Tough Mudder advertises it’s events as “hardcore 12 mile-long obstacle courses designed by the Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie.”
This is in no way false advertising.
After the usual over indulging of Christmas and New Year a few of us at Morgan McKinley decided signing up to something like Tough Mudder in June would force us into six months of training and enable us to achieve the perfect physique or at least ditch the beer belly.
With five weeks to go it was quite obvious that little or no concerted effort had been put into training by most of us and I for one was still sporting the gut of a seasoned drinker.
There were the usual excuses, “I can’t shake this cold”, “My knees giving me grief again” and “I can’t be…” well you can finish that sentence off.
So when the actual day of the race came round there was a mixture of excitement and some hesitation.
When we turned up at the event I was a bit taken aback by the actual scale of the operation. We were one of the last races in the day and there were literally thousands of cars in the field. From 8am – 3pm. They stagger the start times by 15 minutes with, I would guess, around 100 people running at each start time.
Walking to the registration centre we encountered hundreds of finishers walking the other way, all covered in mud, some walking wounded, and it all became quite real.
The race itself is all about getting your team around and helping others out, not the finishing time. It’s over 11 miles and there are around 17 obstacles. There are bits where you do actually need people to push you and pull you (the tunnels) and quite a few times where you need your team mates to spur you on. There are other times where you just have to do something and not think about it otherwise you’ll hesitate. (Jumping over a large fire into a pit of water for example)
The worst/best bits were the “Arctic Enema” - a tank of iced water that you are forced to swim through a tunnel of. My legs stopped working and I had to pull myself out by my arms - as well as the electro-shock therapy -You crawl on your belly under wires, some of which will shock you - I was shocked 6 times in a row, and yes, it does hurt.
Overall it took the five of us just under 2hrs and 45mins. We were all thoroughly shattered and there were a few injuries but we all agreed we would do another one. It felt great to have got round. On finishing you are presented with a free T Shirt, an orange Tough Mudder headband as well as a pint.
After all of that I’ll definitely be doing the next one.