Who are the Scrambled Legs, you ask? They are a team of athletic coaches that competed in a Tough Mudder Competition in Arlington at Veridian Park. Comprising Jared Connaughton, DeAnn Hall, Sha’Dare McNeal and Mike Vincent, the team worked together to conquer various obstacles such as the “Pyramid Scheme,” where they had to form a human pyramid by standing on top of each other’s shoulders against a muddy, wet 24-foot wall set at an incline. The objective: to climb up each other and over the top of the wall.
Connaughton, a former Olympian; McNeal, a former Division I athlete; Vincent, who has competed in 50-60 mud runs and adventure races over the years as well as multiple triathlons, including one Ironman; and Hall, a distance runner, were well prepared for the competition and in peak shape.
“When your shoes get wet or caked with mud and you’re running on uneven terrain, nothing is easy!” Hall said. “My favorite obstacle was similar to the Warped Wall on American Ninja Warrior where you have teammates and strangers above helping pull you over.
“Having two daughters … for them to see me push through and finish something like this, I hope I’m showing them that they are strong and they can do anything they put their minds to,” Hall continued. “They were so excited to hear my stories and to talk about the obstacles.”
Other obstacles involved swimming underneath barrels floating on the river’s surface, plunging into frozen water filled with ice, negotiating/clambering over a long series of mud hills separated by troughs of water, and running through electric wires and attacking obstacles called “Kong” and Funky Monkey.”
Finishing the course was exhilarating for McNeal. “I have never pushed my body to do something of this nature and was very proud of myself and my colleagues,” she said. “I have always been a person who signs up for activities, but never trains. I knew I had to approach this one differently. I ran 3 miles a day the week before, but I do stay pretty active playing beach volleyball and that, indeed, helped with endurance.”
Vincent’s personal training involved a lot of longer runs. “I’d do 8-12 miles at a time and combined that with interval training on the track,” he noted. “I also like to do a lot of pushups and pullups when I can.
“This was the first time I have competed as a team, and I really enjoyed the camaraderie and fun,” Vincent continued. “I’m already signed up for next year!”