As I wiped the mud off of my glasses, I felt my leg scrape across a rock hidden in the mud. It was only our first obstacle and we were already in a barbed wire crawl within the first mile. Team River Rock Outfitter was running the 2016 Tough Mudder VA in support of Special Olympics VA Camp Spirit! I was so proud of my team. We had:
Keith: co-owner of River Rock Outfitter, a rock climbing guide, Marine, and my boss;
Jim: the Rappahannock Regional Director for Special Olympics VA and founder of CampSpirit!;
Matt: An outdoor enthusiast, teacher in Arlington VA, and boyfriend to our very own Kate;
Eric: a sailor, student in Norfolk, and outdoor enthusiast;
Zach: an expert in all things biking (long-time employee at Bike Works) and rock climber;
Kelsey: the Safety and Education Manager at ACA; and
Myself: an Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker, Merrell Ambassador, and lover of the outdoors!
Tough Mudder had many sponsors: Toyo Tires were used in obstacles, Cullucor provided “Fuel to Finish”, Merrell sponsored the event making it like none other, Microsoft, US Army providing pep talks and hands to shake, Old Spice provided deodorant after the race (for those who no longer smelled like a rose), and Shock Top who provided a celebratory beer post race.
I knew our team was the best of the best. We stayed together for the full race length of 10+ miles and had a blast making each other laugh and supporting one another through every obstacle. I was called “mom” by our team for having zip-locks for phones, tissues, water, a first-aid kit, nutritional bars and energy chews in my pack in case anyone needed anything.
I saw a women in a pool float, many people in tutus, a man racing in a hot-dog costume, another man wearing ram antlers and fake blood yelling at us that this is just the beginning, super-hero outfits, but best of all I saw team-work. I saw a group of strangers all running for reason and running as a team. We didn’t all know each other but we all worked together to finish. I am proud of my team and everyone who finished yesterday. I recommend challenging yourself every once in a while whether it be a Tough Mudder or just trying something new.
Thank you for all who supported us. GO TEAM GO!