One day this summer, Jamie received a mysterious text message from an unidentified 626 number: "You and your girl should do the muddy buddy."
Puzzled, Jamie looked at me and asked, "What's a muddy buddy?"
Our minds began trying to make sense of this... Well, we had just purchased a Buddy scooter... so it must have been some type of scooter rally! But who on earth was this faceless 626 knower of scooter events? The friendly lesbian salesperson from NoHo Scooters?! That's weird... and kinda creepy...
Eager to know more, I turned to the world wide web.
Muddy Buddy - (noun) A race consisting of teams of two running and mountain biking through 10 kilometers of trails, challenging obstacles, and a mud pit.
You had us at mud pit. (Clearly we chose to ignore the parts about 'race,' 'running,' 'mountain biking,' '10 kilometers,' 'trails,' and 'challenging obstacles.')
And before I go any further, I should clear up that the sender of the text turned out to be a friend of Jamie's who had simply changed her phone number - sorry there was no big shocking reveal there.
After reading about the event and watching video clips from previous events on MySpace (this thing's been around for years and shows up in Chicago, Dallas, Boulder, Atlanta, and Orlando, among others), we decided we actually wanted to give this thing a shot - what a great motivator to get in shape!
But because as partners, you're alternating throughout legs of a race, we realized we would not get to do this together. Solution? Find another couple to do this with!! Our friends Bridgett and Kelly got equally excited and, just like that, we all signed up! I became Kelly's partner, and Jamie became Bridgett's. My team was the Gold Stars, and Jamie's, the Mudflap Girls - but we ended up merging into one giant non-competing team, and made jerseys that reflected both names!
I'd like to tell you about the rigid training schedule to which we all religiously adhered... the sore muscles... my aching calves... but I wouldn't want to bore you (or lie to you for that matter). Full disclosure: I made and printed out a beautiful 12 week training schedule - and it sat on the dining room table pretty much untouched. So why don't I just speed things up and get to race day!!
I believe we were out of the house by 5:30am in order to be in San Dimas by 6:15. Um. It was still dark when we arrived.
The four of us met up, got checked in, received our bibs and helmet stickers, and headed to the start line. This was photo-op time:
Okay... there was no turning back now!
* * * * *
Leg one: Jamie and I were on bicycles, Bridgett and Kelly were on foot. The thought running through my head? "HAHA, we're on bikes and you have to run HAHA!" Only...
This race, we quickly discovered, had A LOT OF UPHILL in it!! I pretty much felt like I was unable to peddle any more within the first mile. They threw a reservoir in our path early on, which gave me a much needed break -- to carry my bike through shin-high water. The first obstacle was a rock wall - it was tough with wet, muddy, slippery feet, but we both made it over pretty quickly. We left the bikes behind for Bridgett and Kelly to find for Leg two.
Leg two: Surprisingly, we were relieved to be on foot. (It was much easier than hiking uphill with bikes!) Plus, there were a lot of lost items along the trail, and it was much easier to pillage this way (I scored a sweet beanie. Is that wrong?) Obstacle two was some kind of "under and over" contraption, and our feet couldn't touch the ground:
Leg three: Jamie and I were back on the bikes. (UGH.) This picture makes me laugh out loud.
Somehow, we made it to the third obstacle - balance beams - and were off again on foot!
Leg four: This was my favorite part of the race. Jamie and I, after assisting our partners and the bikes up a virtual mountainside, got to run on asphalt. Downhill. IN THE RAIN! It was incredible... it had been a bit sprinkly on and off all morning, but this was a nice, soft, steady rain - and we just giggled as we ran into it! I didn't even mind that our teammates got to cruise down a great big hill! As we approached the fourth obstacle, we were pretty excited - which was a nice motivating factor to keep up the pace. When we finally got to it, it loomed high above our head... we had to climb a gridded rope ladder to get to the top - and then slide down into a small pool of water. It was so exhilarating - much steeper than it may look in this photo. And sure enough, there were our bikes waiting for us.
Leg five: Back on the bikes and five miles already completed, this was gonna be a tough one. And... cue Jamie's charlie horse!! Ow, ow, let's stop for a drink of water. And... cue Jamie's coughing attack. But, she persevered and we desperately tried to inch our way to the fifth and final obstacle (the mud pit, in case you lost track). There was a lot of uphill, but we got up and over it. And as we "rode" our bicycles down the precipitously rocky hill - constantly pulsating the brakes - Jamie recounted to me the time she went off the trail and over her handlebars onto her face. (Good story. You should ask her about it sometime.)
And there at the bottom of the hill were Bridgett and Kelly, waiting for us to arrive, ready to face the mud...
THE FINISH LINE!
So... are you wondering what one does after completing a Muddy Buddy...?
You try to get clean...
6.2 miles, and we lived to tell about it!
Hope you'll join us next year!
(Jamie? We are doing this next year, aren't we...?)