This morning started bright and early at 5:30am with all of us dragging a bit, but still excited to get going. Of course it is always fun to break in some Muddy Buddy virgins!!! Dana and Jon were in wave 2, so they got started quite early, however, Betsy and I were in 8 and Shannon and Steve were in Wave 9, so we had a while to wait. It had rained really hard for the past three days or so, so despite the rain holding off for the race start, we knew we were in for a MUDDY RACE!!! And did it EVER live up to its name!!! There were tons of slippery areas and I almost lost my footing running a couple times! Anyway, we eventually got started with Betsy biking (she therefore started a min before me), and I was running. Starting off I didn't feel so hot, quickly realizing that I had forgotten to take my allergy medicine. However, I worked through it and I finished the first leg, a 1.32 mile stretch, in 9:54 min (7:30 min/mile), and then completed the first obstacle, a rock climbing wall with a cargo net on the other side! At this point, I picked up the mountain bike, which Betsy left for me after her first leg and I took off for my first biking leg, a 1.48 mile piece with some reasonable hills, finishing in 6:58 min (12.7 mph), passing Betsy along the way. Of course when I passed, Betsy had to give me her best support, yelling (you can bike harder than that! Get your butt in gear!!!)... yup fellas, hands off, she is ALLLLLLL MINE!!! Upon reaching the end of the 2nd leg, I dropped the bike for Betsy and then did the obstacle, this time the balance beam, before hitting the trail for the next running leg for me.
I got going on leg 3 quite well, hitting the biggest hill of the course without having seen Betsy, but about 1/2 up the hill, I heard "GO TEAM CALDWELL" to which I answered "CALDWELL RULES" in my best Billy Madison voice, before Betsy came back again with her more typical cheer saying "Why are you running so SLOW???". I could only smile when two seconds later the guy biking in front of Betsy stopped short, causing Betsy to have to stop and walk her bike up the hill the rest of the way. Life's little ironies make me chuckle!!! Anyway, I finished the 0.91 mile leg 7:21 min after subtracting the time I stopped for a nature call (8:05 min/mile), after which I dropped on all fours and climbed under the military net for obstacle number 3! Having found the bike in short order (it was much easier to find the bikes this year for some reason), I got going for lap 4 on the bike, a fairly hilly 1.29 mile stretch, finishing in 5:20 min (14.5 mph). I saw Betsy fairly quickly after starting, so I knew if I put in a solid effort on the bike and the subsequent run, that I could hopefully get to the mud pit near the finish (which we have to do together) without making her wait too long. So that got me pushing a bit more, hence the faster paced ride! Anyway, got to the next stop and did the final obstacle before the mud pit, climbing the cargo net and sliding down the slide on the other side! SO MUCH FUN!!! Got right up and started running again for the final 1.45 mile, very hilly, stretch. I was keeping great pace when I hit the creek crossing, where we had to wade through knee deep water to the other side, before immediately starting to run, in now wet sneakers up the hill on the other side! Anway, the majority of the leg was like this, up and down hills on the dirt, however, right near the end the course drops you off onto the road. It was around this final stretch that I kept expecting Betsy to swing right by me, but it wasn't to happen. I got to the finish and after waiting a couple mins, saw Betsy come in! With a huge smile on our faces, we dropped to all fours, and crawled the 100 feet through the mud getting thoroughly covered!
Overall we finished in 53:38, good for 11th place in our coed age group! Afterward, we got to watch Shannon and Steve come in (Dana and Jon finished well before us and weren't to be seen again until we got back to the car!). Everyone had a great time, and Dana and Jon actually came in 4th place in their All Male age group! Fantastic! Really love this race and can't WAIT to give it another go next year! Pictures and results to follow early this week!