Taking Up Permanent Residence in the Bog.
I got myself stuck in the bog. Properly stuck. In mud about waist height. A nice chap tried to help me out but had to give up as I was securely embedded in thick black muck. I had a moment where I thought I’d have to stay there, surviving by being passed food and drink on the end of a broom lowered out over the mud. Ended up pulling self out using handy tree. Suspect may have had to have help getting out without tree. Such as tractor, length of rope and extreme embarrassment.
I don’t know whether several runners had soiled themselves in fear of never extricating themselves from the mud or whether the bogs were made with the help of manure but they stank. As a result, I stank. But on the plus side if I took a wrong turn on the course the marshals – supposing their sense of smell hadn’t already been completely destroyed – should be able to sniff me out and rescue me. Rescue possibly after a hose down.
A massive slide down the side of the hillside made out of polythene sheets with water and washing-up liquid. I managed to get a good speed up and took 2 people down with me. Luckily they’ll never be able to identify me as the marshals got overenthusiastic with the washing up liquid and I look as though I’ve been hit in the face with the most unfunny custard clown pie ever.
Overtaking people on the trail running bits and GETTING overtaken on the muddy bits. It was obvious where my strengths and weaknesses were. Strengths: Running in mud and on trails – yes please! Weaknesses: pulling self out of bogs, climbing up cargo nets, swimming in lakes. Basically ... the obstacles.
The pyramid cargo net is my nemesis. I just don’t like climbing to a height on what is basically plaited hair, swinging my leg over the top and trusting my life to the mud encrusted, slimy strands at the top and then climbing back down the other side with the possibility of being hit by a hurtling body as another climber misjudges their grip. The ropes at school in PE? No problem. Abseiling? No problem. Cargo net? No thanks. Although there is apparently a trick to it. Jo showed me quickest way to climb cargo nets: keep one of the vertical rope parts in front of you and climb like a rope at school at PE. Doing it this way means it’ll stay taut and not move around. Still didn’t solve the ‘hurtling body’ body dilemma.
The Winter Wolf had a lot of water obstacles and included were several wades up a stream, swim/wades across lakes and a ditch swim. For the taller runners this wasn’t a problem, waist-high water – no problem. For someone of my shorter stature this was nipple-height freezing cold water and was as fast to swim as to attempt to wade. I tried several different techniques with varying success. Front crawl involved putting face into brown murky water which had the muck coming off the several hundred runners in front of us in; spit, mud and urine. Backstroke was slow and had the big disadvantage of not being able to see where I was going. Wading was just splashy and slow. I ended up using a less-than-graceful stroke I like to call the Breast Paddle. Rather than an S&M device it sounds like, it was a cross between Breast Stroke and Doggy Paddle.
We collected a goodie bag containing Clif Bar (which was very welcome – like a chocolate hug!), technical t-shirt and water and space blanket. It was at this point Jo realised that the wristbands showed T-shirt size NOT wave time. That made sense. Despite running like crazy ladies we had been wondering how so many people in our wave got such a good head start on us ...
|Worzel Gummidge Picture Source|
- Don’t wear skinny jeans to change into. Unless you want to scare friends or flash arse at strangers.
- Practise swimming in full running kit. After next cross country run should attempt to hurl self into nearest body of water.
- Get yourself Wolf Run Slide-ready by inhaling washing up bubbles while cleaning plates in sink.
- Don’t drink hot chocolate when it’s windy. Unless you’re prepared to lick muddy strangers.