When you take “race” out of the equation, what you get is a bunch of extreme athletes all reaching for the same goal: survive to the finish line.
Distance: 10 miles (approx)
Elevation Gain: 2,811 ft.
Elevation Loss: 2,908 ft.
Terrain: dirt hillside, dirt trail, obstacles, mud, ice bath, lake swimming, 12′ walls, boulders.
Tough Mudder is, no joke, the toughest thing I’ve ever done! I bouldered, leapt off a 3-story plank, hiked up a mountain with a 30 pound log, crawled through tight claustrophobic-inducing tunnels, swam under 4 huge barrels, dunked under a beam in a freezing ice bath, summited Snow Valley 5 times, was shocked with 10,000 volts, used greased monkey bars to cross a mud pit, sprinted up a slippery slope, climbed over 4 12-foot walls, crossed a lake balancing in between 2 ropes, slid down a hill into yet another lake…swam to the other end and then climbed my way back out, pulled myself through soupy mud under extremely low barbed wire, all while covering 10 miles of land uphill.
This event was a monumental achievement for me. I bled, I sweat and I literally cried!! Never had I come across my fears, in such abundance, like this before—some I never knew I had. Tough Mudder isn’t about speed or being the best athlete—it’s about personal challenge, self-discovery and camaraderie. Each obstacle was a new test of courage. I battled claustrophobia, altitude change, freezing cold waters, drowning, a sudden fear of heights and being shocked. In 3 hours and 10 minutes, I learned a whole lot more about myself.
By eliminating the ticking race clock, camaraderie became a huge importance. As participants dealt with their own struggles, whether it be fatigue, fear or a simple slip, there was always a fellow Mudder lending out a hand (or two).
Tough Mudder Organization:
Bravo to the entire Tough Mudder staff and affiliates! Never have I been to an event where I wasn’t late to the starting line. Their email notifications, onsite signage and procedures never left me guessing. From the moment I earned my orange stripe, every staff member and vendor treated me as a celebrity. I even had my congratulatory email by the time I got to my car.
Statistically Tough Mudder isn’t for everyone. Let me be frank: it’s hard as hell. This daunting adventure requires strength, endurance and unwavering determination. At some point you WILL ask yourself, “why am I here? What was I thinking?” Hopefully, you will have found the answer in yourself and made new friends along the way.
View the Tough Mudder Photo Gallery at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ibexadventurecom/sets/72157626852199888/