So the Tough Mountain Challenge at Sunday River is this Saturday and we wanted to be ready.

All-the-way ready.

Ready to Rambo through the mud, scraping our elbows in the dirt. Ready to whack our shins on bamboo sticks and like it. Ready to fling ourselves through a fiery ring in front of an appreciative crowd, collapse in a smoking heap, weakly hold up two fingers in a V and whisper in a barely audible croak, We did it, Ma, we did it.


We’re in no actual physical shape for any of the above. Except the hurling-oneself-through-a-fiery-ring part. Because how hard can that be, with the right outfit?

The actual challenge tomorrow is a 5K test divided into 10 sections, including Hurricane Alley, Trench of Terror, Tourist Trap’s Slip/Slide & Die and, our favorite, Ring of Fire. (You thought we were making it up, right? Ha! We laugh at your doubt and the formidable danger.) To assemble the clothes able to handle all that and more — from scratch — Bag Lady and Shopping Siren hit Jo-Ann Fabrics this week for all but one necessity.

Because to tackle Slip/Slide & Die, one has to be properly prepped.

Note to fellow shoppers: Always, always poke around online for a Jo-Ann’s coupon first.

— Costume black pleather, $6.29/yard

Sleek, wipable, looked water resistant. We’re thinking Hurricane Alley. Or Slip/Slide & Die. Or the Trench of Terror. Really, this stuff is versatile.

— Costume silver foil pleather, $10.49/yard

Similar to the pleather above, but wildly shiny. Aim yourself well and temporarily blind your opponents with the sun, then sprint ahead for the win! There’s nothing in the rules against it. That we could find. (Not that we looked.)

— Lime green swim and dance spandex, $14.99

Aerodynamic, eye-catching. Hello, Suicide Sprint.

— Sport and ripstop nylon, $6.99/yard

Orange, red, black. Makes the perfect windbreaker for dealing with Hurricane Alley: expendable.

— Printed mesh, $3/yard

Hunter green meshy fabric with subtle purple and blue flowers printed on it. As close to camouflage as we could find. Toss it over your head and tackle the Trench of Terror, blending into the forest with ninja skill. All the really cool ninjas wear green mesh with flowers.

— Sticky back Velcro, 18 inches, $4.29

Not adept at sewing? No problem. These Velcro strips allow you to fashion a Tough Mountain Challenge outfit in no time and without picking up a needle or thread. Though if you were the sort to take the easy way out in life, you probably wouldn’t have signed up for the challenge in the first place. Right?

— HD Vision Ultra Sunglasses, no price

These “As Seen On TV” glasses promise to give you a high-definition view of the world. We don’t know how. We also don’t know the price since these glasses weren’t marked with anything but a 10-percent-off sign. Still, we figure they’re worth checking out for the Mud Crawl. Proposed new marketing slogan: “Dirt like you’ve never seen it before.”

— Flame-retardant Orange Sensuous Suede,, $37.43/yard

We had no nonflammable luck at Jo-Ann’s, but found a booming flame retardant material market online. We needed something for our Ring of Fire custom lederhosen/bikini top.

Best find: Adjustable pirate hat, 50 cents

Intimidate your opponents with this sinister black hat emblazoned with a skull and crossbones. Look fierce, feel fierce, race fierce. We’ll be cheering you on from the shade.

Think twice: Strawberry Shortcake fleece, $7/yard

Way too powder puff for this romp. If you want to wear Strawberry Shortcake, try a regular ol’ 5K. 

Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who feel like they singe easily) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected]

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