If you felt nice and dirty, with mud spooling out of all the wrong places, it was time to get yourself 'Squeaky Clean' with a foam tunnel, getting submerged in foam as you crawled, again on your hands and knees.
A slippery slide up an incline wall 'Wonderwall', with the added bonus on having some ropes and steps to help you up and over the wall, another run and you could smell the finish line, but first you had to conquer any fear on heights or even jumps as you celebrated coming to the end with a 'Jump For Joy' You climbed up the scaffold platform, only to jump off the end onto an inflated mat. This saw so many just get over their fears and truly Jump For Joy!
This has to be one of the most fun obstacle course runs that there is. If you are looking to have some fun with a bunch of amazing women, get down and dirty and do something healthy, then hit a winery, not to drink wine but to run an obstacle course.
If you are already familiar with obstacle courses, this one would be one of the easiest. Having a few additional harder lanes would have made it a little bit more challenging, but that really wasn't the point. Unfortunately I did hear people complain on the course, saying it was too easy, but I seriously think that they missed the objective. I was never given the impression that this was going to be hard, and the main objective would have been have fun and enjoy obstacle running, introducing new people to the great sport.
If you ever wanted to introduce your family and friends to the world of obstacle racing, then get them to do Mudderella, it didn't matter how young or old you were, how fit you are, or how many obstacle courses you have previously done. You can do this course with your best friends, gym friends, work friends, your daughter, sister, mother or even grand mother, this was really suited to everyone.
I had so much fun today with the beautiful ladies from The Compound, I loved meeting up with friends that I wouldn't expect to see there, finding that they loved the course, especially since they have never done one before. It would be great to see them at future obstacle runs and future Mudderalla events. I hope that my mum is over visiting next time, as I would sign her up in a second, I would hear the complaints until we had finished but I know that she would absolutely love it.
It was a real womens day, and with no men on course, you could just get through each and every obstacle without feeling that you were incapable, and there was a small feeling of accomplishment once you did a obstacle you used to be afraid of, I saw no one give up or use the by pass lane, I saw women conquer their own fears of heights and get up and over walls with a final leap of faith at the end. Even with grey clouds above, with segments of blue all you could see was an array of women, smiling, having fun and having the time of their lives.
The course was 8.6km which was a great distance for the amount of obstacles included, 5km would have been too short and 10km a little too long for those that had just started. Allowing for about an hour and half to finish it was the perfect amount of time to enjoy a morning outside of Melbourne's CBD.
Time to get down and dirty
The morning started off with a great warm up from enthusiastic fitness instructor Sara from Fernwood Fitness, St Kilda, ensuring that everyone was warmed up and ready to start out on course. There were a few grapevines thrown in as well as some high fives. Once finished we thought we had already started as everyone, did a jog around the corner, over some hay bails and then we huddled inside the actual start line. Oopps I guess we hadn't quite started...
After reciting the Mudderella pledge, we were off, with a jog for about 1km we hit the first obstacle, now it would not be called Mudderella for the precise reason that there will be mud at the very first obstacle. 'Down to the wire', had you crawling in a mud bath that would have gotten 100 times muddier thanks to the excess rain we received on Crown Oaks Day, 2 says prior. Hands, knees, belly were gonna get covered in mud as you crawled underneath wire fencing.
The biggest difference here was there was no barbed wire, so you could just crawl through, plus there was no risk of ripping clothes off as your scampered your way across. I think I did miss the barbed wire.
They were a little nicer to us for the next obstacle as we tried to clamber over some chest height hay bails covered in wet tarpaulin, just to make it nice and slippery. Also to ensure that we were not staying nice and clean, and with a squelchy run to the next obstacle 'Surprise Party' had us down some mud mounds and into the water, the uneven bottom had you tripping in the water, so you had no hope at trying to stay dry, unless you proceeded with caution. If anyone was trying to stay dry at this point, it wasn't going to happen.
Remember giving piggy backs as a kid? It used to be so easy just running around and playing, but when your an adult and weigh a little more than you used to, this got a little harder. 'Got Your Back' saw you give your team mates a piggyback, you also didn't quite get an easy ride if you were being carried, as half way you had to swap over.
'Step by Step' was next, accompanied by the song Step By Step by New Kids on the Block (for those old enough to remember NKOTB), had you going over the balance beams, up onto some wooden posts and back onto the balance beams and then it was up and over the wall.
The beams across the wall made the wall climb a little bit easier, it would have been good at this point to have an additional wall without any beams for those that maybe wanted to get up and over without the beams across, as it happened if you tried they got in the way, so you ended up bruising. To have a few extra walls would have been great too.
Not long until you were back on your hands and feet for the 'Break the Glass Ceiling' a cargo crawl that saw all sorts of techniques to get through it, from a commando crawl, to ducking down, doing a weird monkey swing with your arms straight above your head and walking underneath to walking backwards and crunching down.
By this point we had obviously got somewhat dry, so it was time to get wet again, going up a mud bank and then sliding down into a muddy pit pool, (best tactic here was to keep your eyes closed and your mouth sealed shut, otherwise you would find yourself swallowing the water). Wading through the water and up and over the other side, helping each other get up and over, as you slid back down into the next muddy pool.
Back on your hands and knees for Skinny Jeans, with some more mud, dirt and mud, that got you crawling through a tunnel and out on the other side into more mud. If you weren't careful, you found your team mates throwing mud at you as you exited the tunnel. No where to turn and no where to hide, you had to accept the fact you were going to get mud in your face!
'Dirty Downward Dog' had you in an awkward position, as you shuffled your way across another pool of dirty water, one wrong move and you would have been heading straight in. To make it a little more difficult there were some indents in the lines you were taking, so you could have easily slipped in, by misplacing your hands or feet.
'Disco Downunder' was just so much fun, with a smoked filled chamber, that you crawled through on your hands and knees, however it had a little twist as the music was pumping and the disco balls were illuminating inside, a couple of drinks and you could have your own little private party.
For a brief moment as we had finished obstacle 11 and only had 4 to go, we thought we had got off lightly with the mud, but it was just about to get 10 times worse with 'Aint No Mountain High Enough' with muddy mountains that slid down into deep watery pits! This would have to be one of the highlights of the whole course, women were just sliding everywhere, there was no room to be graceful, and if you had managed to keep your hair clean throughout the event, you were going to get it dirty now. The best thing was, you had to work as a team, helping each other up and over the obstacles, with a knee to climb on, or a hand on the backside for a quick push, there was no room for being shy as you bombed down the other side.
Its times like those that remind you of why you love the sport, the smiles of achievements and self fulfilment, that these amazing women achieved something today that they may have only ever dreamt of.
Once you crossed the finish line, you were congratulated with your own Mudderella purple head band and a glass of Moscato thanks to St Anne's Winery, where it was located.
The atmosphere in the village was truly electric, and not filled with usual male testosterone, women were laughing, smiling and cheering as they finished the course and others were getting ready to start. Up beat and funky music had you dancing, and not feeling embarrassed to act so silly. The temporary tattoos were a great addition, with the Mudderella logo and the word STRONG being tattooed on faces, arms or any place visible on the body.
The course map, also included a Spectators route that husbands, sons and fathers could bear witness to their wives, daughters and mothers achievements, take some amazing photos and cheer their loved ones on. There were also plenty of water stations that kept your hydrated on course, plus a few additional toilets that you probably wouldn't see at any other race, the bonus oranges also had some extra sweetness along the way. It was great to see that the organisers had really thought about who the participants were and what skill level they would be at and catered specifically to that. I can't wait for the next one and hope that I can persuade a few more OCR virgins to the sport.
Keeping you posted on the OCR (Obstacle Course Racing) journey. Letting you know about courses, events and general health and fitness.