Saturday, June 1 I complete the 4 miles and 40 obstacles on the Miles of Mud course, which was really more miles of rocky hill climbing/walking than mud or running. I had to pass on 3 obstacles, more than I ever have, and it's dragging my self-esteem down.
- I cannot climb a rope, haven't since the third grade, and I'm OK with that. Especially not a slick muddy rope, and I don't even feel the need to try.
- There was one obstacle that required too far a leap (pictured above) from too slick starting and end points for me to maneuver, especially as tired as I was and loath to risk landing hands and previously weeks-long-bruised knees on the board. I was much too tired to attempt it safely.
- The one that got me down, though, was immediately after. You had to climb up the side of a long rectangular dumpster bin with the help of a rope, jump down into it and a foot or more of water, and then climb out without a rope. I scaled the outer wall easily enough and sat atop it to watch my running partner attempt the rest. But seeing his exertion to climb the wall higher than our heads, I was unfortunately certain I wouldn't make it out the other side, so I hopped down the way I'd climbed up. He offered to help, but I worried at over-balancing him perching atop the ledge. I might have been able to scramble up a dry wall or definitely with a rope, but there were no volunteers at this obstacle for when I surely got stuck.
I'll keep working to improve my strength, but this course simply was not designed for short people, and I'm otherwise lucky that I'm as fit, able, and sure-footed as I am. I can climb walls at neck-height and reach for high ladder steps set far apart, but only slowly. I'm not sure I'll ever climb a rope. I know there's a trick to wrapping it around your foot, but these a too thick and too slick to do anything other than hoist your whole self up with your arms.
I was surprised and impressed, though, at how few people passed us up on the course and that we caught up midway with some of the sprinters.
My major complaint is that there was no water at the finish line. Or near it. Or anywhere other than the mid-course water stations. Finishers had the option of spending their two drink tickets on beer, soda, or warm flavored water, which I nearly spat out. That seems like a pretty basic race necessity to fuck up. Even taking advantage of every water station on the way, I'd stopped sweating by the end of the race and it was sheer luck that the morning remained overcast until we finished and cool for summer in Texas. And that I'd packed water in my race bag and extra in my car. But I was pissed and will be penning a very angry letter to the event organizers.