5 pm, Fri afternoon ......I get a call from my partner in crime.
"Hey, do you want to get up at 4 am tomorrow and run a 20 obstacle half marathon race? They have an Electro Shock and Arctic Enema obstacle at the end."
"......Ahhhh...... Sure. Let's do it!"
As to what Tough Mudder is all about, here is a quote directly from their website:
We are 10-12 miles of mud and obstacles built to test your mental grit, camaraderie and all-around physical fitness. We are a team-oriented challenge with no winner, no finisher medal, no clock to race against—just an ice cold beer and a few good scrapes from a day spent outside and free from everyday bullshit.
Yeah we both have a little crazy in us and that's good because this race was actually pretty tough. It was just short of a half marathon at 11 miles, longer than any race I've ever done. The longest prior was the Peachtree Roadrace which was 10k (6.2 miles).
We got there at 6 am, to volunteer before the race and get our ticket prices down to $40 instead of $150! Panera Bread provided bagels, bananas and coffee for breakfast and sandwiches and chips for lunch. That was nice. We finished our shift at the information desk a few minutes before 2 and then went right to the start line for the final wave of the day.
I just finished doing a Spartan Sprint a few weeks back wearing my everyday Mizunos. This time I knew I needed some better shoes. These Solomon shoes were awesome and made the race a lot more comfortable, they had a quick lace system and the nubs helped bypass obstacles and keep mud from sticking underneath the shoe. Great shoes!
•Challenging. There are a few obstacles that actually require teamwork to complete which just adds so much to the comroderie that you already feel as the community helps each other push through.
•FUN Obstacles. These were REALLY fun! I liked the Swinging one and the Electroshock ones the best!
•FUN Participants. These people were here to have a good time, not try to leave the others in the dust. I have to admit, with my competitive spirit, I thought I would want to burn through as fast as I could, but I had so much more fun at this race just having fun with everyone there. Check out Dumb and Dumber! LOL
•Good spacing between obstacles
•Really not much to say here. Some people were really scared of the Electro Shock station and I have to admit it was WAY stronger than I anticipated. I've played with stun guns and handheld tasers before and thats exactly what these jolts felt like. I was ready for a mild buzz but almost got knocked out! Fun Fun Fun!
Now the ice bath.....that I was terrified of ;D
•Do not try to wash your clothes without taking them to an outside car wash first.
This race was FUN! I really really enjoyed it! I think the best part about it was that it required a team effort to even complete some of the obstacles. I made a bunch of new friends and everyone was having a blast conquering fears and seeing what they were made of. The staff were really cool down to earth people who came across as genuine and very welcoming. I really appreciated that. Not all events are like that. (Physique competitions come to mind)
We volunteered at the information desk and it was nice to hear that their policy was to keep everyone smiling. When a soldier and his family came the day of the race, driving a few hours to find out that it would cost him $220 to register on spot, he was obviously disappointed in paying double and wanted to know if there was some kind of military discount. I told him I was sure they would help him out. A passing staff member told him they could do 10% off, but I knew our supervisor would do better than that. When I explained to her the situation, she waived the fee! That was pretty awesome and it showed me these were good people. I hope I don't get anyone in trouble for posting that but it really stood out to me and I felt needed to shared.
The fairground setup was very well done.
I was impressed how busy it was and how organized the sponsors were. The ARMY had a very active mini obstacle course involving a sled press, 6 pull-ups, crawl through, and pushups with prizes for best times and entry. They also had a cool free dog tag making machine and had T-shirts and blackout eye strips!
•Don't freak out! This was one that I thought would be a little nerve racking, and it was especially when I got some of the water in the mouth.
Just pull yourself right up to the fence to breathe and start pulling yourself along. Don't worry about seeing where you are going! That slowed me down. You'll know when you're out.
•Get your nerves in check (we did a count down) and then jump from a standing position (not running). It's not as far as it looks. Make sure you hang on until you are at the peak of the swing and don't let go too early. This one was the most fun in my opinion!
•I was challenged to do this without any pegs and was happy to get it without much difficulty. Use your two middle fingers as a peg to get yourself up high enough to wedge your shoe into the notches. After that, no sweat.
•Make sure you dry your hands off as much as you can and when you get to the single bar at the end, hang tight! It's a little harder to hold then the money bars leading up to it so be ready!
•This was my favorite because it was the most difficult and required some thinking and teamwork to accomplish.
Get a strong person on the bottom who can help push people up after they climb onto their shoulder. Get a firm base by pointing your feet sideways facing in the same direction (in my face to the right) while you lay stomach down as flat as possible. Turn head to right and hold your right arm up like you are flexing your bicep. This allows them to pull on your arm, step on your shoulder and then place their foot in your hand.
Add one more person and the third person gets to the top. Once they are there, they will need to help pull the next person up.
To get the last person, Dangle one person from the top by their ankles so that the last person up can grab their hands and pull themselves up or let the others from the top pull. Have Fun!!! ;D