My day as a Tough Mudder…
As we arrived at Philip Island and parked the car I could see the Tough Mudder participants almost finishing their race…they looked tired and muddy and ready for it to be over. Eeekkkk!!! I’m here finally! The day had come around so quickly and I had no idea what to expect and was hoping I had trained properly for it.
12:45 was my start time. As I jumped the first wall and stood in the ‘pen’ with 600 other ‘Mudder’ participants I listened to the commentator give us our send off speech. “Tough Mudder is a challenge” he said, “not a race. It is about camaraderie and helping your fellow team members complete the race and get to the finish line.
The course went for 20km with a mixture of running and 28 obstacles to challenge you. As he spoke about the obstacles ahead it definitely seemed you needed a team to complete them and I signed up to do the race on my own!
Oh well! I’ll just have to make friends and ask for help. And off we went! Some charged into the course, others jogged and walked their way in. It was easy to look around and watch what others were doing but I thought, I’ll keep a steady pace and do what’s right for me and sure enough I ended up passing others by as they ran out of breath and tired themselves out early in the course.
Obstacle 1- Berlin Walls
After a 4 km run I arrived at the Berlin Walls that was approximately 3 metres high and made out of wooden planks. You had to pull your body up with no assistance to get over it. I found it quite easy to jump up and pull myself up. (Training tip: do lots of pull-ups!)
Obstacle 2- Arctic Enema
This was a deep plunge pool filled with ice. You had to swim under some wooden beams to get to the other side. With no hesitation I thought, okay its time to get wet and now the fun starts! I could feel my heart rate instantly increase from the coldness of the water. It was ice cold! But once I was out I felt very refreshed and ready to keep running.
Obstacle 3- Berlin Walls
We hit the Berlin Walls again. It took a bit more effort to get over the top being wet and a little fatigued. One of the other Tough Mudder Participants helped to pull me over at the top of the wall. Awesome!!
Obstacle 4- Devils Beard
This was a shallow mud nest with netted ropes shadowing it in which you had to climb through. I was happy I had worked on my core strength to get me through.
There was a lot of running in between obstacles. People were starting to slow down and there was a bit more walking among the group. I just thought this is only early in the course. I better keep running.
I saw this Obstacle on the Tough Mudder website when checking out the course and thought it looked scary. I’ve never been much of a water baby. I am a Gold Coast girl but never took up surfing and always preferred to stay and jump the waves as opposed to ducking underneath them. But I knew I couldn’t hesitate so off the 5 metre plank I jumped (again) into the freezing cold water. With my heart rate up again from the shock of the cold water and probably from the jump I was out of breath trying to swim and ended up swimming on my back to get my breath back. A couple of the participants close by had to get rescued by lifesavers which I was very happy to see as I was struggling to keep myself above the water let alone try to help someone else. Once I settled my breathing I swam to shore with much difficulty from my shoes also weighing me down.
Ahhhh….back on dry land and quite happy to keep running and dry off.
Obstacle 6- Mud River
This was exactly like quick sand. You had to keep moving so your shoes didn’t get sucked off your feet. There were a few deep holes which left people toppling over and ending up face first in mud. Wahoo!! No one told me they had free beauty treatments as well
A steep slippery slide into a lovely mud pond. I tried the best I could to stay upright but I ended up sliding down sideways and went head first into the pond. Ha!
Obstacle 8- Berlin Walls
I’m sure these walls were higher than the previous ones and I was very grateful for the assistance from the other Mudders to get over the other side.
Obstacle 9- Boa Constrictor
Narrow smelly pipes you had to slide your way through. And I’m not sure if they were smelly from the mud or because more than one Mudder decided to ‘let one off’ while going through the tunnel. Or was I just the lucky one that had the Mudder infront of them…fart..oops! Well they did J
Obstacle 10-Bale Bonds
Hay bale climb where you became king of the mountain once you got to the top. I pounced up this one! Might have been cause I saw my fiance’ standing by watching
This was a large roped web you climbed up and over and down. Makes it a bit tricky having a few other people climbing up at the same time but it was pretty easy. Definitely helped being little and nimble. Obstacle 12- Firewalker
I’m one of those people that hold’s her breath when walking past a smoker. Well this was another story all together. The smoke was so thick you couldn’t even see through it at one stage. Eyes watering while trying not to inhale I made it through without too much damage I think; although my throat was a bit sore the next morning.
Obstacle 13- Hold your wood
This was exactly as it sounds. We held a wooden log over our heads. Some walked but I decided to try and catch up a bit as we were delayed at a couple obstacles from having to wait in a queue so I ran ahead till we came to ANOTHER mud river. Being little can have its advantages for being quick and fast but this time the water almost went over my head which didn’t help much when trying to carry the log over head as well. Lucky the deep water didn’t last the whole way through.
I had just seen Mark who told me I had been going for 1 hr and 45 min. Awesome! I’ll smash through the next couple obstacles and be at the finish line in no time. However my enthusiasm was stumped when I arrived at the next obstacle to see no movement amongst the Mudders. We were standing at a full stop for about 20 minutes waiting to start our mud river walk. I was already freezing standing there all wet in the cold. When we started the walk through the river I just wanted the people at the front to go faster! It was like a traffic jam moving in slow motion. I was thinking about my brother Jason who is in the army and does this all the time!! Now that’s Tough!
People were jumping out of the river and running along. I did think about it but knew if I did then I couldn’t honestly say that I completed every obstacle. So I persisted through the cold and soldiered on.
Obstacle 15- Twinkle Toes
By the time I got to the next obstacle I was cold and stiff and shivering and the next obstacle was walking across a single wooden log over yet another mud river. The people ahead of me kept losing their balance and falling in which didn’t give me much confidence especially cause I was shivering but as with all the other obstacles there was no hesitation. I focused ahead of me and put one foot in front of the other and got to the other side without getting wet. Woohoo!!
A pile of tyres that you climbed up and over without much effort. It was nice to have something not involved with mud or water
Obstacle 17- Funky Monkey
I normally love monkey bars and use them quite regularly with my Playground Workouts. But when I went to swing on these bars I found with my gloves being muddy and wet, left me without much of a grip AND the bars would turn towards me when I held onto them. Gave it a good go and then SPLASH!!! Into another cold muddy river I went.
Obstacle 18-Turds Nest
This was another roped spiders nest that wasn’t too hard to get across and I was quite happy to keep dry.
Obstacle 19- Everest
All I could see ahead was a crowd of Mudders standing there at what looked to be an oversized skateboard ramp. There were Mudders at the top holding their hands down trying to lift the Mudders up and over the wall. But from all the wet, mud and slime people were having a hard time sprinting up high enough to get hold of the wall.
I gave it about 5 attempts and slid down on my ass all 5 times. I touched the fingertips of my fellow Mudders up the top of the ramp but my muddy grip wasn’t strong enough to hold onto them to get me over. We could be here for another couple hours! The support crew brought us cellophane sheets to keep us warm and I was chattering and humbly accepted the kind offer.
Obstacle 20: Electrotherapy:
The event organisers made this challenge sound the most dangerous and scary. My friends who had heard about the event all told me to be careful of climbing the electric fence but sorry to disappoint everyone but all I felt was a tiny little spark and that was it. Haha!! Either that or I was so glad to make it to the end I didn’t care about anything anymore.
And…Finish!!! I had completed each and every obstacle in the Tough Mudder Challenge and made it to the end. I was a Tough Mudder and had an awesome time being one.
I definitely recommend the event to anyone who is up for an adventure and challenge for you as an individual or to do as a team.
Stay tuned for training and diet tips to help you compete in the next Tough Mudder!
For training with Kristine email, Kristine@enterprisefitness.com.au