As we (I) wind our way through the conclusion of this epic spectacle of oddities known as “Tough Mudder”, a few thoughts had crossed my mind up to this point.
Miles 0-2: Good lord, I should have ran more. This is hard. It’s going to be a long race.
Miles 3-7: This is pretty fun. I wish I would have ran more but now it’s more about either 1) hoping the migraine doesn’t come on strong, 2) keeping the water down, or 3) praying my heart doesn’t end up on the wrong side of my rib cage.
Miles 8+: I can’t believe I’ve done this. It’s been hard, but either I have more grit than even I thought or something has lined up to make this a bit easier than it should be.
Now that we know what’s going through my mind, we’re back to the play-by-play of the obstacles. Mile 8.5 yields another split obstacle, with the newbs getting Reach Around and the Legionnaires getting Stage 5 Clinger. Reach Around looked insanely hard, but I managed it pretty well. You pretty much scale a 2×4 ladder that is tilted back toward you, and then reach up and over this platform and pull yourself up. S5C is even tougher, as you can see in the video below. The obstacles are side by side, and RA is on the far side of S5C.
Hold Your Wood was nothing more than running around carrying a big piece of wood. I probably could have carried a bit more, but I wasn’t sure how much more gas I had in me and I had some fairly intense obstacles coming up.
Just after mile 10, the obstacle I was more interested in seeing how I did loomed on the horizon, Funky Munky: The Revolution. It looks like something straight out of American Ninja Warrior, and I did way better than I would have thought on it. I almost had that last ring, but needed about another inch of finger around it to maintain my grip. Don’t ask me what’s in that water. I’m not sure I really want to know.
We were nearly to the end of the race, and nearly fully exhausted when Artic Enema was approaching. A couple of the guys were clearly not looking forward to this, and knew it wasn’t going to be like anything else. I’ve never done a polar plunge before, and I’m surprised anyone could do that after enduring the AE. That just knocked everything out of you, and your body had no idea what was going on other than screaming get the hell out of this water. On the side of the dumpster is an ice truck which is constantly throwing ice in the water to make sure it stays around 34 degrees. I’m not sure if it’d feel any better or worse if it were 50 degrees and raining out or a scorching 100 degree day. I think AE sucks regardless, but at least it’s quick. All I could do was holler when I got out and start walking.
While the race was drawing to an end, the last obstacle (s) were still to come. Another duo of trickery, Electroshock Therapy for the newbs, and Kong for the Legionnaires. The newbs certainly got the short end of the stick. I’m pretty sure everyone on my team hated ET, and it sure was my least favorite. It didn’t hurt when you got shocked, but you could hear it, feel the snap, lose your legs, and get pissed off all in 1/10th of a second. Kong is in the background of ET, and it’s pretty much swinging between gymnast rings 20 feet over a big stunt balloon. LAME.
So there you go. That was Tough Mudder 2017 and these guys are already trying to get me to sign up for 2018. Anything is possible at this point, except me doing ET again. Maybe next time I’ll train a little more!