A tale of muck, sweat and tears

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Fancy running around in the middle of nowhere in the freezing cold, howling wind and driving rain while climbing over, under and through massive obstacles and wading through chest-high streams?

No, me neither. It sounds like one of those sadistic Japanese game shows Clive James used to almost wet himself laughing at on his TV show in the 1980s.

Why would anyone volunteer to do something like that? Well the boss, some of her hardy workmates and scores of other people paid actual money to do just that last Saturday in something called Badass Mucker. It was all smiles at the start, it always is at the beginning, even in weather that would cause just about every sport you could think of to be postponed.

Then off they went, over the hill and far away, working as a team to push, pull and drag each other around the muscle-jellifying course.

They passed the spectators’ tent (with me inside it holding the coats – what do you think I am, stupid?) after about 3km and were laughing their heads off, although that may have been down to hysteria brought on by the freezing conditions.

The trouble was one of the party had actually turned blue and was shaking so violently, most of her coffee ended up in the mud. I’m no doctor but that’s not a good sign. So we wrapped her in a foil blanket and took her back to the car.

A little while later and the boss waded through the ankle deep mud and crossed the finish line. She was there in body but was so cold and exhausted that her eyes were spinning around in opposite directions.

But she got her all-important medal and the most important thing was everyone got home safe and sound – frozen to the marrow, caked in mud and giddy as kippers – even if it took her about four hours to warm up properly after a life-affirming shower, buckets of hot drinks, the heating turned up so high the dog fainted and a good lie down. But the crowning glory came a few days later when pictures from the event taken by a very talented photographer appeared. We knew when the boss had spotted hers from the shriek and she loves it so much it’s her new profile pic on Facebook.