Thursday, July 19, 2018

Mud and Water Challenge 2018, Maurik, NL

You all know by now that I have a crazy, Wonder Woman wife, right?!  I can't begin to tell you how much she amazes me to no end.  Just sit back and watch!

Once she heard there would be a Mud and Water Challenge in nearby Maurik (42 km away), she started getting excited, wondering if she should or shouldn't do it.  I, of course, piped up when I saw her excitement and said it sounded like she'd kick herself forever if she DIDN'T do it.


And that's when she started full-fledged training to get in shape, just a month before the 4+ km race with 42 obstacles.  The race part was a no-brainer, since she runs 5 km twice a week in 30 minutes.  But it was everything else that needed build-up...especially of her upper arms and body.

You couldn't have asked for a better day, warm and sunny!

This was the last race ("wave") of the day, starting at 5 p.m., for 90 participants,
parents with their 8-13-yr-old kids.
Legends (age 60+) were also invited but Astrid discovered at registration that she was the only one!

(EVM stands for Island of Maurik which is a recreation area on the Nederijn river.)

You can see how crazy this race was and why I couldn't document everything by NOT participating.
The 42 challenges ended at the podium that had to be climbed for the completion medal.

All good races start with a warm-up, of course...

And then they were off-n-running.

The good thing was there were options for conquering the obstacles.
If Astrid couldn't climb a hurdle, she could use the ladders available, which she did.

One of the first obstacles was hurdling the water tires.
Don't you love how Astrid refused to give up!

No sooner was one obstacle completed before she was faced with the next.

Lucky for me, I was still close enough to catch what she was doing.

Someone on Facebook called her GI Jane.  Another said Ninja Warrior.
I like that.  :)

After 5 or 6 attempts on this challenge, Astrid knew she could never make it...and so moved on.
There was nothing to grab onto while making a running start up the inflatible slide.

Way off in the distance I could capture this muddy slide but not while Astrid completed it.
She said she had to slide down on her butt.  HA!

By now you totally get why this is a "mud and water" challenge!
I waited half an hour here for Astrid to appear, enjoying the parents with kids who came first.

What a trooper!

Who says you can't enjoy playing in the mud!

Still smiling after that!

Astrid says this was the hardest of all 42 obstacles.
After crossing the horizontal rope ladder, you had to climb down the tires at the end.

Just when she decided she couldn't do it, a volunteer encouraged her,
telling her the easiest way to accomplish it was on hands and knees.  He was right.

At one of the obstacles she could NOT complete (not enough upper-body strength),
she stopped to chat and I joined her to give her a drink of water.
The volunteers said, "You're the Legend, aren't you!"

Off-n-running again.  No rest for the weary.

Here's another obstacle to which she said NO.  There were 7 of them she didn't even try.
She had made that commitment, which I applauded.
Know thyself.  NO means NO.

I loved the seesaw at the end of this one.

Up, down, up down, throughout this scaffolding maze... the final real mud and water challenge.

I can imagine how refreshing the water must have felt by then.

At that point I left for the Finish line to meet Astrid there,
capturing impressions along the way.

Look at that smile, 1.5 hours after she started the race.
For her it wasn't a competition against time or the others.
It was simply the "competition" to FINISH the race.

The last, 42nd obstacle of the race was to climb the podium and receive her medal.

The official portrait by the designated photographer
(with mud still on her face)!

Well done, Astrid.
You're the Wonder Woman Legend, the GI Jane and Ninja Warrior of them all.

P.S.  In Dutch the word for obstacle is almost the same as in English, except that the Dutch 
put the emphasis on the second syllable: ob-STA-kel.  Don't you love it!  :)

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Gorinchem's Memory Bricks

Remember when g'son Nicholas was with us in June and we tried to find the 27 Memory Bricks around our city's citadel center here in Gorinchem, NL?

You remember now, right?

The fun thing is that HE found most of them before we did.
What a fun memory.

Part of the fun was having a free guide provided by Gorinchem's tourist information center.
If you know the city, you can "picture" where these locations are.

On the back of the guide you get the descriptions of all 27 "bricks."
Except that there are really 30 bricks or more, truth be told....

and if you need further help, the dots on the citadel map might help?!
Also, there is a Facebook page called Memory Brick, helping with clues.

Okay.  This post is to document the bricks and get them "out there" for the record!

1.  CASSETTEBANDJE (cassette tape)

2.  TIEN GULDEN (10 guilders--before the euro)

3.  POTLOOD (pencil)

4.  TANDENBORSTEL (toothbrush)

5.  WASKNIJPERS (clothespins)

6.  MINISTECK (plastic mosaic)

7.  MOBIELE TELEFOON (mobile telephone)

8.  COMPUTERTOETSEN (computer keys)

9.  Vis (fish)


11.  POSTZEGELS (stamps)

12.  ASBAK (ashtray)

13.  VIJF GULDEN (5 guilders--before the euro)

14.  PAKJE SIGARETTEN (pack of cigarettes)

15.  PRINTPLAAT (motherboard)

16.  LUCIFERS (matches)

17.  GRAAFMACHINE (excavator)

18.  PIM PAM PET (letter/word game)

19.  MAB 1000 (amplifier?)

20.  GLOEILAMP (light bulb)

21.  KUNSTGEBIT (dentures with left and right eyes)

22a.  STOPCONTACT (electrical outlet)

22b.  STEKKERBLOK (outlet strip)

23a.  VISSPEL (fishing game)

23b.  HENGELS (fishing poles for the fishing game)


25.  BLOKHAAK (square tool)

26.  ?????????????????????????  No clues to help us.
(no one has found this brick yet!)
[ADDENDUM:  I found out on FB that this is near the ant/sand on the citadel map above,
but it's the only hint and no one has found it yet.]

27. DISKETTEBOX (box of diskettes)

????  This is NOT #26 but also is not on the list.  
(The Facebook man behind the bricks has not gotten back to us on it.) 
[ADDENDUM:  I found out on FB that this originally had #21 on it by mistake,
so the number was removed, making it now a "bonus" brick.]
Someone else has found these Flippos and put it on the FB site.  Not on the list.
(I have no idea where it is...not my photo.)
[ADDENDUM:  I found out on FB that this was a fun prank made by a fan.]

Also, there is a #00, supposedly, of a film roll.
Someone else has found it, obviously (on the FB site).
No clue as to where it is.
[ADDENDUM:  I found out on FB that this brick is between #20 and the toy airplane,
outside the city walls.  When we find it, I will post it here.]

My/our goal is to find them all, of course.  
But without clues on the ones we don't have, it's really a wild goose chase, I'm afraid.
Just glad we have these...with the fun memory of Nicholas helping us!

BTW, this has become a famous thing for our city, 
bringing people from other cities to do the hunt.  It's become a huge family outing.