The event that started it all – Tough Mudder. Didn’t have the best of nights beforehand, kept tossing and turning worried I was going to sleep in, which I didn’t, but we were still 10mins late for the bus – whoops. After a sarcastic ‘hand clap’ when we got on the team started our 3 hour journey – man coaches are slow!
We got there fine, winding our way through the gorgeous Scottish country side, over some very sketchy bridges but it was all good. One ‘team member’ couldn’t move from the bathroom at this point, twists and turns when you’re hungover apparently don’t mix.
We didn’t have too long once we got through registration and the weather was chilly with a little rain but perfectly fine. We started with the warm up which was good fun and really quite lively! Count down from 5 and we were off! First obstacle was just a wall – easy. Up and over job done. Then we see the start sign – I still feel cheated over this ha ha. So we did the trade mark chants and pledging allegiance down on one knee etc I even hugged 2 complete strangers (I cringe usually at that kind of thing). Count down again and now we really are off. I had a deal with a colleague to team up and drag each other through, as it was a mixed team quite a few of us did a ‘buddy’ system – made sense. Just a short run to the first obstacle Kiss of Mud – crawling under barbed wire. Short and sweet and didn’t really get muddy, job done. More wall climbing followed, not too difficult, but one of the team seemed to be going over them all head first! Not recommended!
The dreaded Arctic Enema was next – no one looks forward to that one. Caged in a slide down in to the icy water and then 2 sets of tyres to duck and dive under. I didn’t think I just went – as soon as I was down the slide I forced myself up to the surface. All I could hear was ‘keep going, move, move,move’ so under the tyres I went then straight under the next set. Best advice was not to stop. I could feel my breathing starting to get too short to quick – it’s not an easy obstacle. Done though, a fantastic bear roar from a guy in our team at the end of it.
Birth canal was another testing one (cry baby after arctic enema was really easy!), it was here all crammed in I could feel my anxiety kicking in. My buddy was at the end though trying to hold up the exit for me so it was head down and crawl. It was here we had our first drop out, no prizes for guessing who – obstacle courses and hangovers unsurprisingly don’t mix. Pyramid scheme wasn’t as difficult as I thought it was going to be either as my trusty old trainers were giving me good grip, I even managed to help pull up several team mates before running on and taking on the sewer rat – more water but a mantra of ‘1,2,3’ got me swimming to the other side.
A wade through mud almost waist high, carry your team mate and then more wall climbing. After that it was Hold Your Wood. I tried to get a small log but ended up with a fair sized one! Round the lake and my hubby was at the other side taking photos 🙂 He told me we had a mud mile to go and then the monkey bars aka Funky Monkey. This was one of the ones I had been training for and wanted! Through the mud and in to queue. We could hear a LOT of splashing – oh dear. Joe was at the side saying I was going to need a hand up as they were high but my team mates yelled back ‘we’ve got her’ (knew this would happen at some point being such a shortie). A good couple of minutes debating about gloves on or off and it was my turn. First rung, oh crap, should have left gloves off, 2, 3, 4 and it was splash down. Managed to splutter out to my mate to take his gloves off and he jumped down from the first rung and took them off. He made it all the way across and was so pleased with himself, it was one of his goals too!
Another mud mile and we lose 2 more of the team, one had a sore knee and the other went with her. More running, more crawling, more climbing and we paused again at Quagmire. By this time it was very difficult coping with the constant stopping for everyone to catch up – we had 21 in the team of all abilities. 1 or 2 wanted to keep going as they were hurting and just wanted to finish so a couple of us went on with them to help them out.
Now it was Everest, and I’m not going to lie I was beginning to feel it a little in my legs but I knew I would just have to run at it and get up. My buddy went first and I don’t think he even needed a hand he flew up the thing! I ran as fast as I could and just leaped for a hand. I was pulled up and over and it was done! First attempt! We helped a few more up then climbed down and I walked back to see if I could see the others coming. About 20 minutes later the first appeared and said one of our team had slipped on Quagmire and split her head open, blood everywhere. She was ok but not allowed to carry on. I felt so bad for her she was only 3 obstacles away from finish but the medics were having none of it. We would just have to get her at the end. Only about 4 of the rest of the team attempted Everest and we moved on to King Of The Swingers.
As bad as the Arctic Enema was this was worse! I didn’t realise you had to jump on to the swing, and it was a hefty drop too. My aim was no longer to hit the bell it was now just to get on to the swing. My team mate was in front and they counted down (really quick!). Knees bent but, nope, wasn’t for him. ‘Are you sure?’ I asked him. He faced it again but then swung round and said no, you go. Another count down and I just jumped, same strategy as before don’t think just do it, grabbed the swing, towards the bell then dropped. In to the mucky water below. I had managed to grab my nose before hitting it but I was taking ages and ages and ages to get back to the surface. As soon as I was up I started swallowing the water and it took a good stern word with myself to calm down and focus! The Marshall with the tyre was right in front of me but I was not going to need to be rescued. Out the water finally and a few deep breathes to calm down. Job done.
We went as a team through the final obstacle, Electric Shock Therapy. I wasn’t bothered about this one, I mean, how bad can it actually be? Probably should have focused more on the bale of hay I had to jump over first as I didn’t jump high enough and face planted the ground! Great, just washed off at the King Of The Swingers and now I was muddy again. I get up and right at the end I get a shock, yeah it’s sore but now I’m finished! I’ve done it!! THIS event made me feel I had achieved a goal!!
As predicted I started shivering quickly, don’t know what it is but it always happens so I headed straight for the hose to get changed before it kicked in too bad. My husband was on hand to try and shield some of my dignity (changing area was ankle deep in water so pointless). Dry clothes on and food ordered – job done. Yup, I ate a whole pizza!!
I would undoubtedly recommend Tough Mudder to anyone willing to put some work in. Was a fantastic day out and really felt like I had achieved something. Even better was my husband saying at the start he had no doubts I could do it now!
Definitely signing up for Total Warrior now ha ha.