Tough Mudder (Indiana – Saturday)

Team Mux (aka tough as nails) competed on November 18th at the Indiana Tough Mudder event.  Tough Mudder events are a “hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. Over half a million inspiring participants, and more than $2 million dollars are raised for the Wounded Warrior Project. Tough Mudder is the premier adventure challenge series in the world.”  So with over three months of training and dedication under my belt, it all came down to one Saturday with a bunch of great dudes.  Here’s a summary of some of the obstacles.

Braveheart Charge: The event started out with a pep talk, reciting the “mudder” oath, and some military screams.  It was awesome way to get pumped up for the event.  We went on the first wave (9:00 am. They sent 500 people every twenty minutes) so we had “first dibs” of the course.  We went down some hills and then up some hills prepping to run on anything but smooth terrain all day. Grade = B+

Kiss of Mud: There was some crawling under barbed wire to get our first taste of the mud and see how cold some of the water would be.  Grade = B+

Cliffhanger: The first “real” obstacle was a massive hill that went straight up.  This was the only part of the course that we got backed up (people wise).  With us being the first people on the course it was no big deal.  I would have hate to have gone up it on the 11:20 wave.    Grade = C

Killa Gorilla: This endless set of annoying hills were not that hard. People were still relatively close together with made it fun to joke around with the team and keep a steady pace. Grade = B+

Chernobyl Jacuzzi: The “jacuzzi” is a massive Waste Management container filled with ice water (more ice than water… or maybe the same).  You have to go completely under the water as there is a board in the middle with barbed wire on top making it impossible to go over.  As I approached the obstacle I looked at my buddy and said, “this has kept me up a few times at night”.  Without thinking I threw my stocking cap to the side and jumped in the “tub”.  I didn’t feel the cold until I got my head above water.  Then I breathed out with whatever breath I had left in me and died a little on the inside.  After all, this was only the start. I retraced my steps and got my cap. Awesome! Grace = A+

Mud Mile: There was a swamp of mud and cold water that everyone walked through.  Forget running at this point.  I was just trying to figure out if I tied my shoes tight enough for them not to come off.  No problem there.  I made it out with both of them on my feet and an extra ten pounds of mud on my body.  Grade = A-

Walk the Plank: We came to the realization that whenever we heard yelling or loud music that meant a “tough obstacle” was coming in the near future.  Walk the plank is a 15 foot “tower” that you climb up, only to jump off into a freezing cold lake.  Then, to make matters worse, you have to swim roughly 40 yards to the shore.   I once again threw my cap to the side and climbed up. No problem.  I looked down, braced myself, and then backflipped into the water.  The freezing cold ice water.  Right as I jumped my right calf cramped up.  When I hit the water I just kept telling myself, “SWIM!”.  Sure enough, I got to the other side, jumped out of the water and started running in place to get rid of the cramps.  Went and got my cap again while waiting for my teammates to finish the swim. Exhilarating. Grace = A+

Berlin Walls and Log Bog: There were three obstacles spread out that were a series of walls and one that was a pile of logs (log bog) that you had to go over and under.  The “log bog”, the first and third set of walls were no big deal.  I was thankful for the guys on the course who helped out when needed.  The second set of walls were a different story.  As I got to the second wall set I had a guy help me up.  As soon as I grabbed the top of the wall I could feel my leg tense up again but knew I had to make it over.  I sat on the top of the wall and looked at my leg cramping up.  It was so bad it looked like a golf ball grew inside my leg and then disappeared.  The whole team was struggling with cramps at this point but we stretched a little and moved on.  After all, we’re “tough mudders!”. Grade = B+

Turd’s Nest and Spider Web: The “web” obstacles were seriously no big deal.  We went across them with little effort.  It was funny on the “turd’s nest” (which is a cargo net suspended off the ground) there were guys laying at the bottom which heaped keep the net tight.  I literally walked straight across a guy who called me spider man.  It pays to not be super huge buddy. Hooray for being one of the little guys! Grade = B+

Devil’s Beard and Hay Bales: After running up some hills and down a few more we had to go under a cargo net for a few yards.  The net was so heavy that it felt like a massage on my back as I went through hunched over.  After the obstacle we went on to two sets of massive hay bales stacked on top of each other.  The bales were not much of a problem as the wind and cramping continued.  Being wet, freezing cold, and windy is a bad combination for letting the blood flow.  Regardless we showed the bales who was boss. Grade = B+

Hold Your Wood and Swamp Stomp: After I was 20% dry I thought we were done with the water for awhile. I was even warming up a little bit (if that’s possible).  As we rounded a corner we were forced to carry a log for ten minutes only to drop it off in the exact same place we started.  I saw “the swamp” right after i dropped my log on the pile.  Seriously?  Goodbye being warm.  Hello cold water… my old friend.  We were literally in waist deep water for well over 400 yards.  I couldn’t believe it.  Well played Tough Mudder, well played. Grade = A+

Funky Monkey: The Funky Monkey is a set of monkey bars with freezing cold water at the bottom.  I was so tired of being wet that there was no way i was dropping.  I took the outside wood (because the bars were greased) and made it all the way across. Praise the Lord for not being in that water again. Grace = A

Electroshock Therapy:  This is the one that everyone wants to know about.  After all 10,000 volts of electricity is not something you run through every day.  I saw it after we ran through some fire and figured now was as good of a time as any to get to the finish.  I saw a hole and ran right through.  I think I might have gotten shocked a few times but I was so cold I didn’t even notice. Grade = A

After getting my headband and a Cliff Bar we had made it.  It was an awesome feeling of accomplishment.  The race was awesome.  Everyone at the finish was cold and shaking.  I think it took me a half hour just to change!  Whatever.  It was worth it and the experience was one of a lifetime.  I wouldn’t change a thing.

All for an orange headband and a t-shirt an amazing experience with some great guys and an accomplishment that I will remember forever.  Tough Mudder for life.

What’s next?



1 Response to “Tough Mudder (Indiana – Saturday)”

  1. 1 Tim Sprankle November 23, 2011 at 2:33 am

    Amazing race. Wonderful recap. I’m somewhat jealous, but mostly feel warm.

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