Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Fudder muckers

So you know those mud run/obstacle course events that are getting popular lately, like Tough Mudder? Well, I did a 5K one called The Stampede. And it was so fun! You enter as a team, and no one is timed, and the start times are staggered, to prevent huge back-ups at the obstacles- so you can be as relaxed or as intense as you desire. Since I was getting over a bad cold and my housemate has an injured back, our team (the Fudder Muckers) was definitely on the more relaxed side of the spectrum- although we did manage to complete all obstacles.  The first couple we designed to get you good and dirty- running through deep, thick mud and then wading across a muddy stream.  Most of the obstacles were fairly easy and involved climbing over things, but a couple were downright mean.  For one, you had a climb up a ladder into a large shipping container that was filled with ice water, wade across, and climb out the other side.  My legs were stinging, but judged by the shouts of "ow my nads!" I think the men suffered more on this one.  Some of the obstacles were super fun- a giant slip and slide down a hillside, and a section where you had to climb over abandon cars- it felt like a scene from a zombie movie.  For me and my spaghetti arms, the most difficult part was climbing over those wooden walls you always see in the boot camp scenes of military movies- luckily since it was a team effort I got a boost to help me reach the top.  The most evil obstacle was right near the finish...a trellis of wires, some of which electrified at 10,000 volts, over a mud pit- so the option was either to slither on your belly like a salamder underneath the wires, or just power through and get zapped- although nearly everyone who went for the run ended up falling into the mud anyways. I went for the slither but a wire brushed my back and I did get shocked, and it fucking hurt! I then burrowed so far down in the mud that it would be impossible to get grazed again.

Overall, it was a great day and I would definitely be up for another one- although not sure I could handle the full 20K version.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Ute muster!

It's been a while since I posted on this old thing, but I do have a tale worth telling. A few weeks ago, I attended a Ute Muster.  Not just any Ute Muster, but the biggest one around- the Deniliquin Ute Muster.  So, "ute" is short for utility vehicle, what we Americans would call a pick-up truck.  Therefore, a ute muster is a gathering of utes and the people that love them, complete with all sorts of country music and the type of activities you might associate with country music and pick-up trucks: bull riding, drag racing, tractor pulls, and more. It's also a great place to experience Australian bogan culture- a bogan being an Australian redneck.  My friend Molly and I scored some free tickets through a friend who works for a company that sells meat pies, because clearly such a food item would be marketed at a ute muster.  So we drove for a few hours and crossed the border into New South Wales for a weekend of bogan adventures.  Friday night we stayed in a hotel in town and caught the free shuttle to the Ute Muster, and it did not disappoint.  More pick-up trucks than I've ever seen, a country music concert, and a carnival featuring, of all things, a Bad Boys II themed ride (because if you wanted your carnival ride to be a tribute to Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, you'd obviously go with the sequel).  Yes, I rode it.  (need you even ask?) 

On Saturday, we drove onto the grounds but had to park in the "family" area since we weren't allowed in the "ute-only" area in Molly's little red car ( a blessing in disguise, as several ute muster regulars later told us that they always stay in the family lot since the ute-only lot is known as the "feral lot" due to rampant disgustingness).  It was a full day event, and I must say that the daytime activities were my favorite.  We saw the following events: tractor pull, whip cracking competition, chainsaw competition, tug of war, bull riding, drag racing, WWE-style wrestling, fighter plane flyover, and a horse riding demonstration, Oh, and a lot of souped up utes.  As night fell, we made some friends, drank by some bonfires, and eventually headed to the concert area to catch the 2012 Deni Ute headline act- Kelly Clarkson! Later we ended up at possibly the strangest after party ever in the feral lot- a whole bunch of people dancing to techno music blasting out of some sort of customized DJ ute. 
It ended up being a very fun weekend, and probably the most fun festival I've been to, well, ever. I liked the variety of activities (most festivals are music only) and I've gotta say that country folk are way more friendly and nice than your average Melbourne hipster. And I got to be in a world record for most people wearing blue singlets (tank tops) in one place! Good stuff!  Some pictures below.

we're too classy for this shuttle bus

whatcha gonna do
bull riding

the world record blue singlet count!
obvs we participated

the Deni Ute concert scene

drag racing
hello Ute Muster!