Wow, what a busy weekend! I started it out with a bit of sleeping in on Saturday in prep for my long night. We then went to a Christmas party in NJ and the kids played with our friends and their dogs for a few hours. We braved Target on the way home (hubby needed cookie trays, there was no way around it), and came back to NY for a few hours. I took a short little nap, maybe 20 minutes, and couldn't sleep any more than that. I was both excited and really dreading the all-nighter in the cold. The family started baking cookies, the house began to explode with Christmas spirit (and flour), and I got ready to leave. I put on a gazillion layers and packed more for once I got there. Then I filled a backpack with extra gloves, hot hands, and an insulated tea pot with strong black tea for a long night. I left home right as the kids were going to bed (ultra late, so they'd be too tired to wake up and miss Mommy during the night!), and I made my trek back to NJ.
Once I got to the raceway at about 11:45, I immediately noticed that the lot was EMPTY. I remembered it from the Tri-State Tough Mudder, and it was insanely packed, we walked half a mile to the starting line! On Saturday night however, it was a ghost town and I parked right by the front with only a few hundred cars. I made my way to the check-in and saw one guy going over the Turd's Nest as I walked under it. I cheered him on and started getting really pumped!
Check-in was pretty crazy looking. There were a ton of volunteers in there that looked like they were almost sick from cold. Of course, none of them were dressed properly either. I'm not really sure what they thought when they read "low twenties", but it wasn't the same thing I thought apparently. Anyway, they looked glad to have relief and I was busting at the seams to get out there and watch people do their thing.
I got assigned to an area with a water/food station and three obstacles--shorter Berlin walls, Giant Turd's Nest (holy crap was it high!), and Everest (quarter pipe, suuuper tough by yourself) I quickly realized that I wouldn't be seeing near as many competitors as I'd hoped to see. Being so cold and so late, most of them had already dropped out of the race. In fact, of the 800+ that started, by that time there were only 200 or so. And a lot of them were in the pit sleeping/warming up in their tents between laps. In my almost seven hours out there, I saw the male and female leaders twice and most of the others just once. But the little I did get to see was pretty incredible.
There were a few of them that had gone numb and simply wanted hot water poured on their feet and hands. Some were so sore and exhausted that the slightest attempt at running up Everest was met with painful groans and collapsing. The men seemed to all do well with the Berlin walls, but the women, being shorter, had a harder time. I saw two women climb their way over on the stabilizers, crying and yelling in pain the entire time. These are by far the toughest people I've ever seen in my life!
The male leader and second place finisher were beasts. They jumped up Everest like it was a cheesy playground game, and bounced on by. They each had a few spectators (spouses, mothers) with them cheering them along, as did the female winner. I believe that having loved ones there was one of the things that helped these people win. Without encouragement, anyone could've given up out there on their own in the darkness and cold.
I personally enjoyed every bit of my experience there. There were two other volunteers with me, and one was dressed so inappropriately that she had to leave around 3am to the infirmary. The other one holed herself up next to our heater in our tent, but I refused to stay in there for fear of missing someone who needed hot water or just a little bit of motivation. I hope that I was able to give them all a few kind words to push them a little farther towards their goal.
In all, it was just amazing. The strongest (physically and mentally) people I've ever witnessed in my life! And although I wished I could stay until the end, I was just too darn tired. I did make sure to watch the updates and was excited to learn that the female winner is 42 with two teenagers--talk about one tough mother!! The male winner is from NY and is two years older than me. It just goes to show that although I started my fitness journey later than most, I still have plenty of time to kick all sorts of ass.
So after a crazy cold night, I came home and was met by a very snuggly little boy. Hubby said that he did well all night without Mommy, but he was more than happy to have me home. They went out to play so that I could nap, and I fell asleep hard. I blinked and had slept from 9am-1pm! I begrudgingly woke up and got ready for our cookie swap. We spent the rest of the afternoon there, where I loaded up on sugary goodies and caffeine. Everyone had a blast, we came home and ate a healthy dinner, and hubby and I passed out early. The end to a long, yet somehow too short wonderful weekend!
If you want to see some cool pics of the WTM, go to their Facebook photo page. The night photos don't even begin to show you how rough it really was out there. And then let me know how your weekend was, I'd love to hear about it! Ho ho ho!