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Tough Mudder ala Raquel, Chipper

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As most of you know, a group of us tackled the Tough Mudder last weekend in Squaw Valley, and had heaps of fun. Well, it was a suffer fest, and I guess you have to be twisted to see that as fun, but as you’ll see from Raquel Cantillon’s post below, I’m not alone in my sentiments. I’ll save my post-race commentary for next week, and now get ready to laugh! -Beth


One word for my Tough Mudder 2011 NorCal @ Sierra experience: Bananas.

First off I’d like to apologize to my teammates because this brilliant idea of creating a team was mine. About 6 months ago I overheard some of the boys in the gym talking about this Tough Mudder thing and wondered what it was all about and WHY they hadn’t asked me to be a part of it (didn’t they know how tough I was?! Psh I ooze tough!!).  Anyways, I went ahead and googled this little event and saw it was supposed to be 10miles of obstacles and that it was supposed to be the “toughest event ever”… umm hello count me in!  A few more overheard conversations got me to realize this team from our gym was to be boys only.  I decided instead of feeling slighted I would create a girls only team and that we would beat them J  My first recruit was my dear ol’ Mom (she’s one tough broad).  Next up was Beth.  I knew Beth would help recruit some other badass CrossFitters, and that she did.  My other invite was extended to my girlfriend Darla.  She’s not a CrossFitter but she’s a hot fun tough chick who loves a good challenge.  And so it was:  Wine Country CrossFit Babes was formed.

Fast forward to September 17th, the day of the race, and this thing had kind of snuck up on me.  I only knew about the things I “had” to because Mom and Darla told me.  I showed up with my hair fixed cute (there were hoards of hot dudes at this thing and a single girl like me has priorities) and ready for this little jaunt we had ahead of us.  As it got closer to our start time I overheard that the race was actually 12 miles and there were something like 20 obstacles… what?!  Like I said, the day snuck up on me, I hadn’t even looked at the course map… looking back I think this may have been a blessing because instead of realizing I had a hell of a day ahead of me I thought two things:  yay for having a cute hair day and stick close to Darla so I can get my picture taken (Darla’s boyfriend, James, trailed us for almost the entire course and was our own photographer – most of the day he was mistaken for part of the Tough Mudder staff and the other teams were very obviously jealous)!  When we got to the start line we wound up meeting another girl, Emma, who’d had a rough morning and whose team had to go on without her 2 hours earlier.  We welcomed her with open arms and now had an even number: 8. At 10:10am we took off up our first hill and half-a-mileish in we got to our first obstacle: crawling on our hands and knees in muddy water under barbed wire.  At the end of obstacle– three of my teammates exclaimed “Raquel, your hair!!!” – It had suffered its first blow, the pony tail was wet and my poof had been hit, but it had survived (phew!).  Obstacle 2… my hair was over.  We climbed into a big thing of water, went under a wall, and had to climb our wet butts out.  With my beautiful coif being destroyed I could only make sure to stick by the beautiful Darla – ugly or cute I was going to get this experience documented!  By Mile 4ish I could have cared less about my hair, and I seriously regretted not eating breakfast.  This filthy sweaty single gal didn’t even care about the smoking hot tall beefy dudes that I was surrounded with: that is how grueling this course was.  It was uphill, all day long.  Each obstacle was a surprise.

I think the most “surprising” obstacle for me had to be the ice bath.  I walked up to it and it looked exactly like Obstacle 2, but we could hear everyone yelling and screaming… weird…  I thought nothing of it and jumped down into the water – aghhhh!!! Freezing!!!!  No wonder people were screaming!!!  We had to go under the half wall only to come up in a pool of straight ice!  My body wanted to shut down, but I had to get out of there.  I couldn’t feel a single inch of my body!  I decided in times of stress like this there was only one thing to do and that was to focus on the positive… which had to be that my ovaries probably prolonged their productive years by being frozen (since I’m in no rush to give my Mom & Dad grandkids this is a good thing)!  This small amount of joy was cut short when we hit our next obstacle: the half pipe. The only way we’d get over this thing by was recruiting some big dudes to help us over.  And recruit we did.  When we all got over that stupid half pipe there was food and water waiting – YAY!!!!  I decided to ask Mom how long we’d been at this and she informed me 1.5 hours… we were 1/3 of our way into the course… after that I stopped thinking about what was next, and what was left, and concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other and not stopping.  I told myself that after Mile 6 it would have to be downhill, so I put my head down and focused on getting to Mile 6.  We got to Mile 6 and guess what?  More mountain.  Up we went.  Mile 8 I think we went downhill for a hot second, only to be sent up another mountain.  I don’t remember all of the obstacles, or the order of them, but they were all fun/exhausting/hard/great (including: ice luge, crawling on ice under a net, up/under logs, climbing over walls, climbing up a wall to jump off into water and then swim across a pondish thing AND swim under 3 barrels – holy frozen again, more walls to get over, jumping over haystacks…).

My favorite mile marker was Mile (6)9 – obviously someone has the same sense of humor as me and snuck that 6 in front of the 9 and the laugh was needed and appreciated , and I later found out my comments at the sign resonated with some hotties (bonus!).  Up another damn mountain we went and FINALLY at Mile 10 we got to go down hill!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!  I jogged my happy butt down the entire mountain.  There were a few more obstacles and that is where I heard about my earlier comments… if you didn’t get to see our shirts the front said Wine Country CrossFit Babes and the back had an image of a female in the Snatch position… I imagine with those two bits of information you can infer the funny conversation that was had.  On and on we went down the hill, and at one point I told Darla over my shoulder “I think I’m in love”… I had meant it in regards to those boys from Nor Cal Warriors that had made me laugh about the shirts/comments… but realized too late that the big beefy shirtless dude in front of me had thought I was talking about him.  He turned around with a big goofy grin and I was so embarrassed I took off running again (looking back this was probably a mistake, I definitely should have wrapped my arms around that big handsome man and never let go)… finally at the bottom of the hill there were 3 quick obstacles between us and the finish line.  I fell in the water one last time (apparently I’m not very good with keeping my balance, and this helped rinse some of the mud off of me) and then made it through the electrocution section without a single zap.  At the finish line I got my sweet orange headband, free t-shirt, and enjoyed a delicious Dos Equis (the main sponsor).

The race took us a respectable 5.5 hours (Babes, for info I have spoken to two groups of men I know who did the race and it took one group 6 hours and the other 8 hours: We rule).  All in all I am happy that I did it, and I am super happy it is over.  I earned each and every scrape, cut, bruise and every ounce of soreness and I am damn proud of it all…  Multiple people have asked me how it was and I don’t have a great answer for them… it was great and it was awful, it was fun and unbelievably not fun, hard, trying, exhausting, exhilarating, and tons of other things…  I’ve already been asked to do this race again next year, and I think for now the roughness of it all and the pain are still too fresh to really consider it… but one thing is for sure – we Wine Country CrossFit Babes are TOUGH ENOUGH!!!!



For time:
25 Walking lunge steps
20 Pull-ups
50 Box jumps, 20 inch box
20 Double-unders
25 Ring dips
20 Knees to elbows
30 Kettlebell swings, (70/44)
30 Sit-ups
20 Hang squat cleans, 35/20 pound dumbbells
25 Back extensions
30 Wall ball shots, 20/14 pound ball
10 Pull Ups

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