My daughter and I stood among several other parent-child teams at the starting line of the Big Muddy Challenge on Saturday. The energy was high, as we were talked through a series of warm up exercises and a “Big Muddy” cheer. And then we were off!
Through two miles, we ran, crawled through mud, sloshed through ponds, and climbed over walls (The kids were allowed to crawl under the walls, but not my little firecracker - up and over she went!).
We raced through a field of giant hay bales, hoisting ourselves and boosting our kids over them. The kids led their adult partners blindfolded through a corn maze. We struggled up a steep hill for the chance to sit down for just a second, as we slid down the giant tube slide at Hill Ridge Farms. Finally, we held hands through a dark tarp-covered area where hidden sprinklers rinsed us off - sort of - before we crossed the finish line.
I’ve done several mud runs and obstacle races in the past, and every one requires some form of teamwork - a boost over a high wall or a hand to pull you up when you can’t quite make it - but this is the first time I’ve gotten to share that teamwork with my daughter. What a great bonding experience for teams of parents and kids!
I’m not a fast runner, so I’ve never really competed in these races for time - for me it’s all about that sense of accomplishment, knowing I can complete all of the challenges. Doing so alongside my daughter was a fantastic way of helping her realize that same empowering feeling.
We ran along with several other members of Single Parents of the Triangle, so it was also great fun (and maybe a little competition) being with friends. Many other group members, friends, and family came out to cheer us on.
It was a great location, as the attractions at Hill Ridge Farms were open for racers, siblings and friends to enjoy for the day. We spent much of the rest of the day there feeding animals, bouncing on the giant pillow, and playing in the hay.
I wish our cheering squad could have seen more of the race, but we ran far from the general attractions area and spectators were not allowed to follow the course. There were photographers at most of the obstacles, however, and I look forward to seeing what kind of shots they got. There are a few fun pictures of us already on the WRAL Sports gallery.
Overall, it was an amazing, exhausting day. I look forward to the next one, and maybe one day running with both of my children. I can’t think of a better way to strengthen the bond between parent and child than by completing something challenging and fun - together.
Stacy Lamb of Apex is the divorced mom of two. She is an active member and former organizer of Single Parents of the Triangle. Find her here monthly.