Wednesday, 29 May 2013

True Grit in the South Australian desert

True Grit: A military inspired 12km obstacle course set out in the desert of South Australia.

The time has finally come! We set off on our road trip to Mildura after the four of us had worked all day (crazy, I know). After a long drive and only just shy of midnight, we got into our jammies and make-shift bedding because yours truly forgot to take bedding for the girls, we got into bed for a good night sleep because D-day.
We got up super early to set off once again to get across the border to the South Australian desert where our 12 km race awaited. It was amazing how the landscape changed to arid, dry looking rolling red hills with dry grasses and emus! 
By the time we arrived, we were about 10 minutes before our race wave started. And then, by the time we parked the car and got out of the car we heard our wave being called... and the cheering was clear evidence that they kicked off without us. We ran to sign in and found out we were ok to start with the next wave. Without even having time to have a drink or void our bladder we lined up at the start, took a quick happy snap of the group, flames fired and we were off! With a short run through the bush and jumping over tree stumps we approached our first big obstacle which was an A-frame cargo net. We all did so well, despite a couple of the group having a fear of heights. We all supported them and cheered them on til the entire group made it over, and off we were through the bush again. Another cargo net was waiting for us next. This time it was free-standing, roped between two trees. It was shorter but more difficult because it moved so much while each person tried to pull themselves up. Again, we all made it over with a bit of help from eachother pulling it tight to make it a bit easier for us who struggled more.
The third obstacle was the rope traverse. I found this so much harder than I ever though (I knew it was going to be tough but not so hard on my arms!). After already having wobbly arms from the cargo nets, by 2/3 of the way across the rope my arms felt like they had seized up and wouldnt bend or stretch any further! I unfortunately couldn't physically make myself go further, so I had to drop but I was proud of how far I had got. With wet, muddy feet I carried on, as I felt the squelch while I ran. It brought back such great memories of the Spartan race, I found myself excited to get muddy!
As we ran through the desert, over the sand dunes and through the vines of the Caudo Winery.

We climbed up rock ledges, ran over hay bales, crawled under nets and ran a lot! It felt like there was so much distance between obstacles. As exhausting as it became, none of us stopped once, we just kept moving, even if it was walking a lot of the time.

We jumped over fire pits and although the flames weren't very tall, it was blisteringly hot as you approached, then it hits you as you fly over them!

We carried huge wooden logs, climbed more sand dunes, scaled an 8 metre wall and ran through even more vines.
The second last obstacle was a long, thick, muddy creek we had to trapse through. In fine form, Mark decided to bomb into the mud and came out looking like a swamp monster with bright white teeth! The mud stunk, it was grey and thick and slippery. It was so hard to climb out of it.

To end it all, we slid down a slide into the cold Murray River as our last hoorah! It felt amazing to have accomplised the entire 12km. Comparing our 7km Spartan race done in 2 hours and 24 minutes, we expected 5 hours was not going to be such a long shot. Proud to say we finished the 12km in 3 hours and 15 minutes. We were so proud of ourselves for our time.

We got some fantastic video of the race, and total calories burnt were off the chart!

Now I am so excited to see how we can smash out our next 5km Greatest Athlete in July! Can't wait to do this one with my dad!

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