Tough Mudder

Inglorious Pimps and Pimpettes

Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Foreces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie.  Tough Mudder is the premier mud race and it benefits the Wounded Warrior Project.So I started training a couple of months in advance for the event by doing a lot of running and then low and behold life took its course and then I stopped training a month before the event.  Our team name was Inglorious Pimps and Pimpettes. :-)  admittedly I was a bit nervous entering the event without the proper level of conditioning however I made a promise to a friend that I would complete the event so there was no turning back.Our team consisted of 3 men 3 women.  A co-workers wife was on my team and she was honestly the most surprising.  1st, she was a monster on the hills, 2nd, she had just had a baby about a month or 2 prior.  Complete shock and awe.  The logistics around the event were absolutely fantastic.  You parked your car near the event, buses brought you up to the registration area and they were able to process 16,000 people extremely smoothly.  I was honestly amazed at how organized everything was. 

I’m not going to cover each and every obstacle that we went through.  I don’t even recall how many there were.  There were only two obstacles that I was nervous about and neither was as bad as I thought it was going to be.

Electroshock Therapy

This obstacle looking at the videos looked like it was going to be painful.  Honestly, this picture was taken at my race before it started and I was seriously looking at it in a bit of fear.  The other thing to note is they spray you down with water before going through this thing.  At the end of the day, it was not nearly as difficult as I thought it was going to be.  I got extremely wet before going through it and then just charged on.  I got zapped a few times on my neck and on my head but hey, this was the very last obstacle and it was not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be.  Essentially, it was fear of the unknown.  Here is a video for your entertainment.

The other obstacle that I truly feared was something called the Artic Enema.  This obstacle can be described as a long construction dumpster that is filled with water, then filled with ice and has a 2/12 board across the middle of it so you have to completely submerge your body under water.  I can tell you that by the time I got to this obstacle, I was extremely burnt from going up and down ski slopes and I was overheated because I was overdressed.  Honestly, I wanted to die at this point and we were probably only 4 miles into this thing.  When I entered the water, I thought my heart was going to pop.  It was absolutely freakin cold and it was a complete shock to my body.  I moved as quickly as I could to the middle of the obstacle and went under the water as quickly as I could.  When I came up on the other side, fear was in my brain and I was rushing to the other side of the dumpster.  When I got out, I can tell you I felt ALIVE!!!  Honestly, the placement of this obstacle was perfect for me.  It woke me up, my muscles feel relief and I was back to 100%.  At the end of the day, nothing is as bad as you think it is going to be.  At the end, I felt like I could tackle anything just like I felt when I was in the Marine Corps.  Here is a video for your enjoyment.

All in all completing the Tough Mudder is something to boast about if it is done where there are mountains and hills to climb.  I have done all kinds of challenging obstacle courses, adventure races and taken on challenges while in the Marine Corps and Tough Mudder at Wintergreen was truly challenging.  It was not necessarily the obstacles themselves, it was climbing and going down the hills throughout the course.  That was truly the toughest part and wore my legs out so much I felt it for a week or more.

I did sustain an injury on an obstacle called Everest.  You cannot see it in the picture but I was yanked by my left arm to get up this and in the process I tore something.  Almost a year later I can occasionally feel the injury but all in all it is healed.

I’m the guy running up the left side of the picture.  At 6’2″ tall, you can see this is quite a tall obstacle.  Click on the images for more detail.

So in the end, I highly recommend the Tough Mudder for anyone looking for a big challenge.  It is doable for almost every fitness level if you have a strong mind and soul.  I do believe that terrain will make all the difference in this race.  For instance, a Florida Tough Mudder is not going to be the same as Tough Mudder at Wintergreen, VA.  These hills just kick you tail.   This year, I’m not doing the Tough Mudder but will probably tackle one of the other mud challenges in the future.  Enjoy!!

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