In the lead up to the weekend of Tough Mudder I have to confess I was incredibly nervous. Teasers on their facebook page as well as the course map showed a few obstacles that were going to seriously test my limits. Notably king of swingers which was downright terrifying!
We arrived in plenty of time and went and got registered and popped to the toilets, we didn’t have to use the bag drop and I was glad of that when later on it transpired some people had waited over 45 minutes for their bags!
Once we were all set we got ourselves into the starting pen and grabbed a quick before photo! I paid my usual minimum amount of attention to the warm up and then it was time for the short jog to a wall ready to start! Tough Mudder definitely starts slightly different to most other races! Once we had said our pledge we were off! Within 0.30 of a mile me and Becki needed the loo so along with a ton of men ducked into the bushes and dropped the trousers. Think we amused quite a few guys with the fact we didn’t care who was around us lol!
What we had quickly realised was this would involve a lot of hills. They were pretty much relentless and I don’t remember very many sections that didn’t contain either up or down. The first obstacle was skidmarked, which is otherwise known as overhang walls, with a bit of help from team mates we all made it over and then ran onto Arctic Enema 2.0. I knew this for me was an issue. The cage made me feel claustraphobic and I was coaxed by my teammates to climb up the ladder. I got so far as sitting on the edge before deciding I couldn’t do it. There were alot of people around and had it been quiet and I’d been able to just sit a while I know in the end I would have done it of my own accord but under pressure I just couldn’t. The route then took us up and down another hill before hitting birth canal. I have to admit this was a bit a *WTF* obstacle for me. I didn’t find it challenging in anyway, it wasn’t the most comfortable crawl I’ve ever done but it was short and pointless IMO!
From there it was up another mega steep hill and into some woods where I finally found a small muddy puddle and turned into Peppa Pig running at it and jumping in two footed! The course lacked mud! There was also some hay bales which you could simply roll over and then ‘Quagmire’ which was the tiniest amount of mud I’ve ever witnessed! More hills and onto Hero Carry which involved plenty of giggles as my team mate mark fireman carried me!
We then came to Sewer Rat which was a crawl through a tunnel into a very muddy pool of mud/sludge/water
From there we moved onto Cry Baby which has been billed as tear gas – its not! Its simply menthol that clears your airways! We all tried to hold our breath at first but we also had gone through at a point when there wasn’t much in the way of gas in there so it was fine!
After that we came to Pyramid scheme which involved plenty of team work and some hilarious laughs! I think for me this was one of the highlights of the day. It took me 3 attempts and bugs bunnys shoulder to help me finally reach the top and we were ecstatic when we all made it up!
After this we moved onto Haha Ditch and Kiss of Mud before coming across the Liberator – this involved moving pegs in holes and climbing up a sheer surface. I was convinced I couldn’t do it but with a bit of help and encouragement from my team mates I made it over and was thrilled with myself!
Another few steep hills and then we had to work as a team to carry a large log around a circuit and over a wall. Now I say work as a team, by the time the chaps had got it on their shoulders it was about 4 inches off of mine so I assisted by walking along side encouraging. The wall was a 5ft one and I decided I wanted to attempt to tackle it solo as I’ve never managed a wall without some assistance before. And guess what – I did it! Super chuffed!
After that was the one I’d been dreading. King of the swingers. Basically your supposed to grab a bar – swing out and touch a bell before dropping into the water. I hate being submerged and decided that trying to swing out would freak me out more so I went with the just jump option as even that for me was terrifying. It felt a ridiculously long time before I hit the water and then trying to find the surface took forever, when I came up the water was choppy and I inhaled a bunch and could feel myself starting to panic, there was a marshall with her rubber ring staring me in the eye trying to gauge if I needed her help. There was no way I was using the ring and eventually I got to the cargo net and gripped it for dear life as the relief of feeling safe washed over me.
A bit more of a run and a few people throwing up the water in bushes and we soon hit Killa Gorrila – basically a meandering hill. With the amount of hills we had already done this felt like a right cop out! The monkey bars were next and as I knew I wouldn’t get further than the first and I was just starting to warm up I skipped these whilst the rest of the team made their attempts. We then headed back into the woods for the Hero Walls, they must have been about 10ft these walls and they were tough! Team work got us over but getting down was bloody terrifying! Into the final stages and we had a cargo net to crawl under before we reached Everest 2.0! I had been worried about this, knowing it was at the end I knew my legs were tired and i didn’t have the speed required. I decided on 3 attempts and with each attempt I was landing worse on my ITB and hip and doing myself no favours and cut my losses after 3. A friend had told me before you need road shoes to have a better chance. I was in trails and just slipped all over it! Two of our team got up and it was great cheering on those who were giving it a try. After that we headed around to the final obstacle. Sadly it was aftershock which involves electricity, due to a heart condition I’m not allowed to do it. Tbh I would have loved to as it looks a right giggle!
Overall Tough Mudder left me underwhelmed, there were only a few ‘Good’ obstacles. For the price I paid I’d expect alot more decent obstacles. But despite the race being pretty lame I had the most amazing few hours with 3 wonderful people who I shared plenty of laughs with and couldn’t have done it without them!