Rock and Run, Mud and Fun

ce7683dc-99b8-4324-a03b-4ac0111fdb56-PLEE99(October 17, 2012) — As the loud club music and the DJ got the crowd to start jumping, we were ready to run through mud. When the horn blasted through the air, we all began running. With our timers tied to our shoes, and our numbers pinned to our shirts, we ran into the Rose Bowl like a team of football players with our game faces on.

Start running please From out of the dark tunnel came the sun shining bright on the Rose Bowl bleachers. With about 77 overly wide steps, much like our own steps here in the amphitheater, my first obstacle was about to be conquered.


I was going to run up and down, and up again, and down again about four times. For the first flight of stairs, I was charging up and down, much like the first day of freshman P.E. in Mr. Axelgard’s class. By the end of the fourth flight, and about 616 big steps later, I was ready for the snack bell to ring, but I had roughly ten more kilometers to go. How fun! After I left the Rose Bowl and crossed the parking lot, I remembered what Mr. Axelgard always told us before we ran our mile, “if you had to run ten miles, and you can’t walk, how fast would you run?”

I found that pace and kept it all throughout the ten kilometers. Oh Mud! Then I saw it, the first official obstacle: mud, barbed wire, tubes and more mud. I wasn’t really thinking anymore, I just dove into the cold mud, crawled under the barbed wire and through the muddy tubes. I came out the other side muddier than I have ever been in my entire life, but I just smiled and waved at the pleasant early morning joggers who looked at me like I was crazy. Tired? . . . Tires As I jogged with my near perfect pace, I saw what looked like the easiest obstacle yet. Not.

It looked like just another mountain of huge tires. But the challenge was to not fall through and get stuck, or at least just not to slip and fall. I finally climbed over it with my best friend who almost made me slip a couple of times–the mud. Muddy feet? . . . 8 ft. Then I came upon the wall of fame and the wall of shame, an 8 ft. wall for the pros and a 4 ft. wall for the beginners. I won’t say I wasn’t a beginner, but I wasn’t going to go over a “wall” that was shorter than I and call that an obstacle. So there I was before this 8 ft. wall with nothing to do but jump and pull myself up over the top, kicking at the little foot supports they had a rocky road So then I ran, or more like jump-jogged, up the mountain where you could only run in a two lane path full of sharp white rocks. To the right was the mountain slope with vines and branches poking out. To the left was the steep cliff that just dropped and went straight down. And on that narrow path were about 100 people jump-jogging just like me to get to our next “mystery obstacle.”

Bumper chest burpies Or at least that’s what they called them. All we had to do was do a pushup down into a 25 lb. ring, make our chest touch the ring, then jump up and raise it over our head….ten times. Okay, so it may not sound that bad. But it was, especially after all those obstacles. Doused in mud and just plain tired, I had no idea my back would be so sore throughout the next week. Spider web, not a bed Next came what was known as the spider web. Right up near the top of the mountain, we had to crouch down, go under and get to the other side of this webby obstacle. It was basically four short pieces of wood in a rectangle holding up some sort of web-like cover that stretched for a couple of feet. Everyone approached this in a different way.

While some chose to crawl, others like me chose to bend forward and walk, and some chose to roll down and get all scratched up. Woods and the River I then ran through the cool forest and across the cold river. This was my only chance to rinse out my heavy, mud-soaked shoes. It was fun kicking the water around as I ran. It wasn’t so much fun running with it in my shoes, but it was better than mud. Oh Bell No! When I finally cleared the forest after the mountain, I turned the corner and saw it.

About 20 ft. of rope with knots tied in and a bell to ring at the top. With my game face on I grabbed at the rope and jumped and kicked at the knots until I finally slapped the bell at the top. Then I basically fell down and burned my hands trying to break my fall, but I didn’t notice with all that mud on me. Dark, Dirty, Dusty, Don’t Then I saw the second and last mystery obstacle. Staff members were telling those with asthma and claustrophobia to skip this obstacle, and then I knew this was going to be good. No more than 2 ft. high and 50 ft. long, I dove right in on my elbows and knees. Complete darkness except for a few air holes, and voices of other people complaining about the dust. I couldn’t see it, but I knew it was there. It was more than hard to breathe, it was impossible, and the slow people in front of me just made it worse. With my eyes and lungs burning as hot as the first day of school, I came out of the other side, and kept on jogging.

Pool of Cool After running most of the race and never walking, this sure was a surprise. It was a long dumpster full of ice cold water. It had three wooden planks, which meant I had to dunk my head under just to get through. Before this, I never knew I could shake and run. How fun! Dumped in the Dumpster So there were these tall dumpsters, not your ordinary dumpsters. They had ladders to help people climb inside, but once you’re in, you’re on your own. You have to get people to let you step on them so you can reach the top, or you could run and jump like I did. I won’t say I didn’t slip inside these muddy dumpsters, because I did, but I will say that there were three of them, and they were each 8 ft. of vertical steel. Buddha’s Burden This was somewhat simple, I had to pick up a 40 pound bag and carry it 40 yards to the Buddha statue. Drop it, RUN! Oh Mud! 2.0

Now this was simple. It was just about 2 ft. of mud under some barbed wire. I crawled through as the mud came back into my shoes and socks. I came out the other side with so much heavy mud dripping from my shirt, shorts and hair. Cargo Climb The real challenge here was the height. I have never been scared of heights, but once I got to the top, I was not sure how to get down. As I threw my leg over the top and onto the other side, I ended up fall-gliding down the side. I caught the cargo net just in time to break my fall, but I wish I could’ve just rolled to the finish line. BEAST This was the pinnacle of the entire race.

There was just a tall wall and a rope. The beast, as they called it, looked fairly easy. It wasn’t, as I failed my first try and ended up slamming myself onto the wall near the top on my second try. I kept on trying until I was just throwing myself at the wall and clawing at the rope that was obviously too short for me. After I had slipped, fell and burned my hands on the rope a couple of times, I finally got to the top. I was extremely exhausted by the time I got to the other side, but I powered through and sprinted past the finish line.

As soon as I passed the finish line, the staff gave me my medal. Then I had to get my tracker removed, but my leg wouldn’t stop shaking. Every step I took cramped up my leg, so I limped to a nearby ambulance and started doing the stretches I learned from Mr. Axelgard’s class last year.