Today's guest blogger is Stacey who tells us why she and Antje took part in The Gauntlet.
We did it!
We ran THE GAUNTLET 5.8k race at Mucky Races!
Considering it had snowed only the week before, the weather was kind to us. It was sunny but fresh. However, it also meant the water along the course was very high and also very cold so our nerves were showing a little. Well, mine were as it was my first time taking part in a Mucky Races event, Antje seemed quite calm about it all having ran a 'Guts and Glory' event previously. We all gathered for a warm-up to music organised on the day then progressed to the start line.
The first thing was to run past Spains Hall, Elizabethan country house near Finchingfield in Essex, and I have to say, it's absolutely beautiful. This was the civilised part of the race, it got seriously mucky from here on in. Next up, running through the woods and scrambling over ditches. All pretty dry so far...
Then we got to the lake. We all took it in turns to wade through the edge of the lake with water up to our waists. Antje and I decided we'd hold hands through all the tough obstacles and it was a good tactic as it was pretty slippery. After another run through the grounds and out into the countryside, we came to a stream where some locals had set up a little spot in the sunshine, enjoying a pint and a giggle at the crazy muddy people trekking past their house. We could really have done with a pint at this point! Ha ha!
Our task was to 'run' across the stream then on to the obstacles the other side. We had to balance along a beam, go under a rope cargo net then 'hop' through a load of tyres. All energy sapping stuff. More running then on to a deep ditch. We had to cross it so many times I lost count! It was so deep sided and by this point as so many people had trundled through it, was so slippery getting out of either side that Antje and I stopped for ages helping out other ladies who were also stuck. It wasn't the most glamorous of situations to be in, we're all covered in mud being pushed and pulled all over the place, but I've never laughed so much. It was brilliant!
After the ditches came the wall. It was a series of huge hay bales towering over six foot. After more pushing and pulling and a few leg ups we got ourselves and others up and over and then on to more running through the woods. Then the mud pit. This part of the course was SO muddy, we sank down past our knees the second we tried to walk on it. So crawling it was then! At this point we were starting to be lapped by the crazy 12k runners. As so many people had passed through the mud pit before us, it had got so bad the course guides advised we crawled around the edges. A few people were now stuck in the middle of the pit and I think they were seriously considering having to pull people out by a rope! Several people lost shoes at this point but Antje and I had taped ours to our feet.
More lakes, more pits, more ditches and more nets to crawl under until the final obstacle. The raft. It was floating on a pond that was about waist height and we had to dive under it through the muddy water. It was quite disorientating and SO cold it took your breath away. We were both so proud of ourselves for doing it though. A final push took us to the finish line looking wet and bedraggled but surprisingly clean after our little dip. Yay, we did it! Participants were given a goody bag and a t-shirt (which I now wear with pride at bootcamp) and we trundled back to the car to dry off, warm up and refuel. Exhausted and bruised but happy.
We dedicated our sponsorship to Pseudomyxoma Survivor as our lovely friend Claire has been fighting PMP for some time. We felt that although there are so many deserving charities out there and many people pick a large well known one, this one was close to our hearts and we wanted to raise as much awareness as we could. The support and friendliness of Pseudomyxoma Survivor has been so important for Claire and as there is so little aid or awareness of this type of cancer we felt we just had to help in any way we could. What better way than to get MUCKY?!
- Stacey. x
if you would like to make a donation, please visit Stacey and Antje JustGiving page.