Monday, August 03, 2015


I'm going to defer the continuing adventures of San Antonio for a day to cover something far more adventurous I was involved in right here in Denver, just yesterday.

I don't remember exactly how old I was -- 13? (give or take a year?) -- the only time I ever participated in a 5K race. In a random prize drawing based on race bib numbers, I won a gym bag that I used for overnights years and years afterward, until it fell apart too much to be useful. And since throwing that bag out, I haven't given that race any thought. I certainly had never given any thought to doing another one.

Enter a couple of my friends, who caught us back in March with word of the Rugged Maniac obstacle race -- a 5K event involving two dozen obstacles and a lot of mud. They'd decided to do it, and sent a big e-mail blast out to a bunch of people in our group, inviting us to join. It probably wasn't expected that anyone would do it; shockingly, a great many of us did -- 8 in all.

So yesterday morning, this gang (who, by virtue of our complete lack of training beforehand, definitely put the "maniac" in Rugged Maniac) lined up at the start line for the departure of the 10:15 wave:

It wasn't exactly a "race" for us. We walked the entire three-plus miles, and we certainly weren't threatening any records. But that was hardly the point. We all stuck together and helped each other through steep hills, heat exhaustion, mud crawls under barbed wire and through pipes, balance beams and boards, a gauntlet...

...jumping over both pits and fire...

...and plenty of climbs over cargo nets and walls of various heights. All along the way, we were boosting each others' spirits with jokes about the things we'll do differently when we don't do this again next year. But in all, though it was exhausting, it was surprisingly fun. And all eight of us made it to the finish line.

I'm off to nurse a few small scrapes and bruises.

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