Run a half-mile to the first of two Kiss of Mud challenges, where a racer has to army-crawl under barbed wire… face-down in mud. This is one of the classic obstacles of the mud run and thankfully was only about 25 feet long (as opposed to the 400 foot long course in the Spartan Race). Now you're filthy and your clothes are weighing you down, but at least you're only a half-mile from marker #2.
Next up, Berlin Walls (part I) -- scale two 10-foot high walls. There is a small step to use for leverage, but it still takes a physical toll. Especially the landing on the other side.
Another half-mile, and we scale a series of hay-bales. Not too bad.
Run a full mile before the next obstacle, which involves carrying a heavy log for a quarter-mile jaunt. It doesn't seem too bad until your muscles start to burn and you realize you're only halfway down the track.
Another full mile before another round of Kiss of Mud. The knees, elbows and hands are starting to get a little cut up. Not to mention that you are still covered head-to-toe in heavy, sticky mud and the weight of your shoes is equivalent to running with dumbbells around your ankles.
Just before mile marker #6, we encounter Trench Warfare. The designers dug 20-foot-long trenches in the ground, and then covered them to create tunnels. Crawl through the tunnel in complete darkness and hope you don't encounter anything en route. Not physically difficult, but not recommended for the claustrophobic among us.
By now, a large number of runners are walking between obstacles. Motivated by a thunderstorm in the distance and five miles to go, my teammate and I soldiered on, even at a slow jog.
Finally, a refresher: scramble up to the top of a 15-foot high platform (using foot and hand holds similar to those on a rock wall) and leap into a lake below. I may be soaked, but at least some of the mud is washed away.
Hop over three log A-frames, then continue on your way. Here we saw a competitor dressed as Wolverine struggling mightily with a leg cramp, while his friends attempt to hoist him over the A-frames. But a medic stops them so that the injured guy can get some relief.
This is where the running starts to dominate the race. There was a two-mile stretch across the next three obstacles. Obstacle 11 involved scaling a 30-foot high hay-bale pyramid. Then, it was the Electric Eel at 7.5 miles into the race.
Remember the structure for the Kiss of Mud? With barbed wire above and about two feet of space to operate under? Instead of mud, put down a tarp with an inch of water on it. And from the barbed wire above, hang LIVE ELECTRICAL WIRES. Seriously. Though the shocks weren't particularly strong, it was impossible to avoid when trudging forward on your belly. The shocks felt like a static shock, while some of the stronger ones felt like getting punched in whatever muscle was affected. I took about 10 shocks in the 30 seconds it took to navigate the obstacle, including a forceful zap to my left shoulder right as I was about to escape. Then it's back on your feet and off to the next challenge.