But in the end, only Bisaillon and Servant were able to participate in the Miner's Mayhem, as the other group members — Jason Roy and Anne M. Matte — were sidelined with injuries.
Servant, who lost 70 pounds prior to entering the race, said being part of the weight-loss group was extremely helpful.
“It meant a lot to me,” she said. “You have those days where you say 'No, I'm going to give up.' We're always there to encourage one another.”
Servant had not only Bisaillon, but her cousin, Chantal Seguin, at her side as she took on the Miner's Mayhem. The trio completed the race together in just over an hour and a half.
It wasn't easy, though. Servant said she remembers approaching the first wall set up for competitors to climb, and being nervous she wouldn't be strong enough to scale it.
“But then my cousin said 'Come on Joanne, you can do this,'” Servant said. “She kind of gave me a little boost to (get onto the first ledge) ... I got to the third one and anxiety got to me again, because I don't like heights either.
“She was right beside me. She just kind of took my arm. She said 'Let's go, we can do it.'”
When asked if she's proud of herself, Bisaillon — who lost 80 pounds prior to the race by working out six days a week and changing her diet — answered by saying “Freakin' right I am.”
She said the Miner's Mayhem was very challenging, as it featured some rough terrain and a lot of climbing. Bisaillon said she even saw some competitors vomiting from sheer exhaustion.
“Crossing that line, knowing that you did it, and working so hard, I cried,” she said. “But I'm very proud of myself, so it was good — very good.”
Bisaillon said she wants to enter the Miner's Mayhem next year with the goal of beating her time. Both women also have plans to enter the Dirty Divas Mud Run, which will be held at Adanac next month.
“I look forward to these things,” Servant said. “I've got to keep training. It's a new lifestyle that I didn't think I would enjoy.”