Plantation Field was quite a scene this weekend as it played host to "Tough Mudder," a grueling and aptly named obstacle course that drew hundreds of hardy athletes.
I drove by twice on Saturday and saw packs of filthy-dirty competitors tackling several of the obstacles, included clambering over mounds of piled-up round hay bales, scaling a sheer vertical climbing wall, plunging into icy water, and climbing up what looked like a steep water slide. Between obstacles they jogged with their team-mates along the mowed paths. In one part of the course right along Route 82 they were instructed to "carry a fellow mudder," which many did, switching places halfway through. A lot of the men were bare-chested despite the 58-degree temperature.
"When was the last time you earned your beer?" asked one sign posted along the course.
Strangely, the athletes seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely; even more strangely, I have to admit that some of the obstacles looked like a lot of fun, were it warmer, sunny and not drizzling.
School buses were shuttling the athletes back and forth from the main parking area at the Willowdale crossroads, and police officers were stationed at Green Valley Road and Apple Grove Road for traffic control. Tapeworm Road was closed because to get to the western part of the course, the competitors had to cross it.