My thinking was in the right place as was Rodrigo. Problem was, my legs were telling me to piss off. I had never been a strong runner and this was proving it. As Rodrigo pulled away, I was cussing at myself and pissed that I wasn’t able to turn it up. I finished a few minutes behind everyone so not terrible and I knew my overall time was still putting me close to T.J.
Our next task was to do the strong man competition again, thankfully, not for time. It felt like more of a break than anything even though I felt like I went through it pretty quickly. The heavy stuff was definitely something I had been training for and I felt in my element when it came to that type of thing. With the sun up and shining, we all felt more rejuvenated and ready for what lay ahead. What lay ahead, after the strong man, was more wood chopping…….and more wood chopping! Enough to fill 2 pallets, which just seemed like an eternity but with the sun, friends, and family being there, it went pretty smoothly with all of us trading laughs, getting pictures taken, and our conversations turning into locker room talk more often than not made things very uplifting.
The next task was interesting. Stage 8 had us taking yet another hike to Indian Lake with us not knowing exactly what was in store for us. Another 3-4 miles on the legs and we reached the edge of the Lake as were prompted to go for a bit of a swim to retrieve keys stuck in ice cubes. The three of us decided it was probably best to strip down to our bare essentials so we could keep our clothes dry. The first set of iced keys was thrown fairly close to shore, which did not really help because the water was hypothermia cold. The second set was thrown out what we thought swimming distance. Luckily, it was only a little over waist deep, but I think it took my goods off guard and was like a turtle’s head when it gets attacked and snapped right back inside itself. Just spending that little amount of time in the water and my legs were already getting numb with how cold the water was. I don’t think any of us would have finished if we would have had to swim that lake…
One thing that was not a stage but that we were required to do was pick up all the flags from everywhere we had went the previous 16 hours. So, the three of us started our trek back up the hill to the Chapel, picking up flags and signs and trading off putting them in each other’s buckets. We enjoyed the scenic view from atop the place only hours before we did hundreds of burpees. We continued along the all the paths picking up as we went. With it being a Saturday, several people with dogs were there, very happy, always inquisitive as to what we were doing and saying hi, have a nice day. I have no idea how long we were out there doing that but it probably took us a few hours to get everything and get back to base.
Now it was time to bust open the ice cubes and get the keys to unlock the box that would tell us what stage 9 would have us do. What could be worse than what we had already gone through? Nothing, right? Well, we thought so too, until we read what Tony had written on the backside of a piece of bark. Three mile hike…not bad, huh? Except that was not all of it….add our gear AND both our sand pills in our bucket and that is one hell of a 3 miles. At that point, the three of us knew the end was near and were ready for it. So, we started hiking with it and it was going pretty well until the handle of my Home Depot bucket broke and could not be put back on…thank God of
T.J.’s generosity. The way his pack was, his bucket fit into his pack to create a sort of base allowing him to not have to worry about carrying it by the handle. He promptly switched buckets with me and we continued. By the way T.J., I still have your bucket if you want it and thank you. Considering how much we all were sore and tired and, well, you know, we were not beat. As we approached the end, I was getting that feeling that things were going to get a little heated for the finish.
Stage 10, the final stage, was an all-out competition to see who would get done first. I did not quite realize it till it was too late, which I feel could have been the reason I did not win, maybe I still would not have, it’s just the competitive side coming out in me, and I hate losing! It started off with 100 dive bombers and 100 full sit-ups (which I still think is bad for your back and voiced it then. Sorry Tony, I think it may have been more me being tired than anything.) T.J. was in the lead from the beginning and I was roughly 15-20 behind him. I did not realize until I took off after him for our 1.5 mile run that this was the finale. I took off and knew I was catching him. I also knew that Rodrigo, once done, would be going all out to so I knew I needed to get some distance between him and I. At the turnaround and I was still catching up to T.J. From there we stayed about the same distance apart pacing each other. Seemed like every time I would pick up the pace so would T.J. Great job to T.J.
for his 1st place and I finished right after he did. Thankfully, we finished when we did because Rodrigo was flying to catch up. Great job Rodrigo!
With this being my first 20+ hour event, I know I can go longer and harder. I am tailoring my training to maximize every ounce of myself for longer events. My thanks goes to Tony for creating this event to let us know where we are at and help us find out what needs done to go further. Thank you Chad for offering up your place for us to stay and allowing us to help you chop wood…lol! Thanks to all competitors for being there and pushing yourself because it made me do the same. All I can say is that this kind of racing is where it’s at. I found myself searching for and reaching deep inside to go on. If you ever talked with my Laura, she would tell you I am not one that says I’m done. I am a hard-nosed, stubborn person and I have plenty of people and things from my past and present I can go to, either positive or negative, that will not allow me to stop. This May, a beast if coming, will you be there?