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Mudderella lends Grand County women personal strength

Courtesy photo
Staff Photo |

Running up a mountain isn’t exactly everyone’s idea of fun. But on Aug. 22 a number of women from Grand County headed to Snowmass Ski Resort near Aspen to do exactly that as they participated in the 2015 Snowmass Mudderella event.

A Mudderella is a multi-mile obstacle course where participants work together to overcome their own personal limits as well as the prepared obstructions. The Mudderella events are similar to the more well known “Tough Mudder” events, except a Mudderella is for women only with a greater emphasis on working together and women supporting women to complete the course. The Mudderella organization plans a number of events throughout the year in the U.S., Canada and Australia.

Nearly two-dozen women from Grand County headed to Snowmass to take part in the Mudderella. Three different groups from the county participated with the largest group being Team Mountain Beast.

The Mountain Beast team was organized by Penny Cox and Kelly Lutz, both members of the Mountain Beast gym in Granby, from which the team derived its name. Cox and Lutz work together and after seeing advertisements for the Mudderella decided they wanted to join in the fun.

“The organizers suggested setting up a team,” said Cox. “And we thought, ‘how cool would it be to set up a team of ladies and bring all these different women together for a great cause.”

Mudderellas help raise money for charities that support victims of domestic violence. Mountain Beast Team organizer Penny Cox could relate to the cause. Cox said she has experienced domestic violence in the past in her own life.

“So it was personal to me as well,” she said.

Cox coaches the Spirit Squad at Middle Park High School and oversees the Granby Rec District’s Wolverine Mini-cheer program; so cheering on her lady comrades was an easy transition.

Cox and the other women started the Mudderella at the base of Snowmass before breaking down into three different groups to navigate the course. The ladies all came together at the end to cross the finish line as a team.

Each of the 20 women on the Mountain Beast Team was there for their own reasons, from seeking fun to testing their limits.

“As a woman it is important to do something for yourself to see how strong you are,” said Mountain Beast Team member Stacey Deits. “Not physically but mentally, because I think a lot of that course was more a mental challenge than a physical one.”

Deits explained the most difficult part of the course was not the obstacles, but rather the relentlessly uphill trail.

“Going through as a team was the important part, though,” she said. “That is what this was all about; coming together as a team and helping teammates complete the course.”

Her sentiments were echoed by fellow team member Mariana Beard.

“I think the best thing was to have a group with you, to feed off other people’s energy,” Beard said. “To give someone energy who is at the end of their strength is a great thing.”

Beard said she thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to meet so many other women and work through the obstacles with her teammates.

Nineteen-year-old Dallas Lester, the youngest member of the team to participate in the full course, also took great joy in the cooperative and supportive spirit espoused by Mudderella. Lester said the most memorable moment overall in the event for her was the end.

“I think the best moment was when we all came back together at the end,” she said. “Even though we all did it at different rates we all came together before we crossed the finish line. We got to hear how people struggled and got through the obstacles.”

Lester said she participated in the Mudderella for fun and to test her own physical training but said she knew many women who have dealt with domestic violence.

“When you look around out there you don’t know why anyone else is running but you know they are there for a reason,” she said. “It was enlightening to get to experience other people’s stories that way.”


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