Mudderella makes Whistler debut 

Athletes tackle challenges on Blackcomb Mountain

click to enlarge PHOTO BY DAN FALLOON - all mud, no dud Three Mudderella participants celebrate after completing the obstacle course on Blackcomb Mountain on Sept. 26.
  • Photo by Dan Falloon
  • all mud, no dud Three Mudderella participants celebrate after completing the obstacle course on Blackcomb Mountain on Sept. 26.

It doesn't look like the clock will strike midnight on Mudderella anytime soon.

The first edition of the female-targeted muddy obstacle race was held on Blackcomb Mountain on Sept. 26 with hordes of competitors taking part.

Attendees ran, climbed, crawled and swung through the eight-kilometre obstacle course.

Lolyta Richards of White Rock said sister Nancy Steiger of Abbotsford signed her up for their four-person Momzillas team. Even with rain leading up to the event, Richards acknowledged she was a little concerned that the event might not live up to its dirty dubbing. The Down to the Wire obstacle, where participants got down to their hands and knees and slugged through the mud, changed that. it only got sloppier from there.

"My favourite part of the day was when we finally got to the obstacle where we got dirty," Richards said. "We actually had to get dirty. That was it. We were committed."

Even with a two-minute shower allotted to all competitors in the finish area, it wasn't going to do much good. Mudderella Village was a haven for slop and the results were shown in the Excalibur Gondola with mud caked to the cars' floors.

Some wondered if they'd even get to the point of no clean return, as one common refrain about the toughest part of the day was that the major challenge came early, as nearly the first half of the trek was uphill and left participants huffing.

"At that first hill, we were wondering 'Why did we sign up for this?'" Lauren Szlovicsak said with a chuckle while moving about to regain warmth.

She said completing the course left her and her 25-person To Infinity and Beyond team with a sense of accomplishment.

"You can do it. You just have to keep going," she said.

The day comprised a mix of adventure rookies and veterans. Richards had done the Rugged Maniac event at Surrey's Cloverdale Fairgrounds in August, noting it had its own set of challenges.

"That one was shorter with more obstacles and it was flat," Richards said. "It was a 5K and it had about 20 obstacles. They were probably a little more challenging. Some were and some weren't."

Cloverdale's Kelly Glendinning, of the Credo team, expected a slightly tougher challenge. Glendinning said her favourite obstacle came at the very end, as participants slid down a steep structure into some bone-chilling water at the end of the Hat Trick feature.

"It froze me to death, but I loved it," she said. "All the other ones were pretty easy, even for me, who had never done it before."

Glendinning described the team makeup as a "mixed bag," as many of the team members took part in the 2014 Tough Mudder, though she was not of that number. A friend, who she met at a cancer fundraiser, invited her to come out to her first adventure race. Still, she felt welcomed into the fold.

The sense of team was solidified for the 10-member Credo group, as participant Julia Cook suffered a leg injury while the team was trying to traverse its way downhill.

"We were way up high and it was a really bad spot. We all fell. I fell and then she fell down. Not sure if it's a ligament or if it's broken," said Glendinning. "We stayed as a team, got her off the hill and then we continued on."

For the section of the event in which she participated, Cook observed she'd prefer to see less time travelling from challenge to challenge.

"There's too much hiking in this one and not enough obstacles," Cook said. "There's not enough adrenaline on this one. There are a lot of people who come to do these things who are looking for that rush.

"It is a great day, I would do it again, but you've got to break it (the hiking) up a bit."

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