“I got my leg in a bag right there.” Derek Weida’s buddy turns to reveal a filthy, sneakered prosthetic lashed to an even dirtier pack.
That same pal was one of several who carried the one-legged Weida through the more challenging obstacles at Saturday’s military-style Tough Mudder event at the Beaver Creek ski area. Weida ran the same race last year, but the knee that took a bullet in 2007 in Baghdad didn’t hold up, and the 26-year-old Minnesota veteran had his leg amputated last fall.
His rehab was driven by one goal: to run the Tough Mudder again this year. He made it 6 miles before ditching the leg and moving onto crutches.
Hoisted to the top of a 10-foot wooden wall by his buddies, the burly, tattooed Weida straddled it and leaned down to hoist his teammates.
“Just living up to the spirit of Tough Mudder,” he said as he started toward the 17th of 24 obstacles in the 12-mile run.