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  • Quick Glance:
  • Host: Spartan Race
  • Shoes: BAREFOOT
  • Venue: Breathtaking views and great Trails,  Reveille Peak Ranch
  • Would I Run It Again: YES! DEFINITELY! MORE PLEASE! WHERE’S MY BEAST?! I WANT MY TRIFECTA!
  • Muddy Toes Rating: Ten out of Ten…. this was how it should be done!

10371453_892584890757540_587389751956240353_nSome of the dirt and grime from the previous day’s adventure was still caked on me when I fell fast asleep tucked snugly in my sleeping bag in Camp MuddyJ.  After leaving the festival area following our triumph over the Spartan Super (and then some) Red, Kristie and I had gone to the nearby neighboring town of Marble Falls to visit our mutual athletic friend Juanita. Juanita, in her infinite awesomeness and gracious hospitality, opened up her home and shower to us…as well as making us a delicious home cooked meal… The ladies, being ladies, jumped at the chance for a hot shower, while I was content having rinsed the worst of the dirt and sweat off of me in the lake… but I dug in heartily to the home made beef fajitas thrust in front of me! A few hours catching up with our friend and her family, we thanked her and her husband for the hospitality and headed back to camp….and went right to sleep…no campfire stories and post-race revelry for us this night…for tomorrow we were to wake and do it all over again….I chatted about the day with Mrs MuddyJ for a short time on the phone before I drifted off to dreamland, with spears and mud and rope climbs dancing in my head…

I awoke shortly after sunrise, around 0630, and set about quietly getting ready to pack up camp. I was planning on leaving after running the sprint, and I figured since I hadn’t really slept in, it would be best to spend my time de-camping and packing it into my car. Red woke shortly after I did, and we feasted on a couple of protein shakes for breakfast while we waited for Kristie to rise….and as soon as she awoke, we set about packing up our gear in earnest…. which took us all of about 45 minutes. With a 0930 wave time, we still had plenty of morning to go and enjoy the festival before it was our turn to run….

…this time, I settled for taking the shuttle from the camp to the festival…no warm-up run today…

We got our packets and chatted with friends, both older ones we had all known, and new ones we had made the previous day. As the appointed hour drew close, Paul gave a rousing speech about how we were awesome the day before, and how we would be awesome again, and then Ed Puente, a very active member of the Lone Star Spartans and the owner of obstacle training ground Overdrive Fitness in Los Fresnos, Texas, led the team in through some warm-ups. I had already started some vinyasa flow off to the side to warm up, so I stuck with that in the shade.

<BEAST MODE:ENGAGED>

We moved to the starting corral as an organism, and I was glad to see a group of LSS members helping people over the wall already. I tapped one I was familiar with, Brandon, on the shoulder and told him I needed help… he just rolled his eyes at me and told me to gtfo the wall…so I did…

The MC cracked the same jokes we had heard the day before, and the usual speech was given…which I never tire of hearing… seriously… the knock knock jokes I could live without though….

…and then we were off and running…

Most of the team knew me by now, so the “no shoes” comments were few and far between to start off with…but I was in rare form… the fatigue of yesterday’s exertions melted from me the moment I stepped over the starting line, and I shot off down the trails like a shot from a gun, quick stepping effortlessly over the trails at speeds I rarely find in me…. I felt amazing. I ran back and forth down the trails amongst the Team, chatting and taking photos at mile #1:

As soon as Red caught up to me, we took off again… soon encountering the Over-Under and dispatching it with ease before continuing down the trails…

If I get the obstacle order wrong, or miss one, please forgive me… the day was full of adventure, and it’s very hard to recall every awesome detail…. having gone through the course THREE times in two days has caused me more than a bit of confusion!

  • Over-Under-Over-Under-just like it suggests, jump over a 4 foot wall, crawl under another one, repeat and continue on down the trail… an old favorite, barely a momentum breaker….
  • 7 foot walls- A little easier this time, since the Atlas Carry of the day before was not in attendance for the Sprint… I took up residence at the base and helped people over for about 10 minutes before hopping over myself and tearing ass down the trail to catch up to Red.
  • Tire Drag/Tire Flip- You got to choose which one you wanted to tackle… we switched what we had done the day before, I flipped and Red dragged…
  • Over-Under-Through-go over a six foot wall, under an 18 inch gap, and the through a 2 foot hole in the next wall… though this time I didn’t have on a pack,  so my usual “PARKOUR” yell and underbar pull through met with perfect execution and I did it four or five more times for fun….It was here that Red and I picked up a new companion, Jais, who stayed with us for the remainder of the race, both offering and accepting help in turn
  • Tractor Pull-Drag along a concrete block on a length of chain…. again Red Beasted this… as she had before…
  • Inverted Wall- Another Spartan race staple… an eight to ten foot wall at a 45 degree angle…,scramble up the bottom side and climb over the top…Jais helped Red make short work of this, then did it herself with a little help from me… She came running back around to offer me a hand, but I waved her off and used only my arms to get up and over…(yep, I was showing off)
  • Flower Plum Poles-10inch wide poles driven into the ground… hop across the tops nimbly to the other side…and yes, I totally did my Pat Morita ‘Karate Kid’ Crane kick impression….I also ran back and forth across the tops four or five times..
  • Tunnel Crawl of Doom-  Somewhere around 25 meters of tight drainage pipe…. scramble along pulling yourself with your fingers and toes…fighting back an ever-rising tide of claustrophobia inspired panic…

Again, Spartan Race made amazing use of the trails, ignoring the easier trails and snaking us along single track runs through woods, across creeks and small ponds… if it was in the distance and looked tough…you could bet the trail went that way!

During a long portion of trails that wound along a dry rocky creek bed, Red and I, now joined by our new friend Jais, happened upon a group of heroes…like reall honest-to-god heroes: some Wounded Warriors who were out to tackle this course… I shook hands and hooks where I could, and they cracked wise-ass jokes with me for a bit… one of them noticed I had no shoes on and said:

“You’re doing this BAREFOOT!…that’s bad ass…”

“Naw, you guys are badasses”, I replied as I pointed to a double below the knee amputee who was making good time on prosthetic legs,”He’s so bad ass he’s doing this with NO FEET”…holy shit…did I just say that…out loud?

Everyone within earshot looked at each other to see if it was ok to laugh… and then as one, they burst out laughing at my horribly innapropriate wise-crack… I bid them farewell as we picked up our pace to continue on…

I neglected to mention that Red and I stopped often to check on runners who appeared to be in distress during the super, and we continued that tradition during the sprint, stopping briefly to assess whether a racer might need medical attention, telling them how to work out a cramp, etc…

The running portion of the sprint was very toned down in comparison to the Super the day before, and in no time we met back up with the mud moguls…

Sorry, the pictures came out so blurry….

As I was standing atop the final hill preparing to make my descent to the mud pit I heard someone off to the side yelling “MUDDY J!!!! OVER HERE!!!” I looked over to see Juanita, all 8 months of pregnancy apparent in her belly jumping up and down to catch our attention…

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She had volunteered for “The Biggest Loser” run that had occured the day before, and was granted entry to the 5k version of the Sprint… which she was walking with her baby belly…. oh…did I mention Juanita ran something like 4 marathons earlier in the year before discovering she was pregnant… so then she had to cut back to running HALF-Marathons….Then 10ks….and here in the 8th month of her pregnancy she was out walking a 5k obstacle race… (no she wasn’t doing ALL the obstacles…that would be crazy….)

We swam across the water crossing again…  again thankful for the relief that the cool water granted….

On the other side, we left Juanita to finish the final obstacles…the Pancake carry…

and the Hercules Hoist came and went without incident…

…but as I was about 1/2 way across the Traverse wall I heard “OMG…DON’T WORRY MUDDYJ! I GOT YOU BUDDY!!!!!”

My friend and fellow LSS member Samee materialized from nowhere and decided I needed help with the traverse wall…I think that he just wanted to grab my muddy ass….

…and then the Tower of Terror over the festival area…

…after which we had to tackle the first of two barbed wire crawls….this time though, a “helpful” volunteer was spraying us all down with a fire hose… I was inspired to do something hilarious… So when he turned the hose on me, I stood up and pretended to take a shower as he sprayed, rubbing under my arms, and holding out the waistband of my shorts … riotous laughter ensued…

Standing up from the first crawl, I hefted a spear at the line to the spear toss…I hefted it and let fly like a boss….

…and then I watched  my spear wobble through the air straight past the hay bale I was aiming for, missing by a good 2 feet or more…

…oh well, I guess you can’t win ’em all…. I did some burpees, and was joined in them by Red and Jais shortly after I started…

…Next up: Barbed Wire Crawl #2

The dunkin’ wall came again, after we completed a second barbed wire crawl…and this time Red and I paused in the pool at the bottom for some photos:

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Red made the wall climb this time, but again couldn’t conquer her fear of the rope… hopefully we will get her up and down the rope someday….but for now…there’s always Burpees….

Rope climb and/or burpees completed, Jais, Red and I regrouped to finish strong together….

…and the Sprint was over… as well as the rest of the Spartan weekend…

<BEAST MODE:DISENGAGED>

We hung around the festival for a short while, enjoying a few stories and some more time with our newer friends…and taking a bunch of photos….

Finally, we rinsed off in the lake again before catching the shuttle back to camp to reclaim our cars and head for home…

With the Spartan Super and Spartan Sprint in my rearview mirror…there’s just one more Spartan race to take down before I can claim my Texas Trifecta: The Glen Rose Beast…

…and somehow, I have talked Red into joining the Hurricane Heat too….MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!

Until Next Time, Stay Muddy My Friends!

Texas MuddyJ

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