- Anderson Valley
- Mendocino County
by Jessica Ehlers, February 3, 2013
I got an email from my sister a few months ago telling me she had entered me into some kind of obstacle course race. I am in school and work and have a kid but I was like, sure. How hard can it be? It was not as hard as one of these but it was in the same league, or so I suspected, so I feared. Mostly I did not have time to think about it so I didn't.
Then it was my first semester of my second year of graduate school plus an internship and my regular activities of trying to be a good mom, partner to my man, family participant and friend. I totally tried to tell my sister a week before I wasn't sure we could make it but then I found out my man had gotten the time off work. Then I came down with a cold. So many reasons not to do it but the hotel was reserved and instead of wussing out, I armed myself with Alka Seltzer Plus and Albuterol and we hit the road, heading to the South SF Embassy Suites which is a really great place to stay if you can find the deal on Kayak that we did.
We got there a day early so we could acclimate and relax a bit. We went out to eat at a fluke of an excellent place. We literally wandered in off the street to this amazing little Italian place. My friend had instructed me to load up on Pasta the night before and she's always right so I did as she said. The next morning, I hit the Albuterol because I could not seem to breathe without coughing and also drank my Alka Seltzer Plus right after my coffee. Maybe my sister handed me some weird Go Girl drink, too?
We were ready. I pulled the tutu's out of the bag that I had purchased at Fort Bragg Rent-All. They did not match. I wanted the Bumblebee one and she decided purple was ok. Then she was flinching. Did she really HAVE to wear a tutu? Yes, she did. I smiled. We found her people whom we were running with and got in line.
Lines, lines, everywhere there were lines. Finally, we were at the starting line. A blonde post graduate was trying to get us to get really excited about the run. I don't respond well to this kind of coercion but plenty of people seemed to. He was very adamant about teaching us how to signal for medical attention. Cross your arms and raise them over your heads, ladies!
Then, it was on. We ran as a group for about 60 seconds. Then the trainers were ahead and the others were behind. I ran with my sister the whole time and it was great. What was not great was the concrete or the hill we had to run at first. What was also great were the obstacles which make the race what it is: Dirty.
I did not have to get as muddy as I did, but what's the fun in that? The mud pits you slog through, the inflatable climbing structures, the web you're supposed to "crawl" across, that I walked atop of instead- those were awesome. Not to mention the huge muddy slide that we are specifically instructed NOT to slide down face first. Bummer. These guys are no fun.
Seriously though. It's a benefit for breast cancer. It was really fun to run with my sister with whom I rarely get time alone with now that we've got kiddos. Next time we'll do something more intense. Something not at Candlestick Park where there is real dirt and real mud not carted in from the East Bay.
The following is a photo of my sister and I in our tutus running across the 49ers football field. That part was also pretty awesome.