Last Saturday, September 16th, myself and a group of NBSers went up to Lebanon, TN to take on a Tough Mudder. For those not familiar with the Tough Mudder event series it is a 10 mile obstacle course with 20 obstacles spread throughout the course. Obstacles including crawling through mud under barbed wire, sliding down a tube into frigid ice water, a climbing obstacle straight out of American Ninja Warrior, and running through a forest of electric shock cables while standing in water. Yeah, it sounds a little crazy.
The start of the race begins with gathering into a coral and getting a motivational speech and then a count down before you get to charge into the course. The way they have this setup is really cool and makes you feel like you’re in a movie getting a pre battle pep talk. From there, we took off through the hills of Nashville in a group of about 200 racers. This group began to spread out a bit throughout the course as did our team. After about 3 or 4 obstacles, Jennifer and I were split off from everyone with a goal to keep moving.
Another cool part of the Tough Mudder is that the majority of the obstacles require help to complete. They are setup so that you have to work with the other racers on the course to get through it. This may include letting someone step on your shoulder to make a human ladder or grabbing someones arm to help them climb up a mud hill. The camaraderie that results from this practice is just one more thing that adds to enjoyment of the event.
About half way through I bruised my rib climbing over a log which kept getting irritated through out the rest of the course but the worst thing that happened to me was I started cramping pretty bad the last 3 miles of the course. Another runner gave me a salt tablet which helped alleviate the cramps for about 15 minutes but they came back worse the last two miles. Those last two miles were brutal. Trying to keep running and get through the obstacles with my calves and hamstrings locking up every couple seconds made for a tough, but fun, mental challenge. I remember saying earlier in the course that I didn’t come here to walk so that was what I kept repeating to myself as I trudged ahead.
The final obstacle was the electroshock therapy where you run through a forrest of electric tentacles. A lot of people went through unscathed or with minor shocks but for some reason when I went through the shocks shut my body down and blacked me out for a brief second. The funny thing is, I don’t remember feeling any of the shocks. I was just moving forward and then the next thing I knew, I was in the mud. Get back up, BZZZZZ, right back into the mud. In my head I figured the reason I kept ending up in the mud was because I was tripping on the hay bales when in fact I was getting shocked. I didn’t really “experience” it because each time it happened I blacked out. It wasn’t till I got through and saw the video that I knew what was really the cause.
Overall it was a great experience and I’m looking forward to doing another one or two next year. Hopefully a few of you will join me and experience your first Tough Mudder as well.