Tough Mudder 2015

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Earlier this year, Brandon's cousin (and Violet's godfather) Ryan asked him if he'd join his team for the Tough Mudder Pittsburgh race in August.  The Tough Mudder is a 10+mile military-style obstacle race that supports the Wounded Warrior Project (raised over 8.5 million for WWP to date!)  The Tough Mudder is all about teamwork and camaraderie and many of the obstacles cannot be completed without the help and support from your teammates or strangers running alongside you pushing through both physical and mental fears and challenges.  It's legit, you guys.

So in the last weekend of August, our family drove up to Slippery Rock, PA to support our 'Outdoorsman Tough' daddy at the Mudder.

Team Hunting Daddies consisted of Brandon, Jon, Ray, and Ryan while their cheering squad included me and our three kids and Lisa (Ray's wife) and their son, Reid.  It was practically an entourage.  

We got to follow the guys around for many of the obstacles that ran along the observer path.  It was awesome to be able to see so much of it, and it kept the kids mostly occupied during the day by weaving along the paths and watching all the participants.  We were also lucky that much of the race ran alongside wooded areas, and as outdoors kids themselves, the three biggest kids were thrilled to be able to occupy themselves in the trees and weeds.

The obstacles were a mix of physically difficult and mentally/emotionally taxing - pushing all kinds of fears:  height, tight spaces, water, and darkness.  The boys were pretty amped up during the race between all the adrenaline and camaraderie and so they mostly enjoyed themselves while also becoming progressively exhausted.   Between the thirteen obstacles, there were short distances of running/jogging, so they all agreed that it was a nice mix between the two.

I was so grateful to Lisa for pushing the stroller most of the way (thank you!!) as our little Violet was discontent to be locked in the seated position (there's so much to see!)  I had her in the carrier for most of the race and many times Gem on my shoulders!  Where's my headband for the Mommy Mudder, right?  hahah  (actually multiple people stopped to say that to me, so that's not an original thought - hah)

It definitely would have been easier to leave the kids with a babysitter and just go myself to cheer the boys on - but this is an example of the ways we try to instill in the kids that we are all a part of this one family together.  That Daddy was doing something awesome and so we should all be there to see it - even if that makes it hard.  We are a family and we support each other.

After a break to eat, we lost the team for awhile.  It was hard to tell time-wise which obstacle they'd be on now that we had taken a break for food - so we let the kids play freely while Lisa and I stared at all the runners trying to recognize anyone's face who was in the group before or after them - hah!  We finally found the guys again (after about 45 mins though!) and were able to see them finish the last three obstacles before receiving their Tough Mudder headbands at the finish line.

The whole Hunting Daddies team did amazing and I am so proud of them for pushing themselves to their limits in this race and for this organization that supports such a great cause.  I'm not usually all "My Man!" but I think the Tough Mudder race is an exception.  Brandon is an incredible athlete, it's just in his bone marrow and I'm crazy proud to confirm that he successfully completed every single obstacle the Tough Mudder threw at him.
So, seriously you guys,  my man!

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