Tough Mudder Atlanta 2016

6:30 AM, Atlanta – A sudden elbow to the gut rips me out of a nice dream. “Someone is ringing the doorbell!” says my wife. “Oh God! Did you oversleep?!” Through sleepy eyes, the digital numbers of my clock glare at me. The numbers, they’re all wrong! Fuck! It’s 15 minutes AFTER the time I told fellow Grey Beret, Mr. Pink, to pick me up!  I run downstairs to get the door. No one should have to see me in nothing but boxers and crazy bedhead at 6:30 in the morning.

7:00 AM, Waffle House, Fairburn, GA – As ultra-super-duper-high octane-elites, Mr. Pink and I take our race day nutrition very seriously. I get my fill of coffee, bacon, eggs, grits and toast and we head on out.

7:35 AM, QT – My habit, my deeply ingrained rut, the bedrock of my pre-race routine, does not happen. What the hell?! The universe is out of order!

7:55 AM, Bouckaert Farm – The long line of cars traces a sinuous path into the green rolling parking fields of this beautiful equestrian facility. 10 million square miles of open fields and they still funnel everyone down to two people taking money.

8:05 AM, Bouckaert Farm – We start the long trek towards Mudder Village. The air is cool, the sky is cloudless, the sun is blazing, and the gravel road is dusty. It’s going to be a blue bell day.

8:15 AM, Endless gravel road – We’re getting our warm up in by powerwalking. Tough Mudder isn’t a race (…”it’s a challenge”) but, by God, it seems walking from the parking area sure is.

8:45 AM, Mudder Village – My board short pockets are loaded down with Mustard packs, Gu blocks and gels for the whole crew. I’m a walking hot dog stand wrapped in a Vitamin Shoppe bun. And in the other pocket an old school waterproof, disposable camera. You know, with film and a winder thingy.

8:49 AM, Mudder Village – At the control point into the Warm-Up Zone, fellow GORMRs Laura and her sexy man, Howard, are the TM “bouncers”. Extremely official with their number clicker. It’s good to finally meet in person. Hugs and Handshakes (who got what I wonder?) are exchanged.

8:50 AM, Mudder Village – We name drop and they let us in.  We head into the scrum of bodies to loosen up with tight, short-shorts wearing Coach Mud. I’m trying to find our missing Grey and avoid getting hit in the face and the sacred globes with all the swinging arms. It’s proving to be the first obstacle.Tough Mudder Coach Mud

9:15 AM, Starting Corral– We are three Grey Berets (myself, Mr. Pink, and Stretch) and one GBbaby (any potential future Grey Beret under the age of 40).

9:16 AM, Starting Corral–This year we get an emcee with a more serious message. He has us take a knee as he lays down some inspiration. And it keeps going. And going. I’m fidgeting more than an ADHD addled first grader in church, and my knees are barking. Fuck it! I can take my inspiration standing up.


  1. And we’re off. We settle into an easy pace.
  2. A mile into the woods and we already have to pee. Getting old is great….
  3. Kiss of mud 0 is the first obstacle to appear (finally!) out of the woods at the top of a hill. It’s a short barbed wire crawl with one pit and a hay bale barrier, but it brings the mud.
  4. It’s a lovely view of the rolling fields in the distance.
  5. We head back into the woods and quickly arrive at Skidmarked.
  6. All the room in the world and we have to make this hard 90-degree approach to this giant angled wall. The transition is more awkward than a middle school dance. This thing is a monster. It takes a running start and a big jump to reach the lip and then carry that momentum to a big heel hook and then crank with the leg to pull up an over. Tires (thus the obstacle name) on the canted backside make a stable place to stand while helping others get over the lip.
  7. The trail running in the woods is just glorious.
  8. A nice downhill gets us to the first water station. The volunteers are handing out cups of water and some kind of pinkish red liquid being supplied by huge spaceship looking coolers perched on spindly steel tripods. I down some water and then eye the liquid of unnatural color. “It’s an electrolyte drink”, says the chipper volunteer. Hoping that it’s not like last year’s Smurf Semen, I take a swig. It’s fucking nasty. Sphincter puckering nasty. Drag your tongue across sandpaper to erase the taste, nasty. Different color, same nastiness, but this year it’s trying to replicate the tropical flavors of the jungle. This is true, if the fucking jungle was made up of Triaminic trees, ball sweat bushes, and castor oil climbing vines. I belly up to the watership and down (see what I did there?) multiple cups of water to cleanse my sensitive and sophisticated palette.
  9. Pitfall shows up soon after. I won’t make the same mistake as last year, and so tread carefully in the watery mud pit, keenly aware of the hidden drops in elevation that await. A volunteer is dousing us with a firehose.
  10. The open field running in the grass is flat but the mowed path is still heavy on the legs.
  11. Shit! I forgot to put on sunscreen. The sun is blazing, but the temperature is perfection.
  12. And there it is, majestically perched on a meadowed hill; King of Swingers. Oh do I have plans for you my lovely steel and wood monster! I climb up to the 12-foot-high platform determined to ring the bell and NOT smack Johnny Spittinseed and his love apples against the water after a caterwauling death spiral. Oh look! There’s a rare siting of Grey Beret All-Star! The intimidation of last year is replaced by shear excitement in the now. I jump and get a good swing. The lache is on point, with no flailing. The bell is rung, and I fall into the water feet first. Sweet!!!! Now it’s time to do what I have been thinking about all week.Tough Mudder King of the Swingers
  13. I’m back on the platform. This time it’s going to be all about the élan, the flair, the pizzazz, the joie de vivre! It’s all just 10 dollar SAT words for fucking show off. I jump, I swing, I release, and wheeeeeeeeee, I execute a reverse flip (aka a gainer) and manage to land it the water mostly feet first.
  14. As I clamber out of the pool, lifeguard lady says, “that was cool, but you were nowhere near the bell.” You think? Wow, tough crowd.
  15. We all go back together to do a team swing. It takes a few minutes and letting some people pass in line to get us all lined up. People will talk for generations about the majesty of that moment, when we swung in perfect harmony…..and all missed the bell.
  16. Oh look! Another water station! There’s goodies! Chocolate Chip cookie dough energy-protein-something or other bars. I take a big ol’ bite. “Hey! That’s pretty good.” I keep chewing and chewing and chewing. My initial assessment obviously wrong. This shit is just not breaking down. It’s transforming into disgusting little fucking pellets in my mouth. I spit it out onto the ground. Looks like a Keebler Elf took a shit in the middle of the road. I choke down a vanilla bean GU to get rid of the bad taste. I avoid the putrid pink piss of the Prince of Darkness.
  17. It’s nice and flat and shady as we run by two beautiful lakes. There is no sprinting.
  18. Mud Mile 2.0 appears – huge, deep gashes in the earf, with piles of dirt between them. We jump down into the first pit, after taking a group picture of course; the “kid” taking the picture eyeing the disposable camera as if it’s some alien object from another world.
  19. Our GBbaby immediately takes point, does a wall squat, and pats his thighs in a brotherly Mudder invitation. We use him as a stepping stool and then turn around and pull his ass up onto the mounds. I immediately nickname him “Thighs”. We repeat this 32 times, or maybe it was 5. I don’t know, it seemed to go on forever, everyone getting good and lathered up with the sweet silkiness of Georgia clay.
  20. We come upon “civilization” as we cross the road being used as a spectator thoroughfare. On the other side I see a huge morass of the blackest, goopiest mud this side of Mississippi in the middle of the course. There is but one thing to do; I jump as high as I can and come straight down, feet first, into the middle of it. It makes a very satisfying “squelch”. I manage to keep my shoes on my feet upon extraction.
  21. A steep hill scramble gets us to the perimeter of another picturesque lake. We are about a third in and the legs are feeling fine.
  22. As we follow the bend in the lake’s edge we spy an idyllic dock where other Mudders seem to be rinsing themselves off. We all have a shit ton of mud in our shoes and agree that’s a fine idea.
  23. Who is this crazy motherfucker in FULL fireman’s kit, oxy tank and mask, and carrying a huge (50 foot?) section of supply hose? And I thought my Gu packets and camera were too much weight.
  24. We hop over the triple tiered round hay bales of Bale Bounds and head straight to the dock.
  25. We practice our flutter kicks while trying to get the mud out of our shoes.
  26. Back into the woods we go and Mr. Pink decides now’s the time to start doing hill sprints in preparation for the Blue Mountains of the OCRWC. Well fuck me! But, I accept the challenge, downshift and hightail it after him.
  27. Sounding like a herd of stampeding water buffalo and making more noise than a playground full of preschoolers, people just automatically moved to the right, as we made our way up the hill.
  28. Well that was unnecessary………my heart wanting to throat punch me.
  29. I can hear the music of Mudder Village! This means absolutely nothing, because I know we still have a long fucking way to go.
  30. We pop out of the woods at the edge of the gravel parking lot behind Mudder Village. And run by the showers. Nothing to see yet since it’s too early. Later it’s sure to be a funny picture of runners looking at showerers thinking, I wish I was them, and showerers looking at the runners thinking, I’m glad I’m not them. Looks to me like the perfect mooning opportunity.
  31. We get past the stables and see the Finish Line side of Mudder Village with electroshock therapy and the towering construction that is frequent flyer’s club.
  32. As we leave the Mudder Village behind, we get a nice downhill on the dirt road, running past the spectator outpost where people in chairs are drinking beers, catching some rays and enjoying “the show”. And by show, I mean us of course; plodding along, weazing like geriatric pugs.
  33. Now back in the fields we climb a hill and come up on Quagmire. It’s a deep rectangular pit with shear faces at either end. It’s another TM example of nonsensical obstacle naming. It is neither a low lying spot of soft wet land nor is it a particularly difficult situation to resolve. Not when you have Thighs running with you! We drop down the 5+ feet, trudge through the shallow water/mud, put Thighs in the wall squat position and hop on out easy peasy lemon squeezy. He stays in to boost a few people out while we help from up top.
  34. I jump back in to see if it’s possible to jump up and mantle out. It is. We extract Thighs and head on out.
  35. From the top of this hill we get a fantastic long range view of the larger meadows beyond. I can see pyramid scheme immediately downhill from us.
  36. I lead the charge, and Grand Jeté my way downhill through a carpet of golden ragwort. I’m jumping and prancing, people are laughing, and it’s just all around general horsefuckery.
  37. A wet, deep, muddy moat separates us from Pyramid Scheme. This was not here last year. What a site it is! If any obstacle screams teamwork, this is it. A huge angled wall covered in white, obviously slippery, plastic panels laden with human ladders. The bottom 2×4 lip being used to brace the “base people’s” feet is a good 3 feet above the pit. There is a rhythm of open lane, human ladder, open lane, human ladder, etc…, which allows one to climb to the second person’s shoulders and then get pulled up from the top by someone hanging by their ankles from the top. It is no joke making my way up.Tough Mudder Pyramid Scheme
  38. I get to the top and I am immediately recruited, along with another fellow, by this VERY fit young woman to lower her down by her ankles so she can help her teammates. She helps a couple of people including Mr. Pink and then has to abandon the cause as her teammates have shifted too far left. I go ahead and get grabbed by the ankles. Wait, that didn’t sound right. Stretch and GBbaby are pulled to safety.
  39. We yuck it up while running along the edge of the main meadow. Everyone is in good spirits.
  40. The mustard supply is dipped into as a prophylactic measure.
  41. The gravel road along the beautiful lake is dead flat and not unwelcome.
  42. As we come up to the sign for Hero Carry (on a flat gravel road? Sweeeet!), this tiny wisp of a girl yells out “Hey, is that Tretsch?!” Why yes it is! It’s my GORMR friend Lara and she is in need of a hero to carry. Before my boys can jump on this (you know where I’m going with this) I offer up my slim 184 pound self. I know, I know – a true gentlemen. I drape myself over her shoulders by just leaning over (she is that tiny, but the quads?! Boom!) and she carries my ass THE ENTIRE WAY, no stopping. To quote a rarely used saying in the OCR world, “she went full beast mode”. And on the second  leg of the carry, while my boys are carrying two hundred pound bundles of sweat and stank, I’m sprinting with wee little (but fucking strong!) Lara over my shoulder caveman style. I. Have. No. Shame. Tough Mudder Hero Carry
  43. More heavy grass running gets us to Funky Monkey (no longer 2.0 anymore? When will we see 2.1 release?). We are all dry as German comedy, so I am not worried at all about the thin monkey bars. I hurt my lat/shoulder at Savage Race in April and hadn’t been able to do even one pull-up until just a few days prior to today. So, that was a bit of a concern. The self-imposed hiatus from upper body exercises proves to have been the right choice and I get through without even a twinge. The other two Greys sail through and then it’s GBbaby’s turn. We cheer as he makes his way across the bars, we holler as he makes it through the trapezey thingy, and we are just short of getting up in his grill, drill instructor style when he stalls out, but then digs in and finishes out the traverse bar. It’s his first time making it through and we couldn’t be happier.Tough Mudder Funky Monkey 2.0
  44. The Greys go back for another round.
  45. Will this fucking grass ever end? At least it’s flat and mowed shorter than last year.
  46. Fuck! I hate crawling under nets on the ground. Devils’ Beard has enough slack to do a hunched over walk. Going backwards makes it easier, but it’s hell on my shirtless back. I bear crawl the last few yards. Mudders at the end are helpfully holding the net up and taut.
  47. Well, this is interesting, Birth Canal has had a release update and is now Birth Canal 2.0. The difference is immediately apparent. Instead of crawling underneath and along the length of the water filled vaginal walls (oh please! This obstacle is fertile material for sophomoric humor. It’s like TM is trying to egg me on with such a name. I can push these jokes out all day. So take a deep breath and relax) we will now crawl perpendicular to them. This proves to be MUCH harder than last year. I strain a stomach muscle making the final breach.Tough Mudder Birth Canal
  48. The third water station is like seeing an old friend, but now this friend has upped his game and brought port-a-johns and bananas (any correlation is purely coincidental I’m sure.) I take a conveniently cut half of a perfectly ripe banana while another chipper volunteer is slicing her way through a mountain of additional bananas. Oh glorious musa acuminate, your delicious flavor touches my soul! Again I avoid Satan’s sack syrup.
  49. I pass out some Gu blocks to chew on. Their fruity and sweet flavor is a good little pick me up.
  50. I really hate this fucking grass.
  51. Cage Crawl shows up at a perfect time as I’m starting to really feel the heat of the sun. Man, am I gonna have a burn when this is done! This is the first obstacle that has a Legionnaire’s (that’s a Mudder who has completed more than one TM) lane. I suss out the two different versions but do not see any particular detail that makes them terribly different. They both are chain link fence suspended just scant inches above the surface of a long water pit. I love this obstacle. Macon Mud Run has one like this (without the water being sprayed in your face). It’s peaceful pulling yourself along using the fencing, with only your face above the water. It’s quiet. The spraying water every few feet ruins the Zen, but this is Tough Mudder, not a sensory deprivation tank at some shi shi new age spa. I gotta remember to close my fucking mouth!Tough Mudder Cage Crawl
  52. The wind picks up just in time for us to head into the shade of the woods, soaked from head to toe.
  53. We play sun patch hopscotch.
  54. The flat trail takes us through a pleasant pine forest. This part of the 2015 TM was, and I quote from last year’s review, a “slippery, muddy muckfest of a trail”. Today it is mercifully dry. So my hips, knees, ankles, pretty much my entire fucking lower half is pleased.
  55. Ok, TM HQ, you need to have a come to Jesus meeting with the Department of Obstacle Designation (DoOD!). Last year the Liberator was a net laid over the trail, this year it’s a canted peg board ten feet high. Neither year does the name make any fucking sense. Did you not want to throw away your preprinted signs?
  56. The Liberator also has a Legionnaire’s lane, however this time the difference is immediately apparent; the regular lane has two rows of peg holes by utilizing two pegs while at the Legionnaire’s lane there is but one peg for one row of holes. We of course want to do the harder one, so we go for the single peg.
  57. Each lane on the wall is bordered on each side by a continuous notched 2×4 that starts about 6 feet off the ground, so its crystal clear that the beta is to pull yourself up with the peg, get your feet in the notches and top out easy peasy. It takes a couple of jumping tries to get the peg into the highest hole possible. This of course elicits all manner of crude jokes. At this point, calling me sophomoric would be generous. Once that’s achieved it’s a fairly straight forward climb from there. If this wall was vertical, now THAT would be interesting.
  58. More running through the woods gets us to Balls to the Wall (now here’s a name that makes sense. Especially for someone who “inconveniences” his conkers at almost every race). These 12 foot walls are hung with large diameter ropes with huge knots (which just get in the fucking way). The two 2x ledger boards at the 1/3 points make it an easy climb. The horizontal bar holding the rope makes the transition very awkward and rather “exciting”. I go around and do it a second time to get rid of those butterflies at the transition. Doesn’t work.
  59. We have to force GBbaby down to move on. The man loves to help people.
  60. A barely controlled downhill pell-mell run (oh! The kneecap is barking!!) gets us back to the open meadows. I’m pleased with myself that I stayed on my feet. And in fact, have not taken my usual fucking face plant all day long. It’s a good day.
  61. The 4th water station offers up blessings in the form of fellow GORMR Patti, who yells “Grey Berets!” at us from a distance with uplifting enthusiasm. Your volunteer experience is not complete until you get felt up…..err, I mean hugged, by a gaggle of Grey Berets. I’m still avoiding Beelzebub’s bathwater.
  62. Blockness Monster was invented for WTM 2015 and I was pumped to tackle it after hearing about how fun it was from GBbaby for the last few miles. Imagine the shape of a box of aluminum foil. Now imagine it 20 feet long, 4 feet square, covered in black plastic panels, skewered with a rotating axle, and partially submerged in the water.Tough Mudder Blockness Monster
  63. We eagerly jump into the chest-ish high water. The key is to get the block moving (with numerous people needed. These things are fucking beasts), grab the corner as it rises above your head, and let the rotational mass carry you to the other side. The fun part is staying on and riding it like some kind of cubist log rolling competition. This benefits the people on the approach side who can just “grab-n-go”. I spend a few minutes doing my best lumberjack imitation.
  64. We have a blast playing around on the two blocks.
  65. My watch vibrates as I climb out of the pool for an even 10 miles. Oh, we on the downhill side now boys!
  66. I really. Hate. This. Grass.
  67. Everest 2.0, a white plastic coated ¼ pipe, sits alone in the field. Blinding white against a dull green background. The main access road is only 50 feet away, given ample opportunity for people coming and going to watch the madness.
  68. I wave the people off from grabbing my hands and make my approach. Now, I am fully aware of the curved, deep (16 inches versus a standard 2x), plastic coated top lip from last year’s race, so I know what to expect. But, my tiredness, and frankly nonchalant approach, leaves my fingertips an inch shy of the lip. I wave off everyone for a second time and the attempt is successful. I gladly accept help to pull myself over the top.
  69. We all start chipping in to help other Mudders get over the top, but after helping GBbaby my shoulder/lat issue flairs up and I have to call it quits on the assistance.
  70. Pink grabs a volunteer and points out a piece of the plastic panel that is torn, its sharp point just waiting to slice someone open.
  71. We pass the Taj Mahal of horse stables on our way to Cliffhanger. This thing is a fucking equine extravagance. A pony palace. A stupendous stud structure.
  72. For the first time today we come to a screeching halt due to a long backup. The cargo net draped over the shear cliff face is only wide enough for three people abreast and the volunteers are keeping too much of a vertical distance between the racers.
  73. As the wait goes on, knees start to hurt, backs start to seize up, and I can feel the sun crisping my unprotected skin.
  74. We finally get our turn and waste no time clambering up, and then head back into the cool shade of the woods.
  75. Pink decides it’s time for another fucking hill sprint. And it’s a long one. By now we are over 11 miles in. Fuck! Oh well, the Blue Mountains ain’t get any shorter.
  76. With my heart still pounding like Ron Jeremy, we arrive at Berlin Walls. These 10 foot monsters aren’t too bad with the step board at about 12” off the ground and everything being dry. A running start does the trick. We hang around for a bit helping out.
  77. Uh oh, I feel a wee flutter in the left calf and we are coming up on Arctic Enema 2.0.
  78. I maintain my cool (doh!) after sliding into the water under the chain link fence, but as soon as I climb over the wall at the midpoint of the dumpster, the cold slams into me like a freight train. I’m just waiting for the inevitable calf seizure.
  79. I have written many words and dropped many a genitalia euphemism talking about cold water obstacles, be it Savage Race, Almighty Run, Tough Mudder, and many others. BUT, this year’s Arctic Enema 2.0 is, by far, the COLDEST FUCKING DUNK…EVER! The water is so chock full of ice that it seems to have stalled between phases and become this horrific viscous slurry. Moving through it is an effort. I can feel my body shutting down as I strain to climb out.
  80. It takes a moment of vigorous thumping on the thighs to get some feeling back and then we’re off running to finish this lark.
  81. We round the final bend and see the choice between Electroshock Therapy and the Legionnaire’s choice; Frequent Flyer’s Club. There is no choice for any of us, we choose the Legionnaire Lane. I could get on my soapbox and rant about how fucking stupid and dangerous electroshock therapy is but I don’t want to start a war between the masochists and the realists.
  82. We stop at a tent to get our Legionnaire’s head band (2x for me) and I couldn’t be happier that it’s fellow GORMR Peter McNairy putting the band on my noggin. Inappropriate hugging is shared.
  83. GBbaby stops us just before get to FFC and asks us to “huddle up”. Becoming very emotional and obviously holding back tears, he tells us today is the anniversary of his father’s battle with cancer and how grateful he is for us and this day. We give him a Grey Beret group hug (as I have said before the Grey Berets like to hug it out). I turn away toward the obstacle because I’m getting some major dust in my eyes.
  84. FFC is a towering single sided ziggurat (that makes it technically giant stairs, ok, sue me. Ziggurat is a cool word!) We heave ourselves up to the first tier and then the second. There is a guy stuck there, with crippling cramps, trying to get to the last tier. We lift him straight up to the final tier.
  85. I make my way to the edge and assess the situation. 12-15’ above a stuntman’s airbag (which is BARELY wide enough for the three lanes), and long poles, hung with platinum rig nunchucks, jutting out from each lane above our heads. The finish line is but 15 feet beyond the airbag. I guess the object is to see which nunchuck you can touch. The furthest one, colored orange of course, is about 8 feet out. There is no room to back up and take a running start.
  86. “Land on your butt!” the volunteer yells, and then sighs with disgust and rolls her eyes as the dude next to me jumps and lands on his feet. Pffft! Hasn’t he ever watched a stunt show?!
  87. I pull out my disposable camera. I have one frame left. I jump, while taking a selfie, and land on my butt. Since I had to literally send the camera off to get developed, you my dear readers, will have to wait to see if this level of jackassery was captured on film.
  88. Getting off the airbag is a combination of awkward rolling and flailing limbs. Never has there been a more ungraceful finish to an OCR.
  89. I step on the finish line, stop my watch, and get my orange headband. 12.2 miles has come to an end. But wait! I turn right around to go back and do FFC again. I’m gonna touch that furthest nunchuck!
  90. I grab the middle lane again (is the bag moving? There seems to be less room at the left lane!), and jump! I miss the last nunchuck by a finger length! Damn!
  91. I go back around and climb back up. It has gotten crowded at the center lane, for obvious reasons. I don’t want to make the boys wait too long watching all my foolishness, so I grab the left lane.
  92. I hear the screams below of suckers going through electroshock therapy.
  93. Fuck ME! This bag has moved! Dropping a plumb line would surely show the edge of the air bag only a couple of feet from my starting position. Gulp! I’m going to have to jump out and to the right while trying to hit the nunchuck with my left hand. Zoinks!
  94. I bend the knees, spread the feet, and spring forward! And the world stopped, no external stimuli getting through my grey matter, and I floated through the air, my eyes squarely on the prize. I wish it was a bell, because I smacked the shit out of that last orange nunchuck. I land squarely on my ass, thankfully on the air bag. I’m sure the volunteer is pleased.
  95. Annnnnnd I’m done. What an awesome day!! The course was fantastic, the obstacles fantastic, the companionship fantastic. Whether you walk or run, grab some good friends and do this challenge at this location. Tretsch says DO IT!

1:00 PM, Mudder Village – I go through the free swag receiving line (I see the bottles of that fucking nasty electrolyte drink and make the sign of the cross. Begone spunk of Satan!), avoid the energy bars, and pick up a sample size of Secret over The Old Spice, because you know, it’s strong enough for a man but made for a woman. Besides, I don’t want to smell like my late, great, grandfather. The shirts are a nice technical Tee in a sweet grey color.

1:30 PM, Mudder Village – I am showered and smelling quite good actually. Someone had brought a bottle of Crew body shampoo. And though I smell like a desperate millennial, at least I’m mostly clean. It is a bit disturbing to see dirt on the Secret after I freshen my pits. Missed a couple of spots I guess.

1:45 PM, Mudder Village – With beers in hand we slump down to the ground under the shade of tree and shoot the shit. All manner of GORMRs are around and the socializing is on point.

3:00 PM, Mudder Village – Mr. Pink and I make our way towards the exit. We eyeball a mini fitness course being sponsored by the Army (Sorry Dad. Semper Fi!). “you wanna do it?” I ask. “Sure”, Mr. Pink replies. We sign up and I line up to go first. Push a weighted sled 30 feet, do 6 pull ups, low crawl back to beginning, 20 decline push-ups and then pull the sled back to the starting line. I about die. Mr. Pink absolutely crushes my time. A take-me-out-to-the-woodshed kind of beating. I blame it on my shoes. We both get cool t-shirts.

3:10 PM, Endless gravel road – We stroll back to the truck, reliving the day and enjoying the spectacle of our surroundings. It was a good day.

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Robert A. Tretsch, III, aka “Tretsch”, is a gentleman architect and founder of the Grey Berets who revels in the pursuit of mud, obstacles and the occasional podium step.
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