Sloshing through a cold muddy ditch, swinging on a rope over a brown pit below, and army crawling through a trench of muck were just a few of the challenges tackled by a team of eight women from the Terrace Running Bears.
The tests were part of the Kitimat Mudder Games last weekend, the first event of its kind north of Prince George.
The Running Bears team included Marilyn Cooper, Kari Eisner, Shelby Kenny, Carla McColl and Nancy Ross, who are part of the local Running Bears who run together year round.
Three others, Dani Shinde, Lynn Kinney, and Lenay Smith, joined the group for the Mudder Games.
The games took just over an hour for the Terrace team, who swung, crawled, jumped, ran and climbed through 30 obstacles in an impressive eight kilometre course that was newly built in Kitimat this year.
The events were not timed, but were fun personal challenges, and Marilyn Cooper (dubbed ‘Mama Bear’ of the team) said they all had a blast.
“We totally would have done it again,” exclaimed Cooper. “I think we would have done it again right then, if they had said ‘go back out again,’” she said.
“It was awesome!”
It was very well-organized, the team added, saying there were lots of rest spots and dozens of volunteers giving directions and help at the stations.
One of the ladies said it was better than Mud, Sweat and Tears in Whistler.
And overcoming the challenge earned several of the Terrace women a great sense of accomplishment.
“I was glad I had accomplished it,” said Nancy Ross. “I was hesitant to go, I’ve never done anything like that, and I don’t like to be cold or wet,” she laughed, adding that it was fun.
Shelby Kenny said much the same.
“It was very empowering,” Kenny said. “I was totally out of my comfort zone. I didn’t think I would ever do that, or anything like that… It was a challenge for me, but I was so happy I did it,” she said.
“It was so much fun! Just a blast!”
The event was organized by the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce and Kitimat Leisure Services, prompted by an idea from city recreation coordinator Marcy Rice.
But it was too pricey for the district, until contractor Jack Oviatt took off with the idea, volunteering to build the massive 30 obstacles and host the event on his property.
It drew an impressive 232 people, mostly from Terrace, Kitimat and Prince Rupert, and organizers are already talking about next year, said Trish Parsons, executive director at the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce.