Saturday May 2nd, I along with several friends and acquaintances took part in the Rugged Maniac at the Virginia Motorsports Park in Petersburg. Speaking for myself, but certain that all of my team participants would agree, it was AWESOME! What a blast and what a great group of people (both my team members and all of the others who attended).
Ever since I did my first mud run in 2012 at Camp Ramblewood in Darlington, MD, I couldn’t wait to do another. It all started with the no-longer-in-existence Run For Your Lives, a 5K Obstacle Course Race where you had to escape zombies. It was an awesome time. Even though we had to swim across a freezing cold river in late October, I’d have still chosen to do it all over again. And there were zombies. Fun! What an awesome feeling of accomplishment it was to make it through all of the obstacles that I never thought I’d ever be able to do! Like crossing a freezing river in October. Had I known that was one of the obstacles beforehand, I probably would have never signed up to take part in the event. Smart move there race directors at Reed Street Productions.
Since that first experience, I did another Run For Your Lives in Illinois in September of 2013 at Byron Motorsports Park. It also was a blast, but not nearly as fun as the first one. The obstacles weren’t quite as good, most likely due to the location of the event. There were no rivers. Plenty of mud and plenty of zombies, but it was lacking something. Like a freezing cold river. I didn’t feel quite as accomplished after that one. I didn’t feel like I overcame anything, if that makes any sense. None of the obstacles were “OMG!”
Not because of my disappointment with the 2nd RFYL, I didn’t do any more mud runs until last weekend. There just weren’t any convenient ones for me that I could get time off for; at least none that made me go “I have to do this.” Then the Rugged Maniac ads started to fill my email and social media feeds. I can do that. It’s relatively nearby, and I had plenty of notice to ensure I would be available that weekend! So I put some feelers out to see if anyone else was interested in joining me, because a mud run is SO MUCH more fun with a group than solo. The fish started biting almost immediately. So we signed up. Over the course of a couple of months our team grew to a total of 11. I knew this was going to be one hell of a fun weekend! And I was right.
The majority of the team drove to a nearby town the night before. A few of them carpooled with me. We made a weekend out of the event; why not? By doing this we didn’t have to worry about traffic, especially at the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, which could have delayed us if we left the day of the event. That HRBT is a bear sometimes. Not a soft, cuddly teddy bear; a grumpy, nasty, mean Grizzly Bear. Sometimes traffic moves like a hibernating bear.
We arrived at our hotel unscathed and went out to dinner at a mediocre sushi restaurant. At least the Nigori Sake was good (a little too good as I may have had a bit too much of it). After dinner we returned to the hotel rooms and had fun playing Cards Against Humanity (we are horrible people!) and drinking beer. I don’t really remember exactly how the night ended, I just woke up the next morning bright and early and ready to get muddy!
Our wave time was 12:15PM, so we headed over to the event site around 9:45AM as it was a 20 minute drive from the hotel. We arrived just in time to see some parachuters landing. That was pretty cool. After checking in and getting our race gear we perused the event grounds to see what was happening! There was a mechanical bull that we just HAD to try. So we did. That was fun.
There was a beer tent (yay!) and several food vendors that were serving anything from greek sandwiches to funnel cakes. I steered clear of all of that stuff. If I’m going to have something that’s going to make my guts sour, I’ll stick to the beer. They have bananas and other fruits post race, and I snuck a bagel and a banana from the continental breakfast offered at the hotel before we left. Always thinking ahead (or at least TRYING to be prepared!). There were some other gym/fitness tents but, unfortunately for us ESVA folks, they’re not anywhere local enough for us. But I did chat with a few of them to see what they offered, to encourage them to bring POUND to their gyms (because it’s awesome), and to try to talk them into coming to the shore! We’ll see how much influence I had on them. I’m sure it wasn’t much.
There was this one awesome group there called OCR Unleashed. They had a mini obstacle course set up that consisted of crawling, leaping, lifting huge tires and box jumping. After talking to the gal at the tent I convinced my team to “warm up” here. It was GREAT FUN! It reminded me of CrossFit, which doesn’t exist on the shore but I really wish it did. If there were a place convenient for me to get trained, I’d do it and bring it here. But there’s not. So I’ll continue to dream. Back to OCR Unleashed…the mini obstacle course was a blast and I learned that they have an Obstacle Course facility in Great Falls, VA that I WILL visit one day in the near future. The folks involved with the group are just totally cool, even the ones I haven’t met are cool. Trust me, I know people. Check them out and if you are in the area, visit the facility! Just don’t rub it in about how awesome it is because that will make me feel sad. Not really, it will encourage me to get out there that much quicker actually, so tell me all about it!!!
After our warm-up we took a group shot of all of us girls!
Then we headed to the start line because our wave was next! Just to start they make you jump over a wall. Awesome. I love this event already. And it hasn’t even really started for me yet…
I’m ready to get muddy now! Let’s go!…
…to be continued…