Friday, August 12, 2016

A Worthy Reason to Get Muddy

Ever since Josiah and David heard about the Dayton Muddler, a combination race and obstacle course in a nearby town, they've wanted to participate in it.  So has Tobin, but the official race rules say you have to be 10 to run in it, so he was out of luck this year--and next year, too.  But never fear, he came up with his own course.  More on that at the end of this post.  :)

Last Saturday found us up bright and early, eager for the race.
My boys were fortunate enough to be joined in the race by two of their friends from our church, Abby and Dean.
Abby had run the course in previous years, so she was a great help because of her experience since none of the boys had done it before.
While we waited for the race to start, Josiah did pull-ups... did David...
...and Abby...
...and Tobin.
Well, sort of.  ;-)
Our group got nicknamed The Canaries.
Bet you can't guess why.  ;-)

And they're off!
Our little group of Fans of the Canaries ;-) was led around by Abby's parents who not only had watched her participate in this before, but also live in this town.  They showed us where to go so we could see some of the first challenges of the race, and then cut across town to see some other ones, before heading back to the finish line.  I was surely glad for their help and advice!

By this point, the participants had already done quite a bit of running and lots of obstacles.  We hung out here for a while, watching for four yellow shirts to appear and climb over this high fence.
They're coming!
They're going over!

They're on the ground!
They're racing towards the next challenge!
Let me interrupt to say that I was impressed that they stuck together as a team.  Abby could certainly have dashed off on her own, as experienced as she was on this course.  As a matter of fact, my boys had prepared themselves mentally for her to do just that; they had come to accept the situation if she raced off and left them behind.  ;-)  But she slowed herself, and they all waited for each other and encouraged each other along the way.  I was really grateful for that and really proud of each of them for their teamwork!
Abby had coached them to pull this cloth over their mouth... they approached the mud pit.  She knew from experience that a mouthful of mud is no fun!
We had stationed ourselves right by this so we could watch them during the messiest part of the course!  :)
Abby came first, then David...
...then Dean (who crawled through more on his hands and knees and wound up with the cleanest shirt in the end)...  :)
...then Josiah who slithered through (trying hard to not touch the net above him) and got absolutely caked with mud!  :)
Some of the Old Order Mennonites who live nearby had come over to watch.  :)

Julia (Abby's mom) and Ashley (Abby's sister-in-law) cheering on our Canaries.  :)

Well, there's Moriah!  How did a picture of her get in here??  :)
She was staying nice and clean as she watched her brothers and friends slog through this pit.
Abby had told the boys to duct tape their shoes to their socks so they wouldn't lose their shoes in this muck!  :)
And then it was on to another challenge: carrying a heavy block while running.

After they finished that area, we started walking back to the finish line.  Well, all except Moriah.
She got to ride on Todd's shoulders.  :)
Because of my grandparents' long history in Dayton, I've always been fond of this town.  One of the streets there is even named for my grandfather!  :)
Back at the finish line... comes Abby!
And David!
I loved seeing his jubilation; this kind of competition fires him up!  :)

Josiah came behind David...

...and then came Dean.
They all made it...
...and boy, were we glad to see them.  :)

After the race, we headed to Todd and Julia's house where the kids got hosed off in the backyard and replenished with Gatorade, all the while rehashing the events of the morning and talking about what was the toughest part and things like that.  Good times.  :)

This particular race was interesting for me because, when Josiah has run 5Ks in the past, he has not been careful to train and prepare for the race but has just gone out there to wing it.  His confidence has, at times, been larger than his ability.  ;-)  As a result, he has sometimes started a race quickly, but then needed to end up walking--and there's no shame in that, but I have sat on the sidelines and thought that if he had put some effort into training, he wouldn't have needed to do that.

This time, however, he made a plan for how to get ready for this race; AND HE STUCK WITH IT.  Days and days of doing a certain number of push-ups and sit-ups and pull-ups and running certain distances paid off for him; and not only did he enter the race physically ready for the challenge of it, but his mental preparation showed a maturity that he didn't have when he was a young whippersnapper running his first 5Ks!  It made me proud to see how he approached this race with a plan and with fortitude and perseverance.  :)

Well, I started this long post by mentioning Tobin, so let me conclude with him.  He was truly disappointed that he didn't get to run in the Muddler, so he did the only logical thing: he came home and created his own.  :)
He had quite a course planned out--running around the house, touching certain tree branches, climbing over the picnic table, doing certain things on the trampoline, and so forth.  And of course, getting muddy by crawling across the garden.  :)
He also crawled under this chair...
...and that perhaps was somewhat useful in getting a little of the mud off him.  ;-)
He was having a blast.  :)

When I did laundry, I only put the muddy clothes of Josiah, David, and Tobin in this load of wash; and this is what it looked like the first time through.  So that's why they call this a Muddler.  ;-)
I ran them through a second time, and the water looked considerably cleaner.  :)

But I really didn't mind the mud.  After all, participating in this competition was a very worthy reason to get muddy!  :)


Carol Slater said...

Looks like they had a lot of fun!

Davene Grace said...

I ran across the results of this race and decided to jot it down here so I have all the info in one place. :)

In the youth division, Abby came in 68th, David was 69th, Josiah was 70th, and Dean was 71st. Abby's time was 1:05:59.326. David's was 1:06:06.653. Josiah's was 1:06:09.23. And Dean's was 1:06:17.656.