Monday, July 29, 2013

Mud Ninja Recap!



While we at OHventures unfortunately did not get the chance to participate in the Mud Ninja ourselves this year, we know that it's a pretty awesome race that we just had to feature! It's a mud run, much like the Warrior Dash (coming August 10) and the Foam Fest (this past June). These races are both challenging and fun-filled. Check out this post by an OHventures reader, Corey!
The Mud Ninja was a great extreme race, very challenging and it forced you to push your muscles past exhaustion to finish. We had 30 people go with our team, which definitely made it more exciting! The race took place on July 27 in South Salem, Ohio, Ross County.


The race started with a run across a field and then down into a wooded area. We had to be careful running downhill because there were a ton of rocks, both loose and ones that were sticking up out of the ground. It had been raining all morning (and still was when we ran), so the mud was pretty slick and I ended up either turning sideways and monkey crawling or sliding on hands and feet down some steeper slopes.
Some of the first obstacles were relatively simple (wading through waist-deep mud, climbing a rope up a 15-foot mud wall, and carrying a sandbag up and down a hill), and the only thing you really had to worry about was running through a thorn bush., which I stopped caring about after like the third time it happened. It got a little harder when we had to army crawl through the Snake Pit. It was a series of winding, muddy-water filled trenches that were about 50-feet long in almost complete darkness.


Then we came up to an obstacle that forced you to jump across a mud pit to grab a rope or cargo net (above), and you had to climb these to the top of a tall platform. Luckily I grabbed the rope without falling (most people slipped off the nets and fell back down into the mud) and quickly climbed up onto the platform, this is where I took off ahead of the rest of my team as they were still waiting in line to climb.
There was a tall wall that I had to scale, but the only way to do it was from help on the ground and up above. Next were a few mud pits that I had to cross hand-over-hand using a 2x4, hand-over-hand using a rope, and using my hands and legs to climb across like you see burglars do in some movies. The last of these had about an 8ft deep pit that I had to climb out of at the end, and unless there was someone there to help you were stuck.


That part of the race was a tease because I could see the final obstacle, but was then forced down another path packed with rocks and mud that wound its way down a large hillside. The whole time down I was thinking "this HAS to go up sometime soon," and my statement was answered by The Widowmaker... It was like a 50-foot climb up a very slippery hillside at about an 80 degree angle, WITHOUT a rope to help. I did my best to stay to the side where it looked like there were places I could get my footing, but ended up sliding down the hill. So I went up the other side, grabbing whatever plant roots/stems I could to help pull myself up. Unfortunately, many of these were covered in thorns so my hands got pretty torn up. Finally I made it to within 10ft of the top and saw there was a short rope to grab, so I held on as tight as I could and pulled myself up the rest of the way. Looking back down from the top was a bad idea in that it was a long way down, but it gave me a great sense of accomplishment knowing I did it.


Next were easier obstacles - climbing a 20-foot wall called the Tower of Terror, wading/swimming through a chest-deep mud pit, jumping across a series of mud pits, and balancing on a log across a dry pit. Then I finally came up to the last stretch of obstacles... I had to cross a mud pit using two tightropes (hands on one and feet on the other), then climb up a slippery hill. Once at the top, I had to slide down the other side and scoot across a log (I ended up falling in the water because the log was so slippery but managed to pull myself back up). I think the early morning runners were able to walk across these logs, but they were so covered in mud by the time I got to them that everyone was just sliding across on their butts. Then I had to climb another slippery hill, and if it weren't for a stranger's helping hand I would've never gotten up to the top. On the other side of this hill was a slide down into a deep mud hole and a hill on the other side with ropes. Luckily there were some loops tied into a few of the ropes that made it easier to use my feet. After climbing over the top there was another long slide down into a pit that forced you to army crawl under some cords. There was one more small, muddy hill to climb over and then a short 20-yard sprint to the finish line.
I was so happy our trainers told us to wear gloves fingerless gloves to protect our hands and help with gripping the ropes, and to wear tighter clothing to prevent getting caught in the thorns as much as possible.


It took me about 2 hours to complete the whole course, which I was slightly disappointed with at first. But then we learned that the course had been lengthened to 4.5 miles, instead of just being a 5K, and I felt better about my time knowing there were 25 difficult obstacles along the way. It was one of those races where you finish and feel like you can do anything. It was also a GREAT team building race and it was awesome to see complete strangers helping each other to get past obstacles.
I would totally recommend getting people together to do it again next year!!

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