Last Saturday Dave, his sister, and cousin all ran the Tough Mudder. It was a 12 mile mud race with 24 obstacles held in Amherst, Ohio. They all trained hard for this event and I was excited to be there to cheer them on.
We started the day bright and early by heading out to the location for a school bus shuttle ride over to the course. I’m not sure which Kora & Logan were more excited for watching Dave, Lori, and Ami participate in the Tough Mudder or riding the school bus!
They were in the 9 am wave and the weather was much cooler than we had anticipated. It was supposed to reach the 50s later in the day. But the cloudy morning had everyone shivering a bit at only 40 degrees.
It was no worries for our trio though. They hurtled themselves up and over a wall to reach the starting area.
Since we got there before them we had plenty of time to watch others jump into and crawl out of the freezing water. We even got to see them refill each bin with even more ice! Brrrr!
They headed off into the woods and it was the last time we would see them until obstacle 15. Even though a detailed map was provided we found it difficult timing when they would arrive and we kept missing them.
We did get a chance to see a few great signs along the way.
By this time they appeared a little worse for the wear. They were all freezing and wrapped up in foil blankets trying to preserve any warmth they could. The sun never came out and the temperatures never reached 50 which made all of the water obstacles tough for them.
At this point it was noon and we were getting a bit hungry so I decided to head back to the midway to get Kora & Logan some lunch. We took our first few steps in that direction and it started pouring.
I asked Dave later if he even noticed the rain and he said no. He was so wet, it didn’t bother them at all. It was a different story for us, but that’s all part of outdoor events in the Cleveland area. You expect to either freeze, roast, get wet, or all of the above.
Dave, Lori, and Ami finished the Tough Mudder in about 5 hours. When we met them at the end they looked cold and tired, but happy to have achieved such an incredible accomplishment. Be sure to read their observations and stories below.
Kora & Logan were excited to get just a bit muddy themselves. They thought it was fun to have muddy shoes and whenever they stepped into a pile of mud which would normally bother them, they instead simply declared with a hint of pride., “It’s okay. We are at the Tough Mudder!”
- We finished!
- We didn’t break anything!
- We didn’t catch hypothermia (well, maybe a little)
- The sense of pride, both personal and for my group!
- The experience of pushing myself and pulling on others!
- An AMAZING EXPERIENCE!
This was a crazy experience, very rewarding and extreme. I normally love sitting back and being a “people watcher” the Tough Mudder allowed me to do that and be right in the thick of things! I really don’t have words to describe what we went thru this Saturday. I have so much to share, both experience and advice for doing it in the future.
There was one obstacle that kicked my butt more than any other, that was Walk the Plank this was climbing up a 20 foot wooden contraption (I say it was 30 feet . . . and growing – which was tough by itself) and then jumping into a lake and swimming about 50 feet to the shore. Well . . . I can’t swim . . . and did I mention I don’t particularly enjoy heights?
I climbed up and jumped before I could look down because I would have had many second thoughts if I looked down. I fell, and fell, and kept falling.
I hit the water and kept going down.
I was actually concerned for my well being because thanks to my shoes, I could not kick and swim to the top as fast as I would have hoped.
Finally I made it and even though the next 2 miles were a blur,I made it and looking back, I am proud that I did it.
I had two favorite experiences. The first funny one was that we ALL fell at some point.
Ami was first going down a hill, I bit it tripping in a ditch, but my sister, Lori, fell going up a hill and fell on her butt and ended up facing the wrong way with her bandana over her eyes . . . priceless!
My favorite obstacle was Mount Everest. I saw many people try and slide down and then do it again, only to slide back again. I made it on my first try and made a point to grab the top before I grabbed someone’s hand to help. After I was up, I helped a couple others up, which really drove home the point that the Tough Mudder is about “helping your other Mudders, and completing the course.”
This was an amazing experience, and it’s a for a great cause. Push yourself and give it a try, the Tough Mudder will be back next year!
The weather was not cooperating, but warming up was quick at first, since I was running. As soon as I started to dry off, I was back into the water again. The entire course took you in and out of the water and mud.
One of my favorites was an obstacle that took you in and out of some really deep mud. There were trenches filled with mud that came up to my chin and higher. I had to jump in, swim to the other side so I could pull myself up onto another wall of mud and then jump back in more mud. One of the trenches surprised me by being over my head. I’m not sure how many there were, but at the time, it seemed like a lot.
The weather never did reach the initial forecast for the day and I quickly realized my compression shirt & shorts were not keeping me warm enough. I soon started to uncontrollably shiver and every muscle in my body was cramping. My new main goal was to not become one of the many people I saw driven away in the golf-cart ambulance. I achieved my new goal and still finished the course. I didn’t set any speed records and it wasn’t pretty, but I made it through.
Overall, I am very happy my cousin, Ami, talked me into Tough Mudder. I’m already planning to do it again next year, but I will have a variety of clothing with me and decide what to wear the morning of Mudder. Ohio’s is planned for the end of April in 2013, but I see on the site that Michigan is scheduled for June 29 & 30 where the weather might be more promising. Road trip?
April 14, 2012 will forever be the day we came…we saw…and we conquered. Well, maybe not quite conquered, but we survived, which amounts to the same thing in my book. This was, by far, one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It was also the most gratifying.
I have, honestly, never been so cold in my life. The ice water, rain, and frigid mud, combined with 55 degree temperatures and 15-20 mph wind made this even more of a challenge. In the beginning, we joked about “Team Hypothermia,” yet, by the midway point, we were coming closer and closer to being a part of that team. But we didn’t. We toughed it out, wrapped in our foil blankets, and chugged through.
Dirty Ballerina, multiple 5 foot deep mud pits, was unpleasant. Killa Gorilla, the ridiculously high sand hills that we went up and down, was horribly draining. Everest, the quarter pipe, was something I was bound and determined to make it up on the first try….which I did thanks to the guys at the top. The electrified obstacles weren’t nearly as bad as I expected. I struggled with some of the water obstacles, as I just couldn’t, realistically, imagine plunging myself back in ice water, when I was already chilled to the bone. Those are something to more effectively conquer next time, because yes, there will be a next time. Cuts, bruises and all, there will definitely be a next time!
Participation was provided. No compensation was received. The honest opinions are our own.