Day 22 – Tough Mudder Challenge

The days left in April are quickly ticking away, with May knocking on our door, which means the countdown to the third annual 30 for 30 is coming to an end… I look forward to sharing some exciting news with you all tomorrow!

Last week was gym, yoga and a whole lot of walking on Sunday. Today was a double workout — 75-minutes of yoga this morning, followed by an hour of cardio this evening.  I don’t feel as if I’m getting the results that I want, so I changed it up.  That means three days this week — every day that I do yoga — I will do two workouts.  Workin’ it.

Yesterday, my sister Whitney competed in the Mid-Atlantic Tough Mudder competition.  For those of you unfamiliar with the race, it’s a 10-12 mile trail running course with 22 obstacles thrown in for good measure.  It’s called “Tough” for a reason, with everything from live electric wires to greased up monkey bars and a dumpster full of ice water (said to have used 3,ooo pounds of ice for the weekend activities).   Those challenges, added to the hills, mud, water and fire, and you have one seriously intense race.

bus ride

We set out early yesterday morning and headed for the mountains of West Virginia for an 11am start time. People were decked out in crazy costumes, including bright pink knee high socks and patterned duck tape wrapped around their shoes.  The knee high socks were to prevent rocks from lodging in their shoes during the race and the duck tape was to keep their shoes in place while running through several, deep mud puddles.

pre race

As spectators, we were able to watch approximately 10 obstacles, as many of them were scattered throughout the trail, that went far into the woods and away from the race’s starting point — we walked a total of 4 miles yesterday, which explains why my niece and nephew promptly fell asleep on the ride home.  While sprinting to the finish line to see Whitney cross, I had them both tucked under my arm charging for the top of the hill.  They were troopers and everyone today has sun kissed faces from a day spent outdoors.

We saw the pack of runners after they completed the first three obstacles and Whitney was the first woman to pass.

After the third obstacle

When we saw her at Obstacle 14, she was still in the lead.  As she ran past, she said “This is hard.”  And I believe her.  My sister isn’t one to complain or talk about the difficulty of a task — she’s a workhorse and an accomplished athlete.  For her to say it’s tough, I knew it was a serious challenge.

From obstacle 15, we had 1/2 mile to the finish line — two kids, two bags, one massive hill and everyone in rain boots (prepared for the mud, natch), we hustled to the finish area.  We made it there right as Whitney came through … AND she was the first woman (also, finished in the top 25 participants overall!) to cross in just under 2 hours. Incredible.

First woman

The race was a true testament to determination and grit.  Many were there to complete the course, but some were there to dominate the race.  Whitney dominated the Tough Mudder.  She works, rarely complains and finished the race with a huge smile.  I was proud to see her accomplish such an incredible feat.  A man standing at the finish line said “she’s my hero today” and I thought to myself “mister, you have no idea. She’s mine everyday.”

Until tomorrow…

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