LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC — Caked brown with mud, about 3,000 participants climbed, swam, crawled, ran and fought their way through the gunk at the Ultimate Challenge MudRun in Gaston on Saturday.
The water took your breath away every time, said Quentin McClure, 23, of Columbia.
McClure participated in the challenge for the first time on Saturday in a team with three of his friends.
The challenges caused complete submergence under very mucky water, said Sarah Bollinger, who was on McClure's team.
After the challenge the mud lingered.
I can feel it crusting on my face, said Veronica Farrell, a 20-year-old University of South Carolina student.
Her legs and hands were tingling after the race because they were raw from jumping on logs and other obstacles, she said.
The last obstacle was for the guys in the group, McClure and Matt Isenhower, to carry the ladies across.
It was a little uncomfortable, but they're going through more pain, Farrell said.
Farther down the course, Ryan Nissen, a 21-year-old Marine from Myrtle Beach, barked orders at participants as they climbed under logs through mud, of course.
The lower you get, the faster you go, he shouted.
Nissen said he experienced the same kind of obstacles in boot camp only with drill instructors yelling at him.
Get out of my house, Nissen yelled at the brown and drippy runners.
He lost his voice in the first hour, he said.
Just past one of the first muddy fields, two Calhoun County Emergency Medical Services workers sat to help wash mud out of people's eyes.
We're here to help the survivors when they make it out, T.C. Collier said.
Reach Cope at (803) 771-8657.