A lot of people have asked me about Tough Mudder after finishing the event myself in September 2013 in Newport Wales so here a post all about my amazing day.
This is going to be a long post but I wanted to describe the day as best as I could just in-case anybody reading wants to take part in the event but are un-sure to go for it or not.
Eye of the tiger blasting out loud in the car to silence. Tension and excitement all round from feeling the unknown.
I still remember us queuing up for Tough Mudder like it was yesterday.
And we waited a long time for this one to happen.
Easy and quick registration were all suited and booted and ready to rumble.
(A quick spray too)
Warmed up, fired up we jump over a massive hurdle,
just in time for the Tough Mudder pledge.
We were shattered already.
The signal or sent out was basically go hard or go home.
Looking at previous Youtube videos I really though the Tough Mudder pledge was going to be cheesy.
Oh my but I WAS SO WRONG!
We all charged through the smoke like warriors about to face battle little knowledge knowing what was coming our way or we were going to react or handle it.
It was a nice flat start for 1.5 miles but man everyone felt so HOT.
I guess this was done to just to make sure everyone was properly warmed up.
Worked like a charm and had some good exciting bantar happened during this time also.
Adrenaline all round.
Our first obstacle was the Kiss of Mud which is a straight forward crawl over some glorious mud under some barbed wire.
I thought the creators of Tough Mudder were clever in the way they planted their obstacles in a specific order and this was a very good example.
Tough Mudder was basically saying to us straight off the bat
“YOU ARE GOING TO GET DIRTY!”
This was a taste of things to come.
It was great fun although bit shocking the same time.
I was thinking to myself what the hell have we let ourselves in for?
All smiles though.
I remember running past a family and offering for a group hug.
For some reason they didn’t look too keen and polity declined.
After another mile of flat running and piss taking amongst how cool we looked already covered in the mud the glory blades loomed.
They’re basically 8ft walls positioned at an angle towards your approach.
On your own they can be a bit tricky but with fellow mudders not so bad.
I managed to jump up and do it on my own but I wish I didn’t.
It made me feel I like ripped my obliques (side of abs) out.
After another mile Arctic Enema approached us.
A big ice box that you submerge in briefly which you have to find the mental and physical strength to swim through the ice, go under a wooden plank and pull yourself out on the other end. Watch out Hypothermia because seriously it was that cold.
My body felt like it completely switched off. It was numb.
I remember jumping in with my comrade Sam both looking at each other thinking WTF?!
Fair play to the stewards though, they direct and assertive.
They had to be. Get in. Get out. QUICKLY!
So after getting my balls completely shrink wrapped following was trench warfare.
This was a covered and dark tunnel crawl.
I really hate small confined spaces and I was actually dreading this one.
However doing it I was ok, probably because I was more concerned with my teammates front and behind me. I kept asking them “are you ok?” this actually help me took the mind of what I was doing.
The biggest mistake though was my sleeves were rolled up so I cut my arms to ribbons.
Sleeves down for the remainder of the event…
Then the fun started!
And I what I mean is hill climbs.
Climb after climb. They were steep, muddy and not very calf-friendly.
Personally I don’t have a problem with hill running but at the time I was still having physio for my left hamstring so later in the event this really punished me.
At the top Funky Monkey awaited us!
This was something I was so looking forward to doing. A real test of strength and control.
However the overhead bars were a bit slippy and actually MOVED when you grabbed them so sadly lots of early baths were taken including myself.
I got just past after halfway then I “slipped”.
Might of been all the pressure from my teammates on the other end screaming to do it.
I’m not a sore loser honest 😉
After getting slam dunked into the water I decided to help a few people get out.
I love helping people you see so that’s why I love this type of thing.
One guy who which having none of it and didn’t want my help.
Had too much pride.
After falling back into the water about 5 embarrassing times he decided to accept defeat and take my hand.
After a bit of banter, a quick water and some bananas too we were back in the game.
Up those bastard hills again, but this time with a log to carry.
Not just any old stump though.
HUGE THICK STUMPS.
Some which you needed a partner to carry.
Unless you were the Incredible Hulk.
Even though the weight was heavy and challenging my core muscles it was more of the steep inclines and declines which got me.
It was pretty dangerous to be fair.
I was thinking to myself at the time actually if I slip here my neck is broken.
That’s why we signed a death wavier at end of the day.
After getting wood and being promised it was all downhill from now on this lasted for about 1 minute.
We then cruised on through to the a very sticky and slippery mud mile.
All flat and so much fun.
Everyone was just sliding all the over the place.Many people face planting into the mud.
This was so fun to do with your friends in fact I could just do it all day.
It really did break up the event very well and in terms of feelings and emotions too.
Smiles and cries.
Next up was hero carry (where you have to take turns carrying a fellow mudder.
I ended being partnered with a complete stranger but that was ok.
That was what this event was all about. Helping and working with all your fellow mudders.
I actually remember speaking to a large volume of awesome individuals during this event and making some mudder friends who I still actually chat a lot on Facebook.
Another reason this event captured my heart so much.
After getting some cramp in my left hamstring as predicted by now and some help fine help from my teammate Ian after mile six we at our next destination which was Electric Eel.
I am not going to lie. I was not looking forward to this.
I mean who would like crawling through mud beneath wires carrying 10,000 volts anyway?
I was shitting my pants.
But I did it. (Electric Eel)
I decided to keep nice and low and wave my way through like eel moves.
And because of that I think called it Electric Eel is genius.
I only actually got shocked once.
So glad I was practicing my crawling moves the week before.
My niece at the time was a mighty fine coach 😉
After a bit of shit (not mine) and giggles we on our way again going up and down a series of energy and strength sapping up hills for around two miles.
I think this picture of my teammate after says it all.
I have to say but the weather on this day was warm with a nice amount of sunshine and the ground was soft but dry in the open areas and soft and very muddy in the areas with overhead tree cover.
It was perfect!
Dirty Ballerina pit jumps were done with ease (Billy Elliot style)
then on to the Human Gecko climbing wall obstacle over water.
I was really looking forward to this one.
One of a technical think obstacles and I really love doing indoor rock climbing so this was right up my street.
Slight problem though, as I climbed up to make my first move, cramp in my calf.
I really could not move so I jumped into the ice cold water would soothe the pain.
Personally I think the real challenge or teamwork started right at Hero Walls.
I am guessing it was around 12 feet high and there was two walls back to back .
A lot of necessary teamwork and support was need to get over them and you really needed to help your fellow mudders out here.
Once again they was a few people who thought they could do it all on their own
(fair play giving it a go though)
After running up and down a few steep hills the sun beamed down upon us and the fact we only a couple more miles left felt highly satisfying.
I think we all felt so proud of ourselves that we got this far already and as we were having such an amazing and experience.
With the warm sun shining on us and knowing there was only two miles left this gave us a much needed boost.
PLUS we were giving some Haribo at the next water stop for a bit of sugar rush!
Kids n grown ups love it so the happy wold of Haribo right?
Entered The Cage Crawl.
I was told about this from some of the guys but they didn’t really describe it very well. Probably a good thing too after doing it.
Now this was meant to be one of the easiest obstacles for many mudders but for my team it certainly wasn’t.
I really did hate doing this.
I had a sense of panic and fear while I was on my back and pulling myself across 60 feet of cage (in muddy water) with only 6 inches of breathing space.
It sounds relaxing but the sense of entrapment quickly begins to play on your mind.
We had a moment where some of my team mates had a little panic which created a domino effect with everyone else including myself, this resulted in our heads kept dunking under water the the more we rushed.
I am not to lie here but I thought I was going to drown and I freaked out rushing.
I remember someone finally grabbing my hand at the very end and I shouted
“GET ME THE HELL OUT OF HERE!”
After coughing a load of mud which I swallowed a brief dip into a river followed with Ian deciding it was a good time to start watching his clothes…
After we were back into the base area now with all the music and spectators and full adrenaline we headed through Boa Constrictor.
This was essentially inverted pipes connected with barbed wire and water.
You go down hill on way in and crawl uphill on the way out. A lot of arm strength was needed for this.
We then had to walk the plank.
A 12-foot high jump into a deep muddy water pit.
Sounds pretty easy until you get to it but I was really looking forward to this
even though i am actually scared of heights.
This was by far though one of my FAVE moments of the whole day!
I knew one of my friends was doing a heat (or time slot) just before mine so I was so hoping I would bump into her.
I saw her just when she needed it the most I think, she was scared of heights too so we did it together and faced our fears.
So proud of her on many levels.
It was actually like a movie scene. Her Knight and shining Armour came to rescue.
After taking a couple of photos and knowing the end within our grasp we jogged on over to the remaining last two obstacles.
You could just hear the noise of the MC on the Everest wall getting louder and LOUDER.
Everest was huge greased skateboard quarter pipe which you had to run up.
This is a fantastic psychological challenge as your legs were hurting so much from all the running but you did not want to quit as you knew there was only one more obstacle to go.
You had to run up fast as you can and if could not make it you would just have to do a leap of faith in hope someone to grab you!
I really thought I could not do this I started to get cramp in my legs pretty bad and a bit of self doubt started to sneak in.
Can I actually do this? What if I don’t? I have come so far after all.
After a little encouragement from Oli I composed myself and got READY TO RUMBLE!
In my head this was “the finale”.
We ended up in lanes and the atmosphere was incredible.
As soon as you started to run
THAT WAS IT! All or nothing!
I ran up as fast as I could and just before the pipe dipped I got serve cramp again.
There was nothing else for it!
I jumped and my teammates caught me and I was up! BOOM!
I now wanted to do my part to help.
I was involved with 4 other gentlemen while helping this lady up as I was getting cramp in my calf. The crowd was going wild cheering us all on to get her up.
It was a struggle but we did it. She did it.
In Tough Mudder you will get hugs, handshakes and hi-fives throughout.
Once again it is an amazing feeling really helping others and helping them achieve goals and barriers which might seem impossible for them at first.
That is what I think is the best thing about the event is helping other people.
Our final stop was Electroshock Therapy.
You had to run through a load of wires dangling down all over the place.
They were a couple of people who I think were standing there for a while
trying to gain the confidence/courage to do it but talking themselves out of it by doing so.
I find the longer you think about things the more harder it will get.
I came over with my team and kinda just brushed them to the side.
I didn’t meant to do this at the time in a disrespectful way…I just didn’t want to faff around and just bloody finish this event.
We got this far after all.It was one more obstacle then victory.
Just do it!
We all ran though together and I didn’t even get hit by shock until the very end right on the back of my head.
In Tough Mudder language this was called a “Reboot”.
What did it feel like? Someone smacking me really hard on the back of the skull with their fist if I am honest.
I’m not going to lie, it did tickle a bit somewhat but it probably did me a lot of good anyway.
After running through that electric field like our life’s depended on it we finally got our Tough Mudder headband. DESERVED!
It feel so dam good.
I was so proud.
We were all so proud.
Which leads me to this.
Tough Mudder is not a race, but a challenge and it’s meant to be all about teamwork and camaraderie.
(Unless you are doing or competing for world toughest mudder which is a timed/lapped event)
Various people have asked what time I got but to be honest that the last thing on my mind because my main focus was my team mates and other mudders during the event.
We just having an amazing time and absorbing the fantastic experience and chatting to various strangers.
I think that’s what Tough Mudder does best.Just delivers an awesome day on all angles.
Other events may be harder but Tough Mudder is sleek, stylish and delivers spot on.
Doing Tough Mudder you know you are going to have an dam AWESOME good time.
The festival like feel to whole event including atmosphere is simply amazing.
I remember even having a spell of euphoria after while lying on the grass with my fellow team mates, sipping some lovely earned cold cider with hot sun beaming upon us.
Not had a pint that satisfying for a long time I tell you.
Feeling exhausted yet highly satisfied we made our back home.
Back to boring reality.
The next day I felt like I was hit by a truck.
And I had a few cuts too.
But was it worth it?
It sure was.
Even more so that we did it to help raise money for mental health too.
I have to say Tough Mudder is one of best experiences I have done in my whole life and if you are a fitness fanatic I highly recommend it.It’s highly rewarding.
Don’t be afraid and just dare to be great.
Everyone has got your back!
See you at the next one.