Monday, November 11, 2013

Hell & Back, Titan. It's all over.

(Before) 

We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!  Well, there were Afew dodgy moments, but we powered on!  I am thrilled to report that all nine Mudslingers crossed that finish line together! hurrah!  
 
(After) 

Now, not that any of us are particularly sadistic or anything- but it is fairly obvious that we look much much happier in the after photo, don't we! LOL. 
Perhaps it was the fact that we were about to head into the longest Hell & Back course yet.  Though we had the group variety of it being the first, second and third time to do this crazy race, it didn't really matter.  Each race is painfully unique so the anticipation will loom even for a Hell & Back veteran. 

SO!  Titan!  What did it bring?  Pain? Torture? Agony? Fun? Bruises? Yes- yes to all of the above and just a touch of hypothermia.  LOL.  So here we go, the breakdown! 

1: The Pond. 
Bbbbrrrrr, but a fine chilly enjoyable splash about with strangers.  A great icebreaker. (Boom boom) ;) look at those smiles!

2:  Hell on Earth.
Still in high spirits, these muddy mounds of mankyness got us all sufficiently warmed up and thickly caked in the finest mud Kilruddery had to offer.  

3:  Hurdles of Hell.
No picture here.  (Luke, our honorary 10th mudslinging member who was snapping all he could for us could only get so far in his toasty warm dry clothes. ;) )
Some nasty obstacles to dip under and climb over to really ensure an even spread of mud over complete body. 

4.  Forest Mud Trail.
(A lovely pleasant clearing luring us all into a false sense of security...) 
Getting a bit tougher, lots of up and downhill running through forest tracks.  Quite pleasant actually- though it did have the looming threat of snipers but thankfully there was no sign of them this time around. :)

5.  Screwball Scramble.
Legs warmed up nicely, some steep scrambling and back down again... Wheeeeee!

6.  Little Sugar loaf.
Damn that little mountain seems to go on forever and ever.  Just when you think you've gone as high as the course is going to take you, there's another uphill climb. 

7.  Descent to Doom.
'Cannonballing' I believe it's best described as- basically let your arms and legs go with the flow and launch yourself downhill.  Definately the most effective way down in a hurry.  LOL.  And a lovely little water station at the bottom for a well earned reward. :) 

8.  Bitter and Twisted.
Bitter and twisted, indeed.  This was te evil log carry much talked about after.  We did have a bit of a wait here which ticked that 'bitter' box and the 'twisted' bit, well, that was so very nasty!  That circle back to the log collection point was truly nasty.  Uber steep uphill section.  Gah! 

9.  Burn Baby Burn.
Sandbag carries, net crawls... And all uphill and downhill... Damn you Hell & Back organisers.  I do hope that they actually run these courses themselves so they can share in the delicious torture. :) 

10.  The Quarry.
A killer wall to navigate over, icy cold rocky waters to wade through and a great big like of shite to 'army shuffle' over.  Yes, you heard me right. Shite. My best guess is horse manure, but I hear it has amazing rejuvenating properties for the skin. (That's what I'm telling myself anyway... LOL) 

11.  Satan's Pit.
The wall before the tyre scramble.  Nicely scented too. :) 

12.  The Abyss.
A lot more downhill running. Cannonball away for the faster you descend, the faster it's all over... Um, yeah... Almost there now.  *insane laughter*.

13.  The Swamp.

My favourite!  FINALLY, on my third hell & back, I finally made it through the swamp without getting up to chin stuck!  (Though if I'm honest, I'm a bit disappointed that our first timer team mates didn't get the full impact of the Swamp.  Next time! ;) ) 

14.  The Forest.
Some nice forest runs if one weren't head to toe caked in mud.  All the same, bit of banter had with fellow hellraisers along the way.  I even got to meet Karen, one of my first Hell & back blog followers way back then.  One of those total fluke moments.  "OMG- Karen... *girly squeal* *hugs*. So lovely though. 

15.  Thru Hell & High Water.
LOL- the expressions say it ALL!  Check them out- 
at the start; 'ahh, that's cool. Refreshing.'  
Right about mid way; 'Nnnnghhh, ooh, this is getting fairly uncomfortable.'
Just past half way; 'OH HOLY CRAP, GET ME OUT OF HERE'.  

That.  Three times over.  Ouch. :)

16.  Hard labour.
 
Honestly- I can't remember.  My brain must have been frozen from the river crossings. 

17-24.  Nightmare on Hell Street
Ouch.  Ouch.  Ouch.  Ouch.  Ouch.  
(10 foot tessie)
Electrical shocks, barbed wire crawls, inverted wall, ice skips, ice skips, ice skips, (did I mention ice skips?) LOL.  Ten foot tessie... Seriously- it feels like 20... Nice spongy landing this time!  ;) All deliciously leading up to the piece de resistance...
 (Weeeeeeeeeeee)
(Expression... LOL)
(The honeymooner- the previous week she was also Photographed, though a teeny bit cleaner. LOL) 

Mount Olympus.  I hate it, but I love it.  I went or the short rope so I got 4 attempts (& spectaculour fails) before making it up.  Our team got split up here but we reconvened before going through the finish line. We start together, we finish together!  Hell Yeah! 
FINISH! 

A huge thank you to all of my Mudslinger team mates, My better half, Dave, the honeymooners, Kerri & Alan, newbies to hell & back, Emma, Kate, Kara, Christine & Aidan.  A great big thank you to honorary mudslinger, Luke, for running around the course to photograph us.  

More thank you's: 
To Kieran of Hell & Back- cheers for the banter and help and letting me be one of your bloggers.  Great motivation. 

A massive thank you to the dude that gave me one of his hot crepes as he couldn't find his mates.  Not sure this message will ever find it's way to you, but just putting it out there anyway- you were a lifesaver as our money was stuck in the valuables and we were ravenous and chilly.  Hats off to you, kind sir.  May the universe send the bestest of karma your way. :)

Thanks to my 1 & 2 year old sons for increasing resistance by sitting on me as I attempted to do push-ups or sit ups and also for sharpening my reflexes by avoiding them while attempting to skip during training.  Nice one, lads.  :)

To my Mammy for looking after said sons so we could vacate the county and take part in Hell & Back.  *high five* 

And to you guys and gals for reading my blog.  I hope I gave you some help/motivation/entertainment for training for Hell & Back.  

Maybe see you at the next one... Who knows... 

;) 

Toodles! 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Hell & Back, Titan! D-Day!!!

Where on earth did the last 7 weeks go, eh?  I am feeling about as confidant one legged jockey.  *bites nails*
October has to be THE most energy sucking month of the year.  I am EXHAUSTED and everyone that I talk to is aswell.  Maybe it's that extra hour (though one would assume we would mine more rested seeing as we gained an hour...) or perhaps the dark mornings and dark evening, I don't know- but the ole' energy levels are low. 

I had better snap out of it! *mentally slaps face with wet fish* the hours are fast approaching to that VERY early morning rise for our long drive to Kilruddery.  The excitement did however begin to sneak in yesterday.  What better occasion than Halloween to collect the race packs.  :). 

The dusky weather gives an ominous atmosphere in Cork City.  Smoke hangs in the air, like apparitions of townsfolk doomed to wander the streets for eternity, and are eerily dispersed as a gaggle of girls pass me with 53 degrees north shopping bags.  I must be close.  
My evil angel zogabong halo thingy bobs manically as I ascend the stone steps.  'This indeed would be hell with my double buggy'.  (I titter inwardly at my silly 'Hell & back' joke, happy that my brain is in top form for Titan.)  'Pity about my fitness...' (Titter again)
Bursting through the doors (unfortunately, a little breathless after the steps. *crap*) I announce that I am there to collect my Hell & Back team race packs. 

(Now, to give you a little mental image here- I am in full fancy dress, top to toe in black with white/grey face paintable looking quite like death walking, and the staff and customers of 53 degrees north are strolling around like its a Thursday of any given week.)

After a bit of chat with the lovely folk of 53 degrees north, I gather together my bag load of race packs, admire the fabulous purple of the Titan t-shirts again and rob a lovely staff member for a piccie.  (I do love my piccies, I do. ;) )



So there you have it.  A lovely clean Titan T-shirt (and a load more in the bag) ready to be trashed by the mudslingers. Together, We WILL make it through Hell and Back! *whimpers*

Good luck to everyone on Sunday!  Enjoy every minute of it and remember to prepare to bottle a bit of the feeling you get when you cross that finish line so you can open it up every now and again to remind yourself of the exhilaration, pain, tears, joy, torture and achievement. 

*crosses fingers that I can make it*

Toodles for now! 

Jen :) 

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