July 10, 2009
By: Victoria Jackson, Seminoles.com
Florida State’s student-athletes take strength and conditioning seriously and are some of the most physically-fit athletes you’ll find anywhere. So in early May, Florida State soccer’s Ella Stephan and her sister decided to put their strength to the test in a fun and interesting way when they participated in the “Muddy Buddy Challenge” in Orlando, Florida.
Ella, a sophomore, heard about the event from her sister Erica, an FSU student as well, and was really pumped and ready to start preparing. Held at Walt Disney World, the race consisted of running, biking, obstacles and well, of course, the mud crawl. This unique race was a two-person team effort with different age groups. The challenge began with a 3:00 a.m. wake up call but that didn’t squash the Stephan sisters’ enthusiasm. The ladies were still ready and excited to start!
The race started with one sister riding the bike while the other ran to the first obstacle, then they would switch events continuing on doing tough, but fun obstacles. Some of the obstacles included climbing up a wall and going down a rope on the other side, climbing up a huge inflatable slide and sliding down the other side, a stint on the balance beam followed by the ever-so-anticipated mud crawl. All the events required strength, endurance and an energetic attitude and the ladies sure gave it their all.
For Ella, after biking, running and going through obstacles, her favorite part of the race had arrived…the mud crawl. This was the final event of the challenge and Ella and Erica trekked and crawled through the mud to the finish line. Great fun indeed because how often do you have the opportunity to purposely drench yourself in mud?!
After 50 or so minutes of nonstop running, biking and crawling, the ladies crossed the finish line first to become the 2009 champions of the Muddy Buddy Challenge for their age group!
“I never really competed in races before so to do it with my sister and to win was pretty awesome,” Ella said.
As if the Muddy Buddy Challenge was crazy enough, all of the competitors were dressed up in costumes. Thing 1 and Thing 2, from Dr. Suess’s “Cat in the Hat” were Ella and Erica’s lucky choice of costumes.
Ella said she would definitely do the challenge again, because not only did she have a great time challenging others, but challenging herself as well.