I’m pretty sure this is the kind of thing people are referring to when they say I have a wild side.
I was prepared, physically and mentally, going in. I spent three months working out in new ways to use muscles in ways I normally didn’t. The night before and morning of I visualized success at every obstacle. I reminded myself of all of the life experiences I have to help me face the unknown of what I was about to do. I didn’t know what to expect out of the run. This was my first of this kind of event. What I have done is rescue a flooding campsite in a torrential downpour at 2am. I’ve rappelled. I’ve climbed rocks and trees. I’ve hiked mountains and canyons. I’ve jumped off bridges into the river below. I’ve biked 175 miles in two days. I’ve run roads and trails. I’ve been a teammate and a team leader. I’ve chased children (I birthed children!). I knew these were the experiences I would pull from for each obstacle. I went ready to kick ass.
The venue was the Moonlight Stables Equestrian Center in Dallas, GA, and we arrived to some pretty breathtaking countryside views, even with the overcast skies.
We drove past the main area as we waited in line for parking. It was a big reminder of what we were there for.
We parked and walked to the entry gate, and took in the lay of the land. It looked intense, and very muddy.
I allowed myself to be swept up in the excitement and energy of the day from jumping and screaming with everyone at the start line to jumping and screaming with everyone at the finish line. It was totally a team event, and I don’t think it would be possible to finish without a solid team surrounding you, but the challenges had to be completed individually. I had to get myself up the walls. I had to jump off the ledge. I had to crawl through the mud under barbed wire.
The run itself is a major victory. I learned what I’m made of, and I’m made of some pretty bad ass strength. Each obstacle offered its own victory too. You know when something is coming. There are signs and staffers calling out instructions. You see it as you slow your pace and approach. Everything must be assessed quickly and without hesitation. Hesitation breeds fear, fear brings paralysis, and it happened to each of us at one point or another. For me, that one was Tazed. For another, it was Davy Jones Locker.
At the Locker, I made the smartest possible move I could make without even knowing it. That obstacle is a leap from a platform, oh I don’t know, about 20 feet high, into a pool below. I stayed back, pressed against the barrier next to a way too calm staffer. When the ledge cleared, I turned to him and asked, when can I go? He said, go when you want, and so I went. I took two running steps to the ledge and jumped out as far as I could. That’s when I looked down. That’s when I screamed. (I’ve seen the picture. It isn’t pretty. The fear on my face is raw.) But when I surfaced in front of the in-water rescue staff and heard cheers and accolades (way to go! awesome jump! bad ass leap!) none of that mattered anymore, and there wasn’t time to dwell on it. The run and the challenges continued.
6 miles with 25 obstacles in 2.5 hours (3? I’m still waiting for my official time). It was just my kind of crazy, with some twisted humor thrown in. I’ve never felt stronger for having finished this run.
The Shriveled Richard? Yeah…that’s a jump into a pool of ice. Welcome to the race! One of the guys near me was calling out to the women to “protect your ovaries ladies!”, and I should have heeded because I’m pretty sure I felt my ovaries shrink up. On some challenges, I had an advantage because I’m small. Most of the mud crawls, like the Low Crawl and Mud N Guts, I achieved without trouble because I didn’t take up much of the space between ground and barbed wire. Most of the walls, especially 96″ Stiffie took an extra pull of umph to get up and over because I’m short. Pipe Dreams and Sawtooth got the best of me, but I owned the hell out of Kiss My Walls. The Slippery Incline Wall tried to own me, but I showed it who’s boss. There wasn’t anything we didn’t try. Every one of them took courage, stamina, strength, determination, and teamwork. And when we reached the end, the final moment, the point where the goal and achievement meet…
…we slid into the finish Savage Victors.
Adrenaline prevent total collapse. We knew what we had just done, what we just survived together as a team. It will stay with us forever. And it feels pretty damn good.
Plus, it came with a medal.
And it may or may not have sparked a new-found addiction to extreme obstacle mud runs.
Have you done a run like this? Ever thought about doing one? Getting nauseated thinking about it? Share your experiences.
Featured Image: mine – each finisher receives a medal; this is mine
Team slide photo by Marathonfoto (watermarked “Savage Race”) and course map from the official Georgia Savage website (see caption).
I apologize for the quality of my pictures. It was a cloudy, dreary weather day and I wasn’t exactly worried about vantage point and composition. Hopefully they still give you a bit of an idea of the day.
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