The Starting Line

Today’s Writing 101 writing assignment:

We’re all drawn to certain places. If you had the power to get somewhere — anywhere — where would you go right now? For your twist, focus on building a setting description.


Two of my favorite places are the start and the finish of a run.  These two places can be very, very close to each other in space but they are really very, very far apart in every way that matters.

The starting line of my first mud run (which was also my first race of any kind) was a pretty terrifying and exhilarating place.  There was a group of perfect, could have been model girls off to the right all in matching running outfits all doing pushups and lunges and other warm up type stuff in unison that seemed pretty official and intimidating to someone who had never even run a 5K before.  Was I supposed to be warming up or something?

There were big, muscly guys also warming up and yelling encouragement to each other.  Um, I’m barely over 5 foot and way too little and un-muscled to be doing this.  What was I thinking?

The starting line was like a holding pen, lots of people standing close together, all of them kind of bouncing and moving in place somehow while waiting for the cannon to signal them to start running.  Looking past the starting line all I could see was dirt and mud.  No obstacles in sight, how far was I going to have to run before I could stop and climb something?

There was a couple standing next to me in t-shirts and work out pants like me.  I asked them how many of these they had done, none.   Yay, I wasn’t the only one!

Just like anywhere else I found that the more I talked to people the more people talked to me and come to find out there were a lot of first timers there.  I think you could literally feel the nervousness in the air.  But as we talked we started to feel like old friends pretty quick and to relax.

And the people who had done a mud run before all had the same thing to say.  You’re going to love it!  Just wait, you’ll want to sign up for another one as soon as you’re done, don’t worry people will help you if you need it, on and on not a negative word from anyone.

You could smell dirt, sweat, and tension in the air.  Don’t ask me what that smells like, but you’ll know it when you smell it.

Then the count down began.


Why did I sign up for this?


What was I thinking?


Didn’t they say there would be barb wire and electricity?


How cold is water with ice in it anyways?


I better move up to the front so I at least don’t start off last


Should I have worn shorts?


Should I have worn longer pants?


I can actually feel the excitement in the air like the electricity after a lightning strike


This is going to be awesome