WTM 2015 Recap, Part 3: The End

I was up before the sun, wondering if I could go back out. Knowing that the ice cold water and The Cliff awaited our team. The bad news was that Gary was out, our team would now be composed of individual racers, but Chris, Geoff and I would stay together on the course. The good news was that I now had the freedom to skip The Cliff without penalizing our team.

I was shivering again as we left the semi-comfort of our camp and wasn't looking forward to that first entrance into the water. My heart really wasn't in it. We had slept. We had spent more time in the tent than on the course. I did NOT feel like a World's Toughest Mudder. I didn't feel like I deserved the black finisher headband, even if I could somehow continue moving until 2 pm.

Now wrapped in the protection of a neoprene hood, gloves, wetsuit and booties, my muscles loosened up and feeling came back to my fingers. The wetsuit made all the difference in the world. That layer of water trapped against my skin really did insulate and warm me. This time, although temps were in the 40s, there were only a few chilled moments. Our spirits lifted with the sun, and we knew we could continue to run until the end of the race. 

I never did the Cliff. Despite everyone raving about the thrill of the plummet and warning me that I would have regrets if I didn't do it. If I had walked out on that platform, I'm quite sure I would still be standing there, trying to muster the courage to fling myself off. I took the penalty, which was .55 miles and 2 extra obstacles-- Mud Mile and Electro Shock Therapy. It was definitely not the way to go if you were running for time. My teammates had to wait on me after their cliff jump all but the last time, where there was a 20 minute wait for the Cliff.

Crossing the finish line was amazing. I was tired, dusty, and desperately in need of a hot shower. I didn't cry-- but there were more than a few times on the course when I was thinking about crossing the finish and nearly cried. I was so relieved. I had made it.

Some of my favorite moments from the race:
-Amelia Boone, winner of multiple WTM's and this year's, verbally guided me back on course as my backstroke was stroking me way off course.
-Teamwork on the Roll the Dice obstacle and sharing my last effort through this challenging obstacle with Coach, who created TM training videos.
-The view was simply incredible! Coming from the swamps of South Florida, running along the ridge line of desert cliffs was breathtaking.
-Getting a free hug from a sister runner, just minutes from the finish line. In her giant squeeze, I felt victory and relief-- we were going to make it!
Post race moments:
-Exiting the elevator in the resort, red dust crusted and still soggy in my wetsuit, we met a bridal party waiting to enter. Yes, that's right. A bride in her pristine white dress surrounded by satin clad bridesmaids and a flower girl. I would've asked for a side by side picture, if I wasn't so tired.
-Standing in a hot shower, peeling off my hood, booties and wetsuit. Pure bliss.
-Eating THE BEST WINGS ever at the Auld Dubliner, a little Irish pub. Buffalo garlic parmesan heaven. 


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