Unionville >> It was time to get down and dirty at the Plantation Field as nearly 5,000 people came out for the 2014 Mudderella PA Aug. 16.
The event, part of eight held across the United States and the United Kingdom, challenged women of all ages to a 12-obstacle mud run, not to mention the miles of running and walking between them all, which took the participants across the entire expanse of the field.
“My expectation was that I was going to die,” said Denise Baylor, 42, of Danville, Pennsylvania. “I didn’t know that I was actually going to be able to finish it and do all the obstacles. I was a little concerned that I would have to cheat on some of them, but I feel I really did own my strong today by being able to finish every obstacle and the whole course.”
She didn’t do it alone, as friend Sheila Kramer, who turns 40 in two weeks, also made the three-hour trek to do it by her side.
“We had a bunch of people starting out saying they were going to do this and we’re the only two,” Kramer said. “To do it together was pretty encouraging.”
They were just two of the hundreds of women — and some men, who had to be invited by a lady — who turned out for the event.
States across the mid-Atlantic, including Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Ohio and Washington, D.C., were represented by participants to support the cause.
Mudderella, which is roughly five to seven miles long with muddy obstacles in between, is designed by women to “own your strong” and empower women to take pride in their strength inside and out.
Mudderella is partners with Futures Without Violence, a national non-profit organization trying to prevent and put an end to domestic violence by developing innovative programs and policies.
Anyone who signed up to partake in Mudderella was also encouraged to raise money for Futures Without Violence and by the end, over $42,000 was collected.
Kramer and Baylor went through with the run to empower themselves, as the motto says.
“(We wanted) to own our strength,” Kramer said. “It’s our first mud run and first official run. Our whole goal was to finish it. We did every obstacle and finished.”
It didn’t come without some struggles, of course, but they did have fun along the way.
“My favorite obstacle was the water,” Kramer said. “I don’t know if it was because it was fun or because it was over.”
The two have been training together since they live close to each other.
“I’ve been training since April,” Baylor said. “I would definitely do this again. It’s awesome.”
Now, the duo from Danville can look back with pride at everything they accomplished and how they proved to each other and themselves their strength.
“It was very trying and you really did have to own your strong,” Kramer said. “We had to encourage each other. We’re the only two on our team because everybody else backed out. It’s been very rewarding.”
Contact Candice Monhollan at 610-235-2652.