#TeamWheaties #World’sToughestMudder #WTM2014 @ToughMudder #LasVegas #TheStrip #Venetian #determination #discipline #perseverance #RunTheRaceSetBeforeYou #WhatATrip
They usually read something like this. That is, the tweets, the Instagram posts, the Snapchats, the Facebook posts in the past six days. Almost every post was followed by a minimum of three and on upwards of six or eight hashtags of words that represented our experience. However, in this social media clad world, a hashtag does an injustice to the World’s Toughest Mudder. And not necessarily the race itself, but the trip. The journey, the mudders, the Pit Crew, the two-hour dust storm, Lake Las Vegas, the men from Team Wheaties, and the week we had in Henderson near Lake Las Vegas, Nevada.
As it’s always hard to know what to expect heading into a new journey, a vacation with five strangers, a week away from home and work, it’s amazing and rewarding when you come out on the other end. This trip was an unbelievable experience, a once-in-a-lifetime, never forget, didn’t want to leave, kind of moment. I thought the 24-hour race itself would be an adventure and it was. On top of that, I learned a lot about myself, about the four young men I was traveling with, and even had a few winks in there to know I was doing the right thing.
I was given the opportunity just a few short weeks prior to the race to join Team Wheaties in Las Vegas for the 2014 World’s Toughest Mudder race as part of their Pit Crew. The team consists of Andrew, Alex, Kent, and Michael, and their coach Ryan. My duties in the Pit Crew included: planning and preparing food for the 24-hour race, helping with changes in gear and equipment for the athletes, taking photographs and posting live on social media, and scouting other teams while keeping an eye on timing and logistics for the race course. I realize that sounds like a lot and even looks like a lot after I typed it. I knew this was a challenge I was up for and could confidently handle the race set before me. When the team was interviewing me they questioned why I wanted to do this. From the beginning, it was 100% about the team. I planned to do everything in my ability so these young men could have the best race possible.
Their goal was no small feat. With a corporate sponsorship in hand, prize money on the line, and 100+ days of intense training under their belts, the goal was clear: come out on top. The emotions rose and nerves became tense as we headed into registration on Friday before race day. More than anything, the energy sky-rocketed. From registration and setting up the pit, to the Carb Load dinner and guest speakers, and to the pre-race strategy meeting in the hotel, the adrenaline and positivity grew. The race was off in no time and we immediately started a 24-hour countdown. They were physically, emotionally, and mentally tested through all 13 laps and 65 miles the team completed. Not to mention the countless obstacles and calories consumed. Team Wheaties proudly came out in 4th place out of 38 teams, ahead of the 1st and 2nd place teams from the prior year. This was considered a victory.
What I saw in these men was discipline, mental toughness, endurance, heart, friendship, encouragement, and a never-give-up attitude. They fought until the end. Their bond with each other, especially on the course, was strong. They are the true definition of teamwork and their motto is One Team, One Dream. I know they will soon go back out on the course as One Team, Same Dream and I look forward to seeing their achievements. I am so honored to be a part of this experience and will never forget.