In regard to “organization,” I’d give Saturday’s Conquer the Gauntlet-Wichita somewhere between four and six out of ten. There was no one directing parking, the PA system used by the starting gate folks wasn’t working and the line to relief was twenty to thirty minutes long. Just for the record, eight portable units are not enough for eight hundred people. Of course there was always the option to just go over and stand near some bushes and pee right there in front of the entire gathered group. So far as I know, the wacko who came to race wearing nothing but athletic shoes and pink underwear was the only one who chose that option. The mere sight of that probably upped the need for the porta potties by another hundred people or more.
As we recovered from that spectacle, Randa and I noticed a heavy front loader/backhoe heading out on the trail. Our suspicion was that at least one of the intended obstacles were not yet ready for use at race time. Finishing up my Powerade Zero, I also discovered that there wasn’t a single trash can to be found on the premises.
On the other hand, registration went well, with four separate lines assigned according to your quarter-hour start time. Well, at least your intended start time. By the time my scheduled wave got going, we were about forty-five minutes behind schedule.
But all the other runners massed around me maintained a pretty good outlook on things and I decided to rise to the level of my surroundings and enjoy myself. No point ruining a perfectly good opportunity to play in the mud and gain a bunch of bruises by having a lousy attitude!
And so, by the time I’d slogged through a small pond and crossed a very mucky creek three times, I was definitely having fun! There were four or five obstacles that I simply didn’t have enough strength to complete. I managed to do all but the last two of about thirty rungs of the overhead gabled ladder. I barely even got started up a couple of others. Every time I fell from an obstacle there was a nice cushioning of water beneath me, including the very last challenge. On that particular one, that nice cushion of water was rather deep.
Even though I was quite tired and my arms burned from the exertion of the day, I was still able to swim. And even found enough reserve to pull myself up out of the water pit and make it to the finish line.
In life we may find some obstacles that require more strength than we think we have at that particular moment. Fortunately, there is a Source that provides more than what we have. And when we can no longer climb the way we intended to go, we may find ourselves swimming instead of climbing. As long as we get to the Other Side, we have conquered.
In fact, as long as we keep our integrity and our faith intact as we complete the race, we have become more than conquerors. No matter how sore we are the next day!