Last October my husband and I–along with a couple of friends, my sister, and my nephew–ran in The Original Mud Run to benefit the National MS Society. One of the friends who ran it with us is living with the disease and encouraged us all to sign up for it one evening after we had gulped down one too many margaritas. The race is a 10K run with 26 obstacles scattered throughout the course. Some were easier than others (hopping over waist-high logs vs. swinging from rope to rope to cross a muddy water pit) but all involved an insane amount of mud and an equally insane amount of determination to complete.
As often happens when tequila’s involved, the next day I started to doubt my alcohol-fueled decision. After all, I am not a runner. Furthermore, I hate running. And finally, I do not ever run. The last race I ran was in 6th grade P.E. when we were forced to do the mile run and I can still feel the burning sensation in my chest and torturous cramp in my side. It sucked, as did my running time. But this time I had Chris to do his supportive spousal duty and be the calm voice of reason: “Who cares if you can’t run? You can walk it if you need to. We are doing this for a good cause and it’ll be fun.” He’s right, I thought, this will be a new challenge, a fun experience, and even if I can’t finish it at least I raised a little money for charity, right? And the fact that my friend living with MS was going to do it gave me absolutely no excuse to back out.
I am happy to say I successfully completed the run including every obstacle I encountered. I jumped into the Leap of Faith’s 12-foot deep mud pit, climbed the Stairway to Heaven , and even crossed the Gorilla Ropes without falling (a feat accomplished by only 1 percent of female competitors, according to their website). And it was FUN! Such a disgustingly wild, messy, rush of adrenaline, and I really can’t wait to do it again.
Maybe that is partly why I just signed Chris and I up for another race. I am still not a runner, never run, and will never become a runner, but I think since I finished a 10K mud run I can try something else. So this time it is The Great Urban Race–a scavenger-hunt type race around the city. I am a huge Amazing Race fan, and have even considered applying for the show, so when I heard about this local race I decided to give it a shot.
Though I have never actually participated in one, my love for scavenger hunts runs deep. I remember watching the movie Midnight Madness over and over as a kid–a B movie about some college kids who go on an all night scavenger hunt. I loved the movie and watched it every time it came on T.V. I don’t know anyone else who has even heard of it, much less seen it, but for some reason I watched it all the time. I dreamed of going on an awesome scavenger hunt like the kids in the movie: decoding riddles, racing from place to place, solving mind-bending clues, and completing ridiculous physical tasks. So my childhood dream will come to fruition on Saturday and I will find out if a city-wide scavenger hunt is as magical and exciting as I have always envisioned.
But first, we need some unique team t-shirts for race day and a cleverly cool name. Thank you, Portlandia, you rock!