Girl’s Weekend: Getting down and dirty at Mudderella in Snowmass
posted by: Amber Johnson
Mile High Mamas participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Mudderella. We received complimentary admission to facilitate our review as well as a promotional item to thank us for our participation.
When I was invited to compete at Mudderella in Snowmass with three friends, my first thought was GIRL’S WEEKEND. I’ve never done a girl’s-only getaway and it was the perfect motivation to stay in shape this summer while training for this 5-7-mile athletic event series that encourages being strong, having fun and enjoying the day with your gal pals. I asked my friends Lisa, Kendra and Tiffanie to join me and the hundreds of other women having the Ultimate Girl’s Weekend in Snowmass!
We dined slopeside on Venga Venga’s deck overlooking Snowmass Mountain and were thrilled to have a bird’s eye view of the Mudderella course. I surveyed an A-frame with ropes, small tunnels and mud pits. “That doesn’t look so bad,” I observed. My friend Kendra countered, “I think that is the [Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder] kid’s course.” Next time, I’m entering as a kid.
I haven’t spent much time in the mud beyond hosing off my children at the end of a summer’s day so I didn’t know what to expect. The night before, we received a text message from organizers boasting this was one of the toughest mountain courses they’d ever designed. I’m sure that might excite some people, but I shared my rules with my teammates to accommodate my irascible right knee: “I have no problem running on flats or on descents but I am not running uphill.” These were my final words as a sane person.
The next morning, we checked in to get our bibs, armed ourselves with STRONG tattoos (it helps when you take the plastic off before applying), drew purple war paint under our eyes and joined the tutu- and boa-clad women in our heat to stretch. Our Team “In Dirt ‘Til the End” (a play on “Endure ’til the End”) started in a slow jog until we realized the relentless course started uphill and, if you will recall, that was against my edict. We slowed our pace down to a brisk hike until we reached Upper Snowmass Village Mall where we jogged through a parking lot until we were greeted with a serpentine trail up the mountain.
I was miserable for the first 1.5 miles as I inwardly fumed “I am tired. Whose idea was this?! Oh wait, mine.” I was apprehensive about keeping up with my younger and faster teammates who kindly kept pace with me. It wasn’t until after our first couple of muddy obstacles that I started to come out of my fog. “Yes, it’s steep but you love hiking. And you’re in the mountains with your friends. And it’s beautiful. No one is stressed but you so just have fun with it.”
And fun we had. The obstacles were my favorite part of the event. We climbed up Tough Tatas (wall climbing with ropes), did the Downward Dog across a trench of mud, had a Surprise Party like no other where we waded through waist-deep muddy waters, navigated Wheels in Motion and got Down to the Wire as we army crawled through mud. I felt much stronger and capable the longer we competed and was on a muddy high as we got down and dirty.
As we neared the end of the course, we encountered a structure that was like a miniature Haunted House of Bubbles. Excited to slip ‘n slide through it, I ignored the signs not to crawl and did just that, banging up my bad knee on a large rock hidden underneath. Tip: If you’re going to get hurt, make sure to do it on the body part that is already injured.
I half-limped/ran the rest of the course to the final obstacle, the Hat Trick. Spectators lined the bleachers as they cheered us up the daunting two-story cargo net wall and we then shot down a slippery, steep slide into a muddy pool. We raced to the finish line, soaking wet, exhausted and exuberant.
Would I do Mudderella again? Absolutely. Would I train more? Most definitely. But was it the best girl’s weekend ever? You’d better believe it.
We dropped our kids at school on Friday and drove to Aspen. None of us had ever visited the iconic Maroon Bells in the Elk Mountains but from mid-June to October 4th, they can only be accessed by public bus ($6) between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. We parked at Aspen Highlands and were delighted when our quirky shuttle driver gave a fascinating history of this glacial valley surrounded by 14,000-foot peaks. We took a leisurely stroll along the Maroon Lake Scenic Trail past the creek through fields of wildflowers, vowing to return when we had more time.
Once back in Aspen we toured the downtown area, marveling at the fountains, eateries, galleries and high-end boutiques brimming with treasures we could never afford while having a blast pretending we could. We drove 20 minutes to Snowmass and checked into Timberline Condominiums, where our specious slopeside three-bedroom condo with a full kitchen had all the fixings and easy access to everything Snowmass had to offer.
Several of my friends recommended Richard Sandoval’s Venga Venga Cantina and Tequila Bar for dinner. Conveniently located in Snowmass Village, this affordable (by Aspen standards) Mexican restaurant was The Place for a hoppin’ night out as legions of Mudderellas gathered to eat, drink and be [exceedingly] merry (note: the restaurant’s 75 Tequilas and mezcals may have had something to do with that). My non-drinking group was all about the food–from the guacamole prepared tableside to the Chicken Zarape (with bacon, panela, pico de gallo, cotija and chipotle sauce), to the Carne Asada (grilled Harris Ranch hanger steak, rajas, chimichurri, chile morita sauce and a sweet corn tamale). For dessert, we may have ordered one of everything–churros, flan, banana empanadas and coconut ice cream.
In our defense, we burned those calories (and more the next day).
Mudderella has 9 US and two Canadian events planned for 2015 and fingers are crossed it will return to Colorado next year. Be sure to check out www.Mudderella.com for all the latest info. Use the code MUDDBLOGGER20 and receive 20% off any 2015 US Mudderella event!