With one bold leap into the muck and the mire, the Rebel Race enjoyed a great turnout in Greenfield Indiana on September 24 of 2011. Being a bit out of shape, I gladly pulled up my rugby socks and my Pabst Blue Ribbon jersey and joined my husband along the course. from the first step on the property, muddy barefooted contestants trotted up the path back to their cars to strip off their once bright costumes and t-shirts to remove the last bit of dirty hidden in the unmentionable places. Nothing but smiles and hoots of victory coming from the crowd. I stopped several racers on my way down to the start to ask them about their experience and words like "Awesome!", "Signing up for the next one!" and one "Dude....Amazing" from the gentleman dressed in his sport kilt. Speaking of kilts, I believe William Wallace ran in our heat, war paint and all. With a shot from the start gone and a bit of theatrical smoke, our heat was off. Around the first corner and down the mud slide into the first pit! Mud is great! Then into the creek for a waist high walk over the rocks and goop then up the mud hill. My husband insisted on wearing his full rugby regalia including cleats which at the time seemed excessive but after watching him stride up the mud hill while I was face down in it, they may not be such a bad idea. Then onto some of the more challenging obstacles including the creek crossing. There are only so many lines to cross on resulting in a bit of a bottleneck and several racers diving into the water and crossing on foot in order to get on to the next element.
The terrain became more even allowed for more running between or in my case slow jogging. Throughout the course there were several challenging elements that slowly wear the racer so by the time you get the fire jump and the big wall, it is more important to get over in one piece and finish then it is to run for time. The exhilarating finish is marked by the ineradicable mud pit crossing under barbed wire. I promised to jump in head first but was foiled by the wires. So instead a good dunking at the end and literal mud flinging at my husband corresponded with crossing the finish line. Having been a seasoned adventurer most of my life, as a recreation therapist we call it therapy, this race was a welcome reprieve from the mundane workweek. We congratulated hugged then pealed apart and toasted our victory with a cold beer and banana.
With mud in places I didn't think mud could get we huddled over to the water truck to hose down and strip. We threw our now indistinguishable shoes into the pile bound for the wash to be distributed to organizations with need for foot wear and made the slow walk back to our car greeting the clean and inquisitive racers on their way in. It occurred to me that at the end everyone looked the same. It didn't matter what your fitness level was, your body type or experience level, everyone looks the same at the end of a mud race; exhausted, exhilarated and anxiously waiting the next one!