I'm pretty much a sucker for anything that sounds weird but also physically challenging. A buddy of mine suckered me into trying Crossfit while I was deployed to Iraq and I've been hooked ever since. A another buddy of mine coerced me into signing up for the Urbanathlon in Chicago even though I hate running! Now that same buddy suckered me into competing into my first Tough Mudder race this coming October. Great friend, huh?
I've still got plenty of time to train, so I'm not stressing……yet. Recently, my new junior advisor Tyler couldn't wait to compete in his first Tough Mudder. Personally, I'm glad he went first so I could get a good sense if I have a chance to survive. Here's his recap of the race. And yes, he's the one wearing the Batman costume. 🙂
Is it base jumping?
Or is it running 12 miles through mud, water, sand, uphill, downhill, over 12'ft walls, under barbed wire, through fire, jumping in ice water and being shocked by 10,000 volts of electricity?
For me, it's the last one!
Tough Mudder, advertized as
“Probably The Toughest Event On The Planet”
is a 10-12 mile obstacle course designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie.
I first heard of Tough Mudder on CNBC when they interviewed the creator of Tough Mudder, Will Dean. After watching the interview, and several more videos on YouTube, I knew I had to do it!
Training for Tough Mudder
Training for the event began shortly afterwards. Going to the gym and running became an almost every night event. The event was to be held at Badlands Off-road Course, in Attica Indiana on June 16th, 2012.
I recruited one of my good friends to do it with me. We trained for several months getting prepared for the event. If the event wasn't already hard as is, my friend and I decided it would be fun if we dressed up for it. My friend got a Spiderman costume and I got a muscle Batman costume.
What Did I Sign Up For?
As we arrived at Tough Mudder, I was overwhelmed with the amount of people that were there. A steady stream of cars pulled in from 7AM till noon. My friend and I went through registration where we had to sign a death waiver. Wait a second! Did you just say Death Waiver?
“What am I getting myself into”, I thought.
After we got our bib number to identify us on the course, my friend and I decided it was time to unveil our costumes. Everyone around us loved our costumes. We got pictures made with many spectators and participants before the race.
We had the 3rd start time at 8:40 A.M. They released 500 people on the course every 20 minutes. Just to get to the start area you had to get over an 8'ft wall. When we got over the wall, they and an MC there to get everyone pumped to start.
As we ran the 12 miles to the finish line, we also had to get over, under, and through 25 military style obstacles. Some of the toughest ones were:
The Arctic Enema is a large container filled with ice water and a wooden plank that you have to swim under to get to the other side. This feels like jumping in a frozen lake!
Everest, which is a quarter-pipe that you have to sprint up and try to grab onto the ledge or other mudders outstretched arms. The quarter-pipe is usually covered in mud and grease, so it's no easy task getting up this.
Tough Mudder Muddin'
You can't have a Tough Mudder without their signature MUD! This is the thickest mud I have ever seen. I saw many people losing shoes into this muck. Trying to get through this uses all of your lower body strength and zaps you of energy.
Don't forget about about Tough Mudder's electrifying finish, Electroshock Therapy! For this obstacle you have to sprint though a field of live wires with some carrying as much as 10,000 volts of electric shock. Mind your footing too, as you have to run through mud and over hay bells while trying not to get zapped. I took two pretty good shocks on my way through it. One to my left trap muscle, the other one right to my forehead. Luckily I did not go down but it sure didn't tickle.
After running 12 miles through mud, water, sand, uphill, downhill, over 12 ft. walls, under barbed wire, through fire, jumping in ice water and being shocked by 10,000 volts of electricity, there is nothing sweeter than crossing that finish line and they put that orange headband on you.
Are you down for some Tough Mudder action? It's not too late so sign up and see if you're tough enough.