Saturday, February 28, 2009

Swamp Romp 2009

I haven't been up to much lately, so I'll turn this post over to Zac's exploits. Today was the annual Swamp Romp over at Kaneohe Marine Corps Base. The trail is about six miles long with mud pits and stretches of swamp along the way. It was a team run, where each team consisted of six runners and the whole team had to cross the finish line together. I think the only requirement was that each team had at least one active-duty service member, but many of the teams consisted entirely of service members. Zac's team consisted of five other guys he works with, one being a civilian contractor. I decided to go and provide moral support, because, well, that's what I do.

Zac and I woke up at 4:30 and hopped in the car at 5:00 to go pick up a fellow team member. We drove the 35-40 minutes over to Kaneohe and met up with the rest of the team. Apparently I was the only spouse/girlfriend/child/friend of our team who was nuts enough to get up that early in the morning to sit around and wait for guys to run through mud. I'm glad I did go, however, as I was able to play photographer.

The race actually started around 7:00, but due to the large number of teams it took quite a long time to get through all the checking-in processes. (Hence our need to get up so dang early.) You know how I mentioned that each team had six people? Well, there were 344 teams.


6 per team x 344 teams = 2064 crazy ass people who want to run through mud on a Saturday morning.

A lot of teams were wearing their old camouflage pants and team t-shirts, but a few groups got creative and fun and wore matching costumes or outfits. One group wore suits and ties, another group wore bib overalls. One group of guys wore muumuus. One team of Marines consisted of two female members and four male members - they all wore matching pink spaghetti strap tank tops with their camo pants. For as ripped as those Marine men were, I don't think anyone was going to give them crap about wearing pink tank tops. Here are our guys:

Project for next year: A brighter, more colorful team t-shirt. Notice the duct tape holding down their pockets. Their boots were taped, their pockets were taped. Mud in pockets = extra weight when running. Mud in boots = icky.

Instead of having everyone start at the same time, thereby clogging the course, they staggered the start time letting three teams leave every 30 seconds or so. Here's five of our six starting out - I didn't plan on my shutter taking so long to click so accidentally cut out one of the team members:

That's my guy, rocking the 159 number. He also was charged with having the tracking chip strapped to his boot. He performed admirably. The course started and ended at the same location, but most of the course was out of sight so after the race started I just had to wait until they showed up at the end. About 90 minutes later, here they are finishing up:

While it looks like they are assisting a wounded comrade, they are actually in the process of linking arms. You had to have linked arms to cross the finish line if you wanted your time to count. Here they are, proud of themselves:
Smartly, the fire brigade was there to hose down the participants when they were done. Zac heads into the spray to clean up:

The guys did well. They seemed happy with their time and, more importantly, they had a good time. Zac is already looking forward to next year. I'm going to try to convince him they need some cool t-shirts, if not pink tank tops.
Kisses for the victor.

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