Monday, 10 September 2012

The Stampede

In June this year, a couple of weeks before I ran the GC 10km race, I came across an event called The Stampede (I can't remember where or how but I found it) and I thought it would be a great event to enter to push me outside my comfort zones - given I was about to run a 10km race when I never, ever considered myself to be a runner, I wondered what else I could do that I previously never thought I could.

Well,  I was talking about it while looking it up and K said she would do it with me.  Then A piped up that he would do it as well - as you can imagine, I was rather surprised as I hadn't expected either of them to be interested.  Then someone who works with K wanted to join in as well so we had a team of 4 called Muddy Hell.  A few weeks before C came up with the idea of getting the horns from the $2 shop and having red shirts and black pants.  Well we didn't do anything about costumes until the day before when A and I went to the op-shop and bought red boardies and shirts.  I am so glad we did because on the day we really felt (and looked) like a team.

Team Muddy Hell
Our clothes all laid out on Friday night - ready and waiting

K had got a T-shirt and had written Muddy Hell on the back and offered to do ours as well which was great as it told everyone what our team name was.  We got quite a few comments/compliments from people as we were doing the course.

I loved that it wasn't a race - so much so in the Ts&Cs they state "If you want a trophy, bring your own." - I loved that line !  It was about participating and encouraging others to do their best and help anyone if they were struggling.

We booked accommodation at Caboolture for the weekend and so left after work on Friday night.  C arrived at about 8.15 on Saturday morning and we were all ready to go.  Got to Woodford without too much trouble.  On our way to register, A looked down and saw that he had a blister on his heel that was bleeding already !!!!  Not the best start to a mud obstacle course !!!  After he had popped into the medical centre we went and registered and then dropped a bag at the cloakroom before heading off to the start line.

While we waited for our wave to start, we saw the children throwing coloured powder at the people on the one side of the waiting area - so we went and waited on the other side.  This didn't stop A, K and C from going and getting powder and throwing it over us !!!!  Plus we were down wind so managed to get peppered with it on and off until we took off.

A and I told C and K to go ahead - we didn't want to slow them down even though there was no race on.  We ran for about 200m but my knee was really sore so we stopped running, held hands and walked the rest of the 5km together !!

There has been some discussion between us as to what the first obstacle was - A says a ditch that we walked through because there was supposed to be water in it (according to him) - K and I disagree !  So, seeing as I am telling the story here, the first obstacle was overs and unders - over hay bales (2 high) and under planks. 

K's shoes before and after

The next obstacle was fitting through wooden cutouts before going down the hill to the floating barrel pontoons that we had to run across before jumping into the most freezing water in a creek and swimming about 20m to the edge.  Well I over balanced a little while running on the pontoon so as I jumped off I managed to go sideways enough to land on the rope seperating the lanes !!!!!  I got such a fright when I hit the water as I wasn't expecting it to be so cold, I opened my mouth so got a mouthful of dirty water - I tried to spit it out but landed up sniffing more up my nose !!  By the time I got to the edge of the creek I could hardly feel my feet or my hands.  I finally managed to crawl out and turned around to see where A was only to find he wasn't behind me !!!!  Then I saw him bobbing under the water in the lane next to me - scrambling to get his horns and cap which had come off when he jumped into the water !

He got to the edge and climbed out and up the hill we walked - there was a fair bit of walking in-between the obstacles which was quite good as the view was beautiful along the way.

Our next obstacle was to leopard crawl under nets along 30m of thick clay mud which, for me, was a huge challenge but once I started was easier than I had imagined - apart from the horns which I was trying to save !!!!  Luckily about 2/3 through two people came past, one on either side of me, so they lifted the net higher than I was which made it easier for me to finish !!!!!

After that we had to wade through the foam pool which was great fun - even though we weren't throwing it at each other like some of the other teams !!!!!!

More walking brought us to the ice skips !  A wooden ladder up the side of the skip - and then a jump into a skip full of ice blocks !!!!  The good thing was that the ice was actually warmer than the water in the creek had been !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The problem was trying to get out the skip the other side as there was no step to help you get out - there was a rope that you could use to pull yourself up but I was hopeless at that - eventually I managed to get out of there and ran across to the nets over the bus so that we could climb up the side of the bus and then climb down the other side of  the bus !!!!!

The next obstacle was the dark room - where water sprayed down from the roof, things were hanging down from the roof and we managed to walk so far off course we walked into the frame of the room !!!! 

A long walk up the side of the hill found us coming across some spectators who we offered to hug but nobody was really keen - wonder why ??????  There were three little kids on the side who I offered to hug and two said noooooooooooo and one said OK - until I went closer and then he ran away saying noooooooooooooooooooooo as well !!!!

At the bottom of the hill we walked in front of 6 water canons being aimed by the local firies !  Man they stung and were cold !!!!!

Up and down the next hill and we came to the mud pit - crawl through 5 hoops (each getting lower to the ground) over this sludgy mud pit before fitting through some more wooden cutouts only to find the next challenge which is the one that I really battled with.  Crawling through a short tunnel on my stomach and then through tubing at the end of the tunnel.  I got part of the way through the tubing and then stopped because I couldn't breathe and felt like I couldn't carry on.  Luckily A was watching for me and saw me stop and so came and picked the tubing up from being around me, I managed to get my breath and then crawled the rest of the way - man, was I pleased to see the sunshine and breath the fresh air when I got out the other side !!!! I did not like that obstacle one little bit !

Then it was climbing through and over cars after running through some tyres.  I picked the front seats - bad mistake as it meant I had to go around the steering wheel and over the hand brake and middle consol - A took the back seat - much easier !!!!!  The next car we had to climb up the back, over the roof and down the bonnet and the third car we had to either climb through again or slide over the front bonnet - we both slid over the front bonnet !!!!!

We were really lucky with the weather - it had been blowing gales when we got up in the morning but the wind seemed to have died by the time we were on the course.  The sun meant that we did manage to warm up in between getting wet - I just hope that A has no long lasting effects from getting wet and being cold and then warmed up again - will see how he goes this week - with a bit of luck he won't need any more anti-biotics.

The only obstacle that we had to queue up for was the slippery slide - down a reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllly long hill !!! Luckily there were two lanes - a competitive one and a fun one !  We chose the fun one (again, I wonder why ?????)  Anyway, A went on his stomach, head first, I went on my butt, sitting up.  As we were on the fun one, there was less water so I slowed down and had to give myself a push to get going - A managed to stop himself and, as I got close to him his caught my hand and then let himself go and pulled me with him so I landed up going down on my back with my head down and my feet up the hill !!!!!  Luckily we slowed as we neared the bottom before going into the mud pool at the bottom of the hill !!  We had to move quickly out of there before someone coming behind us hit into us.

This is where the 5km split from the 10km event - we turned and headed for the finish line.  As we neared a corner, A saw K & C coming towards us - they had finished and then come to see how we were going.  They ducked under the tape and did the one of the last three obstacles with us - jumping over the logs that were on fire - the trick with them was to jump high (clearly they hadn't done that the first time around !!!!) - then they ducked under the tape as they didn't want to do the mud buffet again !!!! I  don't understand why actually !!!!  This was the mud obstacle that I think most people lost their shoes in - it was so thick and sludgy !!!  First you had to walk through a whole heap of it - and then you had to leopard crawl under barbed wire - I did give some guy a bit of a mouthful as he pushed passed me - and A nearly landed up with his face in someone's butt as they stopped along the way !!!!  The funny bit was I got to the end but then couldn't stand up as my foot/shoe was stuck in the mud - literally !  I pulled and pulled and got nowhere - eventually I turned around, then sat down, then turned around again and stood up and A came and helped me pull my foot out.

The last obstacle was the run through the 10,000 volt bug zapper.  I still am not sure exactly how this one worked - there were a whole lot of electrical wires hanging down and you had to jump over hay bales and try not to get shocked.  A said he got a really good zap about the third row in - I can remember getting one shock but didn't think it was that bad.  C said he was knocked down with the shock - so all in all I really don't know what it was or how bad it really was - it wasn't that bad for me is all that I do know for certain !!!!

And then it was over - 5km through mud, bubbles, water and ice, over and under obstacles, down slippery slides and across freezing cold creeks - and it was AMAZING !!!!  It was so much fun I couldn't believe how much I had enjoyed it.  It took me so far out of my comfort zone - it was really fantastic for me - to look those fears in the eye and do them anyway - to get myself so dirty - and then get myself clean again.  Dirt has always been something that I have had difficulty handling - I am not OCD about it but I don't like being dirty - as a child I battled to let K get dirty and not keep washing her and putting clean clothes on her - this felt so liberating it was unbelievable !

Finally finished

One of Al's shoes (or what is left of it anyway)
 Me waiting to shower

Once we finished we went to try to clean ourselves up. They had mud baths where we jumped into these skips full of muddy water to wash the bulk of the mud off ourselves before heading to large communal showers for the ladies and tiny little showers for the guys !!!!!  We were totally unprepared for this having just brought some towels to dry ourselves and some daggy clothes to put on in case we didn't get all the mud off, but no soap or shampoo to wash ourselves or our hair !!!!! Next time we will be better prepared !  We all managed to get mostly clean and dry and then we headed off to get something to eat - a hamburger and coke never tasted so good !!!!!  We each got a free beer but nobody was too fussed about having them.

A's shoes didn't make it through unscathed.  Our clothes all landed up in the skip they had got for the purpose of throwing muddy clothes away - A brought his home but I told him he has to wash all the mud out before they go in the machine !!!!!  I don't think my knees or elbows will ever be the same again - they are full of scratches and cuts from crawling on them - next time I will definitely be dressing differently and try to protect them a bit more than they were this time around. K's feet didn't fair to well no matter how pretty her shoes were to start !!!!  She has really bad blisters over most of her toes - I guess walking in mud and grit etc with no socks will do that to you !!!!

For anyone considering doing The Stampede - I TOTALLY RECOMMEND IT !!!  It was so much fun !  So much so we have been trying tonight to register for the 10km race next year.  Would we do Tough Mudder ?  I don't think so - I think that they physical challenge of that is much more than this - I think that this event is a 5km or 10km course with some obstacles along the way rather than the bootcamp type of event that I imagine Tough Mudder is.  But, I am proud of what we did - what we achieved and how we did it.  Next time I will be fitter and more capable but that won't take away from my first experience of The Stampede !!!!

What can you challenge yourself with that is outside your comfort  zone ?  This is my year for pushing the boundaries of my comfort zones - what will you do ?

TFTD : You can't keep running away from your fears.  At some point in life you will have to build up the courage to face and overcome them.
(I could not believe it when I read this about 5 mins ago - how appropriate given the post I had just written - sometimes the universe works in strange and mysterious ways - and I LOVE IT !!!!)


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Ames - I think you are too with all the skating that you do !!
      Have the best week.

  2. What an awesome weekend, great that you did something out of your comfort zone, and even better you enjoyed it :)

    1. Thanks Jackie - Yes, I did feel very special about doing it and finishing and living to tell the tale !!
      Have a great week !

  3. That is fabulous - i know some people who did it but they are hard core Cross fit people - super impressed and love your team and costume (so clever)

    1. Thanks Deb - we are still trying to sign up for the 10km event next year.
      Have the best day tomorrow !

  4. Well done L!! So proud of you... now if only my OCD could get past all that mud!! ;) xxx

  5. LOL thanks Carmen - I found it EXTREMELY difficult to jump into the river and then actually crawl through the first mud obstacle but once I was covered in mud, it got easier - in fact it was quite liberating !!!
    Have the best week !

  6. Haha wow! Good on you! That sounds like hard work, but a lot of fun! X

    1. Thanks Kelly - it was the best fun ever. Last night we signed up for Warrier Dash in November - slightly addictive actually !!!!

  7. That sounds amazing and such good fun, well done for taking it on!
    I did something similar in the Uk called the GRIM Challenge (it was as grim as the name suggests),
    there were no electric shocks though, I don't think I could have coped with that! Rather you than me, Respect!!
    Oh and those shoes are Awesome - where can I get myself some? :-)

    1. LOL - I didn't think that the shocks were that bad but maybe I picked the right line to run down as some people did get knocked flat !!!
      Awesome that you have done something similar.
      As for the shoes - K did the decorating herself while we were in the motel the night before !!!!
      Have the best day and a great weekend !

  8. wooohoooo well awesome it sounded, would love to have a go at something like that !

    1. Thanks Jen - it was so good - we all thoroughly enjoyed it. Have signed up for the Warrior Dash in November so hopefully the water won't be as cold !!!
      Have a great weekend !

  9. Awesome work Me - a few friends of mine did it. I wished I had done it too!

    1. Thanks Liz - you can enter now for next year at a reduced rate OR you can enter the Warrior Dash at Kilcoy on 10 November - we have entered that and can't wait. I am finding that it is a bit addictive !!!!
      Have a great Friday.


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Have the best day.

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