Dirt in your skirt blog

World’s Toughest Mudder… The Race Laps 1 – 3, Part 1

Posted on December 22, 2011 by Margaret Schlachter

All of a sudden I wasmoving, moving forward and we were running, running to make the first obstacleor suffer the penalty of an extra quarter mile. The weather was sunny and tempswere in the high 30’s or low 40’s. A nice day for a run in December. In hindsite I was so far back in the corral that it didn’t matter how hard I ran becauseI was going to miss the cutoff and honestly with a 24-hour race what does anextra quarter mile make. But I ran, ran with the crowds we moved forward. As Ipassed the barrier I saw Todd, he had made the cut but waited for me to comearound. This is when our race started.


We headed into the firsttwo real obstacles, Jesus Walks and the Mud Mile really they seemed like thesame thing and I will call them one. Basically this obstacle was a muddy trench,which barrier walls scattered in it. The hitch here was that it wasn’t onedepth, so as you trudged through the water it would go from ankle deep to neckdeep depending where your next step went. We trudged through the water. Icarefully watched the hordes in front of me to see where the shallow section was.The water was barely in the 30’s and we were almost instantly cold and wet.Early on Todd showed he wanted to help me over the walls. I graciously took hishelp. We had a lot of racing ahead of us. After we exited the mud mile whichtook over 20 minutes we jogged it out a bit to warm back up. The course nextbrought us up and down some of the motocross track until we reached “GetRailed” basically mental pipes you had to shimmy across above you guessedit cold muddy water. This was the first of several penalty obstacles, if youfailed on one of these penalty obstacles you had to take a 5-minute time out.This rule only lasted for the first lap after that you just had to attempt eachobstacle. 
We continued on running upand down and around he motocross track until we reached Devil’s Beard a ToughMudder classic, a net that you had to bear crawl or otherwise try to walkunder. This one was up one of the larger hills on the track. As a short personthis one is easy for me to through as the first time around many people wherein it and all I had to do was basically walk up the hill, it would not be soeasy later on. Razor’s Edge was next a two-story cargo net climb up and over. Ialways like this obstacle. There is really nothing to it. Right around thistime Todd and I spotted known other than Katy McCabe and Josh Willins. I was soexcited to see Katy I literally jumped up and down until she caught up withTodd and I. We hugged and jumped up and down and set off to the next obstacle.We joked and laughed and for being cold and wet my smile was huge getting tosee her and run with her. She is truly one of my best friends and getting to doraces with her is one of the greatest things!
We headed to the dreadedElectroshock Therapy, dangling electrified wires. They beefed this obstacle upsince May, no longer could you just run through it now hay bales where in theobstacle you had to climb over making avoiding shock nearly impossible. Oh andthere was more mud, a theme of this race. I managed to miss almost all the livewires, again due to being short until the very end. Todd on our second lap Spiderman’sthrough it, ducking and diving giving the crowd watching a laugh. At this pointwe saw friends spectating and chatted as we passed. Spirits were incrediblyhigh for the first two laps really. 
We ran past the first aidstation and drank up some chicken broth and ate up some Sharkie’s something Iwould come to eat WAY too many of over the next day. Quickly moving throughTurd’s Nest and the first set of Berlin Walls, again it’s helpful to have anextremely tall partner for the walls! The tenth obstacle, which was probablyone of my favorites, had a stupidly long line when we got there. It was the island-hoppingobstacle. Here you jumped from floating dock to floating dock. Years of skiracing and balance exercises came into play. A quick stop for hot Jell-O in themed tent and we were off to the Funky Monkey.  At this point having madethe error of no gloves first lap, my hands were in no way going to grip themonkey bars and I quickly dropped into more water. To get out of this sectionyou had to submerge. Originally we were told there would only be one submergesection in truth there was a whole lot of water.
The next part of the coursebrought us through a muddy creek, into the woods, up and over a few logs. Thispart was really like any trail run in the woods of Vermont. We went up and overanother hanging cargo net. As we passed one of the timing mats and came out thewoods we rounded the corner and did what they call Peg Leg. Basically a bunchof stumps placed in lines surrounded by, you guessed it muddy water. Peg Legmight be the easiest for me; balance and well-placed feet make this one a pieceof cake. It says there was another Devil’s Beard but all I remember next wasthe barbed wire crawl. This on was up a hill and was fairly long. After theyear of racing I know the best method for barbed wire is rolling! It’s thedizzy way but the fastest. 
We then proceeded into Todd’s least favoriteobstacle the boa constrictor, which is an angled plastic culvert pipe intowater with barbed wire over it then another pipe angled back up. This obstaclenormally no big deal was much harder when I was in my wetsuit after the laterlaps. We next went into what was called shake and bake. At this point we werefreezing and I had picked up a space blanket along the way, which I proceededto run with around me. As I crinkled along the three made fun of me, but Ididn’t care I was a lot warmer with it on and would do whatever to keep myselfwarm because I was far from dry….

to be continued….