Wow, what an experience!
I completed the Tough Mudder in Amherst, OH on Saturday 4/14 at around 3:15pm. Took me a little over 3 hours to complete the course.
I was so glad we got there early because it took an hour to park and another 15 minutes just to get on the shuttle and to the grounds. After that, it was all smooth sailing. I checked my bag and then climbed over the starter wall to hear the speech at the beginning. We recited the Tough Mudder creed, honored our country, and then they set us off to the Rocky theme song.
- High Steppin: A series of wooden hurdles which I climbed over pretty easily.
- Artic Enema: Here is where it started to go downhill. We hit the arctic enema, which is a huge fat of ice cold water. I hit that water and just felt my energy level sap. It was freezing, and then I had to wait about 10 seconds to get out because there was someone slow in front of me. Still, I made it through.
- Berlin Walls: A couple walls that you have to climb over. They aren’t that tall when you have your teammates helping you up and over them..
- Firewalker: It wasn’t that hot. It was mainly a series of fires that were set and it made more smoke than anything. I ran through it easily, and was happy to get a little warmth.
- Bale Bonds: A series of large hay bails that you have to climb over. Easy enough for the most part.
- illa Gorilla: A series of uphill and downhill climbs. On the way down the first hill, we got to go through knee deep cold water.
- Walk The Plank: It was about as high as a high dive, and when you hit that water, it was cold enough to take your breath away. Still I made it through. After this, we hit a water station and I was glad we did. At this point I was still feeling pretty good.
- The Dirty Ballerina: Got to jump over some pits of mud. Not too difficult, but you couldn’t see where the pits were since you were running through mud. I fell into a couple. If you do fall in, you go up to your neck in mud, and you get to climb out and do it again a couple more times. Not too hard except climbing out is tiring.
- Swamp Stomp: A short run through a thick swamp. It was about a 1/4 mile I believe, but it was tough going through knee deep sludge.
- Mud Mile: A series of mud pits and dirt mounds. Once again, not too bad being as that we were going through the swamp not long ago, so you knew what to expect.
- Devils Beard: Crawling underneath a stretched cargo net. It wasn’t too hard when everyone is helping each other out. I held the net at the end for a little bit to help people out. You pretty much have to bend over and go under the net just using your back to keep the net up. Its stretched pretty tight, but we made it.
- Boa Constrictor: Crawl through sections of 3′ pipe. This was easy for me to do, but there are some people who had difficulty. I just went through on my back and crawled through.
- Kiss of Mud: Another easy obstacle unless you hate to get dirty. You crawl under barb wire on your belly, but I pretty much just floated since the muddy water was deep enough.
- Funky Monkey: Ah, the inverted monkey bars. I wish I could tell you that I made it the distance, but I didn’t. I made it 3 rungs and then fell into the cold water below. My brother did much better as he made it half way.
- Trench Warfare: Belly down crawl through earthen tunnels. Wasn’t too bad, but by this time my knees were pretty badly scraped up and the tunnels were not really smooth. A lot of rocks and debris made it uncomfortable to crawl through.
- Cliffhanger: We had to climb these huge 25′ hills of dirt. Then, when we got to the top, we descended and climbed another one.
- Electric Eel: Crawling under electrified wire seemed pretty easy at the time, but thats not what was going on. You are crawling under barbed wire, no water under you thankfully, and you have these electrified wires that are dangling down. You have no choice but to touch some of the wires, and the shock is enough like you are being punched. I got shocked 3 times going through that obstacle, and I hated it each time.
- Twinkle Toes: Balance beams were never my thing, but there was a series of balance beams over a pit of cold water. Whats worse is that if someone fell in front of you, odds are you were falling too since the beams were not really steady. I fell in half way across.
- Hangin Tough: You have a series of rings that are dangling. You grab one ring, swing to another ring, grab that one and keep going. I made it three rings in before I fell in. At this point, my upper body was pretty much spent, so I am not surprised that I fell in.
- Log Jammin: I was very successful in climbing through sections of large logs. Some you have to duck, and others you climb over.
- Berlin Walls #2: At this point, my upper body was gone, but the walls were over 9 feet tall. Everyone was pushing people up so people could climb over and fall down each of the two walls. This was a punishing obstacle.
- Hold your Wood: This was supposed to be a 1/4 mile log carry, but the path was very slippery. They didn’t allow us to carry logs because of the terrain and I don’t blame them. The muddy walk had turned into a swampy one. I couldn’t imagine many people able to carry logs through this terrain.
- Everest: Ah, the greased up quarter pipe. At this point in the run, I was exhausted. Watching people try to jump up and make it up to the people at the top of the quarter pipe just deflated what confidence I had. I had nothing left at this point, and they want me to run up to the quarter pipe, leap, and have people help me up at the top? My first attempt I missed grabbing onto the top ledge and I fell back down. The second time I made it. It took 3 people to help me up and over the top. Yes, I hugged all three guys and I am not ashamed to admit it!
- Electroshock Therapy: This was the run through the electrified wires. I got shocked only once, and it was enough to put me on my ass, but I got up and ran the rest of the way through. That shock was worse than the 3 I got in the electric eel, and it was too the side of my head as well.
When I crossed that finish line, I got my headband and my free beer. That beer tasted so good going down. I was totally spent. It took me about 10 minutes to get my muddy and wet clothes off because I was so sore and tired. Still, it was the toughest event that I have ever done. The camaraderie of everyone helping each other was a big boost to your confidence. I would do this again without question.
For now though, I am going to rest up.
The Tough Mudder was an insane event. One of the most grueling events I have ever done, but also one of the most rewarding. It was an event that punished me, even after working out and preparing for it. Trust me, if you have a deficiency in your workout routine, this event will make you regret it. My upper body still has not healed up fully since running the tough mudder and it has been almost 68 hours since I finished. My advice to anyone who wants to do this is to start working out and just do it. You will not regret it!