Partners in Grime!


Fuzzy photo documented the day, so I am going to share my experience in his awesome photos.

We woke up at 3:45am and were at the location at about 5:15am. I don't think I have ever willingly woken up that early before. When we were heading to the suburbs we saw some guys in a tennis court and we were like "Whoa, hardcore" only to see that they were kicking around a soccer ball. "Nope, drunk and still out from the night before." I've been that guy a bunch.

When we got to the location, it was so foggy you could barely see. Scary!
Matt and Me (barely)

Fuzzy and I wore white to show how muddy we would be at the end. Notice our hawaiian leis from the Tiki Bar!
Fuzzy and Erica
Fuzzy and Erica

Erica and Fuzzy
Happy Clams ready for Adventure!

The race started at 7:00am, but we started at about 7:30. We were in waves according to team makeup and age--we were in wave 10, Co-ed, 56-75 (or something like that.) Together, Fuzzy and I are 71. I loved that in our group there was a father daughter team-he was in his 50s she in her 20s. Precious!
Muddy Buddy
Ready for Action!

One thing we weren't expecting were all the mosquitoes! All over! They didn't stop biting. Ever. I even saw one fly out of ny nose at one point. Yeesh. Next year, we're bringing the Cutter.

I started on foot, Fuzzy started on the bike. I was amazed that the mud and terrain started IMMEDIATELY across the start line. I am reasonably new to running, so running up and down steep hills on gravel with bikes zooming past me was way more difficult than I expected! Similarly, I have NEVER mountain biked before, so biking on slick long grass and up and down muddy steep hills was really hard. I mostly walked the bike when it was steep or muddy. It was hard and I was out of breath almost the whole time.

It was great that you knew you were doing 1 mile, then at a checkpoint. Since Fuzzy and I weren't trying for any great time, it was nice to regroup and get water at each break point. Just when things would get hard, I would say, "You can do it! Almost there!" and then there would be the obstacle on the horizon.

Obstacle 1 was a climbing wall with a cargo net on the other side.
Obstacle 2 was a low crawl.
Obstacle 3 was a balance beam.
Obstacle 4 was a cargo net climb with an inflatable slide down, seen here:


Biking towards Fuzzy
Erica on slide

The most gorgeous and amazing man on the planet.

At this point, my knee was hurting pret-ty badly, so I had to walk a lot. I was about to get to the home-stretch bridge, when there was Fuzzy on his bike waiting for me! It was awesome, cause it gave me just the boost I needed. He realized that he couldn't finish the race without me, so he might as well wait and complete the last leg with me! What a sweetheart! We took turns on the bike (he let me ride on the flat parts cause of my knee pain) and then we had to carry the bike through a giant muddy puddle, which is where we saw Shaun and Matt, who were waiting for us. Look at that mud! A taste of what was to come.

Shaun and Matt

We gave them the camera, and off we went! When we got to the mudpit, we got right into it--there were flags you had to crawl under, so I sunk down to my shoulders. Fuzzy's knees are still injured, so he was really careful with it. The mud was really cold, smelly, and goopy. I looked over at Fuzzy and said "Never in my entire life did I ever think we would ever do anything like this!" What a blast!

Erica coming out of the mud pit
Me coming out of the pit.

Fuzzy and Erica, finishing
Finished! Look at that mud!

Fuzzy and Erica, post-race
Lookin' Good!

Fuzzy and Erica, post-race

After the race, we skipped the hose-off lines, and joined the people bathing in the nearby pond:
Cleaning up
Others bathing in the pond.

Erica gives the race a thumbs up
(Sort of) Clean!

My good friend Becky also did the race with our friend Lillie. Here we are with our post race beers (note: I did not drink all the beers that were in my hand. Fuzzy and I were stacking cups.)

Erica and Becky

I was so hungry post race, I scarfed down a burger and still ate a huge breakfast after. After breakfast, we realized how gross and dirty we must have looked. We all had bits of mud all over us, and we were trying fit in in public.

Then I passed out for most of the rest of the afternoon.

All in all, the race was a TOTAL BLAST. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Now that I know what to expect, I know how to train for it, too. BRING IT ON MUDDY BUDDY 2011!!

UPDATE: It is now 2 days later. I am finding GIANT bruises all over my body. The mosquito bites are still itchy. My toenails are still disgusting and black. I am really tired. Still loving that I did it.

ALSO UPDATE: It helped to wear disposable clothes. Fuzzy and I both wore junky old shirts and socks we didn't love, so when it came time to clean off, we just threw them away. Smart choice. We did wash our shoes and kept them for future adventure races (there was a booth where you could donate them for those without shoes) but my once-white shoes are now a pretty solid gray.


AGREED Erica! Next year:
1. Don't take car keys to the race - hide them on the outside of your car.
2. Bring a power bar to eat while waiting for the race to start (Becky and I were in the last group - old ladies with a combined age of 300 or more?)
and we started around 8:30 or 8:45.
3. Bring a hat for after - you were really smart.

You guys kick butt!!!!! Next year, can I just hang out in the mud pit and wait for you guys? It seems like that would feel really good.

But, did your white tee-shirt come clean in the wash? I gotta know.