Today I participated in my first Tough Mudder. For those of you who don’t know what a ‘Tough Mudder’ is, it’s a obstacle course race. I previously told you the story of how I got into my first obstacle course race so I won’t bore you again. But evidently the Tough Mudder was the original obstacle course race, it is supposedly designed by the British Special Forces, blah, blah, blah.
The race was at Raceway Park in Old Englishtown, NJ. Just as an aside, I have always heard this name since I was little and have never been down here. It’s a small racetrack, I remember the commercials when I was younger so the name always stuck in my head. I was never into race cars so never even dawned on me to come down here.
The race started out by having to clear a 6′ wall to get to the start line. OK, that was interesting, let’s see what else they had, the course was just like a steeplechase course or a cross country course, I ran a lot! They spread us all over for the first mile or so, then we had to clear sewer pipes the 3′ and 6′ ones, after that they ran us a little more and then cam inverted walls, which led us out into the woods in the mud.
After several mud pits and a traverse across a lake, more running in the woods. The obstacles got really backed up, there honestly wasn’t enough equipment set up for the amount of people going though to make the lines go quicker. So a lot of the obstacle we would get there and wait; it was a little frustrating as I would cool down prior to going on the obstacle.
Then run through the woods and then we reach a low crawl through water, which is yucky enough, but then there’s electrical wires hang over you give you little shocks if you went to slow. Nothing that will kill you mind you, but enough to feel it. Then we ran some more, up and over mounds, the area where we were running was one of those dirt tracks where they do the dirt bike races if you can imagine that. More low crawling,with a wire mesh above you, relatively easy, all you did was turn on your back and use the wire to pull you thru.
More running again, and then some obstacle walls. Think American Ninja Warrior, the ledge was a little bigger, but still tiny. As you went further across you actually had to make a 10′ jump from one ledge to the other, you really had to have good grip strength. I didn’t and went in the drink immediately.
More running and then we had a cliff jump into muddy water,not bad at all, it was a little chilly today so going in and out of the water you really got chilly. No problem, in and out and then more running. Up and over mounds, mind you these are the mounds you see the dirt bike racers go racing up and then do a flip or something, they weren’t huge hills to run up, but they were numerous so it did get challenging.
There were numerous rest stations and water stations throughout the course, good thing because all I had was some granola before leaving the house. I really do have to work on my nutrition for these races. I sometimes wonder if I can’t handle the nutrition for such a simple race what am I going to do when I do a triathlon!
Anyway, more running and larger mounds to go up and down over. Some of the mounds I would just slid down the back side as it didn’t even make sense to try and run down as it was too steep! It was about this time the mud in my sneakers started to build up; it was building up all along but I would just power thru but at this point it really was starting to hurt and didn’t need a blister right in the middle of my foot. I stopped took off my sock and sneakers and beat the mud out of them, and off I went again.
We ran more, this time there was a fire jump, so we would jump over the fire and land in a pool of mud. I did and I think I tweaked my left knee. It didn’t feel bad and I powered through and kept going, more running and then cam e the tire carry, you carry a couple of tires about 100 yards and back. Afterwards there were a series of wall, from a 4′ to 5′ to 6′ and then eventually 2 10′ walls. I got over all of them fine, the 6′ wall I took a boost as well as the 10′ walls. I cam e down awkwardly on my left foot off the first 10′ wall and really felt my knee tweaked, but I ran it off.
There were two more obstacles and then the finish. Everest, which is a warped wall you take a run at and at the top there are a bunch of people waiting to grab you to help you up–IF you needed the help. Obviously there were some people who just went up and over. I dream of doing that in the future! took my run and two guys grabbed my arms I had enough momentum to get my right leg up and then they pulled me up on top of the wall.
The next obstacle was the electro-shock this time you walked across trying to avoid the shocks, but it was unavoidable! I tried to cover my face and then go through but that shit HURT! It knocked me right down on my face and I tried to low crawl through fast enough to not get shocked again but that was impossible! After that I was home free, run around the corner and finish!
All in all it was definitely interesting but quite frankly I prefer the Civilian Military Combine and Spartan Races over this any day. I can say I did a Tough Mudder, but I doubt I’ll be back. It actually would be a great team building race, as it’s not timed and helping one another out if encouraged. Not different from Spartan or CMC, but I didn’t care for all the running. Spartan and CMC there’s running also, but it seems like the obstacles are closer together and feels like a better experience.
Who am I kidding, if the FRM wanted to go do a Tough Mudder I’d go, it’s fun to suffer with your friends! Let me go ice my knee now!