Defeating Tough Mudder Half
At the weekend I took part in something pretty ridiculous and I only just came out alive with bruises and pain all over. I decided that I’d take part in a Tough Mudder Half event that was hosted in Grantham, Lincolnshire. I’d heard about Tough Mudder a while ago and know of some people who have completed a full course (more than once) and so I thought it’d be a laugh to try it out, at least start off was a smaller, easier course that is before doing the full thing. As the event loomed closer, I sort of brushed off the advice of training of any kind. I did genuinely think it would be easy to just go through it without any kind of build up beforehand. I was very wrong.
After the initial bizarre (and rather rude) warm-up from the Tough Mudder DJ in the starting area, we set off on our quest to complete a course that would surely beat us quickly. Usually there should be a small wall to climb over to get to the starting line but this didn’t seem to be there which was great news, it gave me time to prepare for the first obstacle. Throughout the course there are a variety of obstacles you need to conquer to finish it all. Some worse than others. Here are just a select few worth mentioning.
Kiss of Mud
Crawl through mud with barbed wire above your head. What you don’t realise is that the numbers that are pinned to your shirt come off at this point with safety pins stuck in the ground pointing upwards; be careful!
Block Ness Monster
A pool of freezing cold water with two large blocks spanning one end to the other than you need to climb over with the help of other ‘mudders‘ pushing the rotating blocks round to get you over. Not too hard, but just very cold water.
Trenches filled with water and rows of mounds you’ll need to climb over. Very slippery and there’s a big chance that someone falling into the water will cause a splash of mucky water to go in your mouth and eyes. Always face forward and prepare to do this twice.
Requires a lot of teamwork with a lot of strangers. Climb onto someones shoulders and grab someone waiting to pull you up above. One of the most difficult ones to do. Whilst you can have a rest half way up the ramp and help someone else, it’s very tiring and not something you can rush.
Probably the worst of them all. I hated Everest for two reasons; the insanely steep incline of the half pipe, and the fact that because so many people have tried to get up it before you, the ramp is so wet and slippy that it’s almost impossible to maintain your speed when running up it. Luckily you can either run up and hope to grab a helping hand or use a rope. I tried to get up the half pipe by just finding someone to hoist me up but alas; I used the rope. It was the only way. Oh and don’t jump when running up, you’ll regret it.
After all of that nonsense, I finished the course in about two to three hours, which may seem like a ridiculous amount of time for just five miles, but many things slow you down. In my case, tremendous cramp in both legs and lack of stamina. I’m pleased with myself though. I managed to complete the course in full and also gained a white finisher headband and t-shirt that I’m proud to have.
Will I ever do another Tough Mudder again? Perhaps. A full course? Maybe. I’d like to but before I do that I want to rest it off and then I’ll need to train and get in shape before trying to run ten miles with even more obstacles which include electricity and ice. I think I might be a bit mad but it was a lot of fun, and the spirit of everyone there is pretty amazing. Until then, I’m going to have a celebritory pop tart, yum!