I went swimming in the Irish Sea yesterday.
In the Irish sea…. while it was snowing.
Sure why not…this year is about crazy adventures after all.
I guess the name of the race, RunaMUCK, kind of says it all. But let me describe the mayhem anyway…
The Runamuck Challenge is a “fun run” in County Kildare where crazy, adventurous, loony bins give up their saturday afternoon to run a 5km obstacle course. I use the word ”fun” with caution because it could arguably be called “Hellish” or even ”painful“. Participants spend up to an hour in almost sub-zero temperatures leaping over hay bales, over ditches, under nets, through rivers and tyres, down slippery slides into mud pools, through trees and wading through endless mucky pits filled with more mud than any pig could possibly care for!
I have to say that although it was fun and I would actually do it again, I must admit that I have NEVER been so cold in my life. And please note that this is coming from a girl who survived a winter in South Korea where temperatures drop to -25′c. A girl who ‘enjoys’ Christmas day swims and has lived in rainy Ireland most of her life. So when I say cold, I mean achingly, pain numbingly cold.
I was so cold when I crossed the finish line the young boy handing out bananas had to actually peel the skin off for me as my fingers had stopped working. I was *this close* to asking a random stranger to help take my soaking wet, mud drenched bra off as my hand wouldn’t stop shaking and I was willing to do anything to get some warm clothes on!
One of my friends informed me he was so cold upon crossing the finish line that when offered a small cup of tea or coffee he too both and instead of drinking them poured them over his frosty arms in the hope of warming up. I think poor toby was close to hypothermia, due to the fact that he had lost a battle with the mud in the first 1km and the thick, sticky mcuk had captured his trainers, causing him to have to run the full course BAREFOOT!!
At the finish line, groups of tired runners huddled around a burning mattress willing their bodies to warm up. As I stood over the same burning ring of fire, steam poured off my mud soaked legs and I felt a weird burning sensation…was I on fire?? I was so achingly cold and my legs were so numb I honestly couldn’t tell!! I stepped away from the fire anyway, just in case.
Besides the cold, it really was GREAT FUN. I loved the slides, the team spirit, all the crazy costumes, the smiling, the laughing, the crazy hokey pokey dancing at the start and finish line and the pure randomness of spending a day on a farm in the middle of Ireland “running a muck” through ploughed fields with about 5,000 other mad hatters.
Last weekend was the first weekend in 6 weeks that I had the pleasure of waking up at home, in my own bed, well rested, not hung over and with ABSOLUTELY nothing to do. The previous 6 weekends had been jam-packed with birthday parties, trips to Lanzarote, Kerry and Amsterdam and more drinking than I would like to admit.
A break was definitely needed.
However, after a full day of rest and one trip to the cinema on Saturday, levels of boredom and energy were simultaneously rising! I knew in my heart there was way no way I could stay around the house all day Sunday doing nothing.
Doing ‘nothing’ just isn’t in my blood.
A few minutes later and after much ‘googling’, I discovered the Kinsale 10 km Pink Ribbon Walk/Run in aid of Action Breast Cancer was taking place at 11 am the next morning and late registrations would be accepted before 11 am. BINGO. A few quick text messages to friends and I soon discovered I would not be alone on this Sunday outing as 4 of my other friends were also signed up for the walk. Thus my weekend of rest was no more!
We finished the 10 km leisurely walk (okay, so we did a SMALL amount of jogging, but nothing too strenuous!) in an hour and a half and were delighted at our little medals and free leg massage that we were rewarded with. It was also a brilliant chance to catch up with my friends and have some non drink related fun.
Next stop?? The Runamuck challenge 2013, which I’m doing in aid of The Hope Foundation on March 9th.
Bring on the mucky, muddy madness.
To start off my year of amazing outdoor adventures myself and 18 friends, mainly couchsurfers, booked an adventure weekend in Eclipse Equestrian and Adventure Centre in Kenmare, Co Kerry. I thought we were going to be doing some kayaking, some archery, horse riding and something known as mud surfing. However Athos, the owner, had a different, and much more physically challenging plan for the weekend!
Athos’ plan of action included an hours orienteering, an hour-long military style assault course, an hour testing our archery skills and an hour attempting the much-anticipated sport of ‘mud-surfing’! Besides from being tired, any leaving every muscle in my body in pain the next day…it really was the most fun I have had in a LONG time. Epic fun. Epic adventure. And of course amazing friends to share the experience with.
Instead of explaining it using words which won’t do it justice, I’m going to let the photos below do the explaining!