This is an article I wrote for 24-7prayer. Enjoy! ~ Rebecca
|L-R: Clint Dunning, Jennifer Manly and Adam Manly|
I thought I knew what the three members of Team Abolition, our grass roots team dedicated to raising funds for Just24 and awareness about human trafficking, were heading into when they took on the Tough Mudder on June 26th, but I was in for a few surprises. Namely that the race was not 8 but 10 miles long, there were 26 instead of 24 obstacles and that I would be spending the next 3+ hours on different means of transportation and forging around the mountainside on foot to stay ahead of them.
|Clint and Adam finishing "kiss the mud"|
The challenge which took place in Vail, Colorado is dubbed, “Iron Man meets Burning Man” by the founder, a Brit, named Will Dean. The first thought as you enter the teaming masses is that you have stumbled upon a sub culture that is one part brilliant business plan and one part fantastical community. Costumes are a plenty, including chicken suits, men in speedos and bow ties… well you get the picture. It’s not all fun and games though as the Tough Mudder has donated over 1.3 million to the Wounded Warrior Project and its British counterpart.
I was happy to see that despite the madness, Will Dean, had noticed our abolitionist jerseys and the 24-7prayer.com website on them before he met me for our interview and was planning to check it out. After discussing the event and human trafficking, I raced towards the starting lines were they were about to, according to Dean, “test toughness, fitness, strength, stamina, and mental grit all in one place and all in one day.”
|Adam and Jen on "Mount Everest"|
Every twenty minutes a group of 500 hundred competitors surged down the hill and began the grueling challenges, most which included rank mud and ice cold water. One such event required navigating through chest high water that was only 36 degrees and swimming under barrels. After such events, hypothermia blankets were handed out and many quit the race.
I was able to locate Clint Dunning and Adam Manly & Jennifer Manly, members of Team Abolition, in the mountains at 8 obstacles including a mud crawl under 8 inch high barb wire and a full body plunge into ice water. I also caught up with them as they navigated a cargo net across a river before heading up a black diamond ski slope with nets.
|Clint getting zapped with live wires|
At the end of the day, Team Abolition defied not only icy fire hoses but the 30% drop out statistic with all three of them finishing together by running through dangling live wires pulsing with 10,000 volts. I think being a spectator and hanging with the crowds was probably more fun than being in the race; however I’ve been coerced along with about 10 others to join in the next event. I’d better start training now.
Thanks for reading