After months of training and preparation, April 12 arrived and 68 men from Area 51 and The Fort were ready to put their bodies and minds to the test. The USMC Leatherneck Mud Run…the Super Bowl of F3 events. The pax had endured countless emails and tweets from YHC regarding logistics. My last email (threat) was to be on time for the bus. This of course meant that I barely slept the night before for fear of oversleeping myself. Starting at 0430, one set of headlights after another rolled into South Charlotte Middle School.
YHC was heckled for my camp counselor like clipboard. Heck, I made fun of myself for that. With all pax accounted for, we had a quick Ball-O-Man then off we went. We made a brief pit stop to pick up the Fort guys.
The bus ride down to Columbia was pretty subdued. I guess that’s what getting up at 0400 (or earlier) will do to you. Most guys rested. Some guys fueled up. Voluntary donations were collected to support Operation Enduring Warrior. About half way there, guys started their pre-game rituals. We discovered very quickly that the light bulb in bus # 1 was burned out. Better take your phone as a flashlight. By 0700, everyone was ready and the bus was entering the Leatherneck parking lot.
Most of my comments are from bus # 1’s perspective. Others please sound off in the comments whether you were on bus # 1 or 2.
Event Photos: Below are links to Dropbox files with Mud Run photos. Mitch “No Show” Kelly and his crew of volunteer photographers knocked it out of the park. He has divided the shots into seven different areas. Because these pics came from several different cameras, they are not specifically organized by time or bib number so you’ll just have to look through them and copy what you want. They are free with no watermark!
Operation Enduring Warrior: https://www.dropbox.com/sc/uxckliq4b8kizi2/CJKfyBYhmr?n=285521343
Mud Run – Misc.: https://www.dropbox.com/sc/x6sxn6w6ufkacyy/QGCt9VIuHE?n=285521343
Additionally, here is the link to All American Images and the official Mud Run photos. These have a watermark and will cost you for prints: http://aaipix.photostockplus.com/event_1646014
F3 as a whole completely dominated the event. Of the 688 total teams that entered, here’s how F3’s placed:
Congratulations to team ‘Closetalkers’ for taking first place within Area 51 with a time of 1:09:52. Closetalkers consisted of Tiger Rag, Hops, Fletch and Honey Bee. Nice job, fellas! They were presented with the new Area 51 mud run trophy to share for the next 6 months. Will they defend their title in October? Or will a team of hate-hates knock them off their perch?
A ton of 2nd F was shared with F3 nation. F3 Columbia wins the award for the coolest cooler!
At 1100, we gathered for a group photo as well as more announcements from YHC. With the final roll call and headcount (twice) confirmed, off we went. The bus ride home is a great spot for 2nd F. Mud run war stories are shared, food and beverages are shared.
A vision of Tadpole scaling the up and over of the 10-foot wall was quite a demonstration. Someone gave him a push off but he leaped up and over like nobody’s business.
Jamboree’s reply to my question of his first time mudrun experience “what did you like most jamboree?” His reply an instant classic. “I liked the mud parts.” Nothing like a bunch of grown men acting like kids again!
A comedic moment was Radar waiting for me to grab hold of him to come through the tire. I was unwilling to hug radar and more or less just balanced my belly on his back and he was like “Geez Bug just grab onto me”. I said “just start moving forward Radar.”
Coming around the final turn and completely bug-zapped of all energy, Soul Glow picked me up like a sack of potatoes and carried me the full distance to the finish line. While pounding his way to the finish line a team was coming into Glow’s path and he gave out a direct command of “coming through” in a way that meant move or be ran over. There was absolutely nothing gonna stop this locomotive. An astounding feat of strength!
Was at the “walk the plank” obstacle. Bugeater was two logs to my left. He lost his balance, then jumped to the log to his right. He still hadn’t caught his balance, so he jumped another log to his right. Impressive and showing yet again why we sometimes refer to him as the Dancing Nebraskan.
Also, on the bus ride down – Team Closetalkers’ Honey Bee remarked that he shaved his head last night for better aerodynamics….to which Tiger Rag remarked: “All you did was create micro-abrasions for paramecium.” Only TR could utter that phrase. Good humor.
Feats of strength: Backdraft rolled his ankle during the race. And I mean rolled it. Was the swollen pretty good on the ride home. Not only does the tough son of a bitch finish the race, he is the carrier on the fireman’s carry. Glad to have that guy in my corner!