After a quick drive down to Mailbu, we were out of the car and into the bus and off to the event. The weather had actually cleared up, and though there were still a few clouds in the sky it appeared we might actually be running this sans rain. (Of course this also meant no clouds to keep the warm air down, and it would only be getting colder, esp. considering the sun would be going down while we ran.)
Soon enough we were off the bus, had checked in, got our gear ready to go, and were able to watch a few of the events that people were trying to tackle. A few things came to our attention during this.
1 - It looked like a blast. Rope climbing, jumping over fire, wading through chest high water, the blood was starting to flow.
2 - Participants pointed out that there was still a water crossing, but at least it was part way through the race. Last year, it was right out of the gates, and reports from people doing the event was that it froze them the rest of the time. While I did look forward to this, I was happy to put it off for as long as I could.
3 - You were going to get cold, REAL COLD! Some people were running to the fire after they finished. Others were running to get changed. And some were absolutely shaking out of their boots. Like 'if you don't get changed quick, you may need medical attention' shaking.
We made our way over to the start line a few minutes early for our 3:30 start time, and they let us actually join the end of the 3:15 group that was just ahead of us.
NOT THE QUICKEST START
Legs, Muscles, Honest, and myself were starting to make our way past a few people up the trail onto the first obstacle. However, before we made it to the first obstacle, Legs was starting to feel the pain. Now let me say this, Legs is amazing. He can run faster than me, jump higher than me, bench more than me, so on and so on. And I knew what was happening, Legs was SO pumped for this event it had wiped out his first bit of energy. We all made it to the first obstacle (a sort of net climb), and were up and over. As we reached the bottom Legs was sure to point out that he would not be able to keep up and that we should go ahead.
This, of course, we were not going to do. We told him he was fine, and that we would slow down a bit for him to catch his breath.
|(Me, absolutely loving it!)|
|(Honest, maybe avoiding being kicked)|
|(Muscles being all courteous. 'Oh no, excuse me. Please go ahead.')|
'Legs, I said (but calling him his real name), 'you got this! We're here with you. And besides, we're going to get into that cold water soon enough and your body is going to wake up and you are going to be leading the way.' (That may not be exactly what I said, but it just feels good to put things in quotation marks once in a while. Besides, that is the gist of what was said, so what if I didn't bring a recorder to get it exactly.)
He shook his head and was ready to go, but was sure to point out he wasn't doing any more burpees. Soon enough I would find out what it was like to do a burpee. (I had done all of none leading up to the event, so I wouldn't know the fun of doing 30 in a row, while being cold, and wet, and tired.)
Next up, we had to carry a weighted sack for a bit on the trail. I actually thought this part was fun, but it did turn to walking as the path got narrow, and there were people in front of you. After dropping off the sack, we continued on the trail, up and down part of a hill, and made it to the wall traverse. This part would have been doable, but by the time we got there it was too muddy for any of us to make it through. (NOTE: Muscles actually did make it through, but he used the top of the wall on part of it, so I'm not counting it. YOU HEAR THAT MUSCLES, I'M NOT COUNTINNNNNGGGGGGG IT!) The rest of us started the burpees. It was here I got to do my first one. Not too bad, until you are trying to do 30 of them in the wet cold. Needless to say, I did make an attempt to do 30, but I did not keep track. I probably ended up around 24-25. Legs, Muscles, and I were ready to move on but we couldn't find Honest.
After walking back and forth, from side to side of the end of the wall traverse, we could not see Honest. After a minute, he was spotted. He found another spot, along with a few other people, to do his burpees. All of them. See, that's the thing I love about Honest...he was being so honest. Legs was tired, and would do a few. I would do some, in fact most, but not really count. (I told myself it was because I didn't want to slow the other team members down, and really, I think that was a part of it. Even if it was a very small part. I think it had more to do with me not wanting to use all of my energy on burpees, and actually save some for the remaining obstacles. Sorry, off on a tangent...) But Honest was honest. He was going to do them all. He was the great, 'letter of the law' guy. (I was taking the more 'spirit of the law' approach. You know, if you didn't complete the obstacle, take you lashings and move on. I would get to where I wanted to die, and then get up and move on.)
After the traverse wall we had to do some hopping with a rubber band thing around our ankles. This was not too bad, but due to the larger size of the rubber bands, the tired hopping turned into skipping at points. Then you would have to stop, collect yourself, and make a concerted effort to get both legs going again at the same time. No big deal, especially considering the next challenge was about to turn all of us guys into little girls...TO BE CONTINUED...