an anticlimatic end since the thunderstorm was forcing everyone to just finish as fast as possible and obstacles kept getting shut down. We crossed through what was supposed to have been a muddy run through more electric wires but we were told they had been turned off due to the storm. I made a joke halfway through about how funny it would be if they switched them back on right then since we were caressing them and pushing through them like a beaded curtain from the 70's rather than trying to dodge them for fear of our lives. And this photo was captured right at that moment:



And even though I feel cheated out of some of my experience, I do kind of love that pic.

So the race ends, we buy hotdogs that we cradle from the rain until we get to our car (then I forget about mine, step on it, find it in the floorboard miles down the road, and eat in anyway. Because this day has turned me into a boy.)  We buy dry clothes at the concessions tent and then later realize the futility of that given we have to change clothes in the parking lot...in the rain. And we corporately make the decision to abandon our sneakers in the parking lot like others have done because those things ain't never getting clean.



And then we realize our obstacles aren't over. Because first, we have to change in the parking lot. And since we have mud in places where mud should never be, we really need to strip completely naked and throw on our "dry" (but now rain-soaked) clothes. After we all get way more acquainted, we jump in the cars -- and realize the parking lot has become, well, a parking lot. Where cars can't get out because they get stuck

in mud.

Oh the irony. We finally get out and as we are going down the highway, we hear a weather alert that there is a tornado warning -- as in, they've actually spotted a tornado and are tracking it's possible path -- for basically right where all of our apartments are.

We should so get extra Tough Mudder points for this day.


We then have to drive in the median on a parkway to avoid giant trees that had just fallen into the road. I finally get home, thankfully just after the tornado warning had shifted to another county -- and I find my electricty is off.

Son of a!

So I shower, slather my wounds in neosporin, take nyquil for my cold, and prepare for bed by putting on my pink cheetah pjs.

And end my day the way I began it -

Like a lady.


*They ended up cancelling the next day of Tough Mudder altogether for what they called the "Perfect Storm" of weather and poor logistics planning. But you and I both know it was probably just because I was a participant and somehow cursed the whole thing. I'm just glad my team got to finish...