A Muddy Melbourne weekend
‘Run Wild through a gruelling 10K obstacle course’ said the blurb.
I should have stopped reading right there . . . . .
‘You’ll crawl through thick mud, the blurb continued, ‘climb up cargo nets, slide down the giant slip and slide’ and yet despite this I continued to read on . . . .
‘You’ll run through live wires, charged with 10,000 volts’ . . . it teased.
I’m sorry did you say ‘live wires’?, as in ‘electrical, live wires’ – “oh, oh you did! Well in that case, you crazy Aussies I am outta here!”
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Was what I should have said.
Of course I didn’t.
Bring it on I thought. Now all I needed to take part in The Melbourne Stampede was some team mates
stupid enough fit enough to join me!
Step forward ‘The Muddy Melbourne Girls’
Grrrrr – just look at us, we were like a crack team of Pink SAS Ninjas!
My preparation for The Stampede consisted of sitting on the sofa the night before catching up on the ‘Home and Aways’ I had missed and eating a packet of chocolate hob nobs, I think it did the trick especially as I spent the week before the big event carb loading so I was like a machine ready to take on The Stampede. Now by carb loading I mean I ate some form of muffiny cakey treat at least twice a day in the run up, I think that even a cupcake or two passed my lips in preparation. (Only the mini cupcakes though, honestly what do you think I am some sort of cake eating pig/whore!!)
Anyway my preparation stood me in good stead for the big day and my fellow MMGs and I were pumped, petrified and ready for action.
The Stampede started off ‘Gangnam Style’ as we all filed to the start line we ‘Gangnammed’ to warm up – not on our own don’t worry, everyone was doing it; and then off sounded the Klaxon, up with the fire balls and we were off, ‘Running Wild and all that jazz!’
It was actually pretty tough right away, it had been pouring with rain pretty much non-stop the week before so the ground was very very muddy, which was not helped by the Naughty Stampede people helping it along further with yet more water, making it even stickier! It was so bad that this poor girl lost both her shoes about 200m in – pretty careless and not a good start if you ask me!
But the MMGs powered on through like the Ninjas we are, having a good old chat along the way, the first few obstacles were not too bad, we scrambled the cargo net over the bus, with ‘ease’. We climbed through the burnt out cars and slid over the bonnets ‘Starsky and Hutch style’. And we managed to do it all without getting too dirty.
‘This is not too bad, it’s not that hard and we are not that dirty’ I thought, Oh but if only I could keep my thoughts to myself. It went downhill (not literally though as that would have been much easier!) from there.
Yet more mud and obstacles presented themselves, almost as soon as we had got through one another one appeared to take its place as we dragged ourselves over them.
The ice bath was a particular favourite, an actual ice bath full of icy cold water and millions of ice cubes (clues in the name I suppose) and we had to wade our way to the end of that and then somehow drag our frozen numb legs up and haul ourselves out, very very hard, when the blood has stopped running through your veins let me tell you!
Then there were tunnels galore, tyre mountains to climb, sand bags to carry and climbing walls to climb with hardly any footholds in them. There was a particularly lovely middle aged man who was only too pleased to help the lovely young ladies up and over the wall and if that meant hoisting them up by their bum then he was willing to do it for the good of the race. He was all heart that man! Aussies are so friendly!
There was an awesome giant slip and slide which my fellow team mates and I approached together with the intention to go down all together whilst screaming at the top of our lungs!
1. 2. 3. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I went whizzing down screaming at the top of my lungs to come splashing down into the muddy water at the bottom, I turned round expecting to find my dishevelled team mates, splashing around in the water as well, only when I looked they were not down in the water with me but at various stages along the slip and slide pushing their way down, so that screaming I could hear as I was whizzing down was not our combined teams but just me, with lots of people looking at me like I was a touch crazy!
Anyway, we re-grouped and set off again, we climbed humoungous hay bales, and crawled under trees and through bungee ropes Mission Impossible style until we were confronted by the biggest nemesis we had encountered so far. A massive ‘A’ frame with just 2 very short ropes. Meaning you had to take a mighty old run up and throw yourself at it, try and grab the very slippery rope and then pull yourself to the top. Because there were so few ropes and such a poor success rate on this one, the queues were building up so my fellow team mates and I made an executive decision to attempt to run at the frame and grab the hand of one of the many men that were at the top leaning down trying to haul people up. Needless to say that this did not work and rather than attempting to try this again we pushed to the front of the rope queue and threw ourselves at the mercy of the slippy rope and hunky men at the top who were hauling the rope up! Seriously if you are single this is a brilliant thing to do, you meet so many lovely young chaps, you could put your phone number on your t-shirt saying you are single and you are away! (Hmmm something tells me, for a married woman, I may have thought about this a little too much!!) Its a good idea s’all I’m saying, and we move on . . . .
We continued our ascent up the very steep and muddy hill, once we got to the top we were confronted with 2 routes one for the 5kers to make their way over to the finish and the other for the 10kers to continue on to different levels of torture. As I had signed us on for the 10K we dragged ourselves past and ran back through to collect bags of sand to pointlessly carry in a circle to then hoist up to ring the bell before heading up yet another hill.
The top of this hill presented us with a pitch black farmers shack which we had to go into and negotiate the varying obstacles without being able to see a thing, but we made it through and out the other side to be confronted with some very large dumpster bins filled with rotten apples that we had to hoist ourselves into and climb out of.
Onto the final few Ks and we ran into a huge lake filled with lines of barrels that we had to get over any which way we could to get to the other side, while at the same time being hosed with ice cold water from the kindly firemen on the side! It was just like ‘Total WipeOut’ except there was no wisecracking Richard Hammond and no Amanda Byram at the other side waiting to interview us on the way out, and the water was much dirtier, oh and there was no £10,000 up for grabs!
We managed it though, dragged ourselves out of the lake and onto the final few obstacles that were standing in our way of certain victory.
Do you remember the TV show ‘Gladiators’ in the early 90s? well they threw a bit of that in as well for good measure, we had to run the Gauntlet of 4 ‘Gladiators’ bashing us with giant pudril sticks, and oversized boxing pads, trying to push us back while shouting at us (shouldn’t have put our names on our tops, it just made the shouting more personal!), this was really close to the end so it was pretty hard to get past some of them, I think some of them were taking their job a little too seriously!
Finally we reached the finish area but not before we had to negotiate, the ‘Sunday Roast’, the ‘Mud Buffet’ and the ‘BugZapper’ – how did we get on with those well see for yourself.
You will see that my tactic was to run through as quickly as possible while my fellow MMGs chose a different tactic, lets just say that their tactic was the right one! I have still got the headache from being zapped 4 times on my head. Ouch.
We all made it through though and crossed the finish line together.
Yey – Go Muddy Melbourne Girls!
Bit dirtier than when we started.
I have bruises on bruises now and can’t move my arms or legs but bring on next years I say – who’s with me?????