Gladiator Rock’n Run – Moreland, GA

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One motivation to go to the gym is to keep “something” on my event schedule that provokes a fear for failure.  To avoid that... better go to the gym.

And so the Gladiator Rock’n Run became a daddy-daughter adventure, a 4 mile “mud run” by one of the many purveyors of such events.  Unfortunately, my daughter had a minor cold, and I was on the tail end of a major one.

This run was on a beautiful farm in “horse country” southwest of Atlanta.  The property was very well suited for the event, with wide, cleared trails and a requisite pond.  The participation for this event was no where close to the Warrior Dash, an indication of an over-supply of this type of event.  That said, the price was right, water was provided at several points along the trail, and the “obstacles” – 17 – were well constructed.  

So, here we are before the run, nice and shiny, wearing bright shirts so that my wife could separate us from the pack for photo opportunities.  As it turned out, all of those opportunities were at the end of the race.

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There were awards to be given to those who were the best costumed.  Very few people bothered, but the Chippendales caught my wife’s eye.

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And we’re off, waving to the paparazzi.

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And from there, we ran a bit to the first challenge, a monkey bars apparatus over mud.  Only, one guy was in the mud, bent backwards, with volunteers calling for an ambulance and warning that no one should move him.

After that was, in no particular order, a crawl through a trench of mud, a lot of running (or walking) uphill, a seeming shortage of downhill slopes, 6’ walls to climb, rolls of hay to jump over, a 40 lb. bag of rice to carry 40 yards, an array of tires to step through, a jog through an ATV path along a power lines clearing, a pond to swim across, a slide down a slicked slope (not enough water provided for it to be fun), a rope climb...  About rope climbs...  Wet ropes with knots, further made slick with mud, are very difficult.  I gave that a try and opted for the optional 10 Burpees.  All of that was “off camera.”

Returning to civilization, and having recognized much earlier that the head cold had robbed me of any sense of stamina, we came to two dumpsters.  Not a big deal, especially if you slide around the top rather than drop inside and then want to pull yourself out.  At the USMC Mud Run, there would have been marines enforcing the harder route.  No Gladiator volunteers here...

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My partner in crime...

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Climb into a pool of water... no big deal.

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Ice water, though.

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It’s refreshing for the first few seconds, and then you just want to hurry along.  These cargo net climbs are not very difficult once you establish some tension across the net.  Going over the top always brings an uncertain moment.

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The idea with the flags is that you have to go under them, thereby getting muddy.  My daughter and I had different approaches to this.

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C’mon kid.  It’s a mud event.  Get muddy!

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The Creature from the Mud Lagoon.

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Next was what the organizers call “The Beast.”

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A muddy incline, wet and muddy ropes, with a fall zone of mud.  I gave it a shot.  Several actually.  They all ended with a slip and a slide.

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Go Jackie, go!

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As in, go find your dad, who is taking a breather.

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That was the first failed challenge of my mud run career.  I attribute it to the cold.  Mhmm.

After sneaking around the side, it was time for the photo finish.

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Style points given to Jackie for keeping her eyes open.  It’s better to see the terror.

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And, we’re done.

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All that was left was to get hosed by a water truck (lacking enough water) with a final rinse from hoses (lacking water and pressure).  Nevertheless, medals earned!  (Though, she should have gotten muddier).

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