A few years ago I was told that I couldn’t run a Tough Mudder and as everyone knows, the best way to get me to do something is, of course, to tell me I can’t do something. So, eight months ago or so, I convinced two of my best gal pals to sign up with me. I’m pretty sure they thought I was crazy. I’m also pretty sure they didn’t realize that I didn’t mean a half mudder (5 miles) but that I meant a full 10-12 mile course. We all agreed to train, and run, and do all the things it says to do to help you get ready…. and then life got in the way.
Before we knew it, we were running a tough mudder in two days!
For those of you that have never heard of it. A tough mudder is a 3-12 mile obstacle course complete with all the mud you can handle. You can do a three, five, or a ten-mile course and Tough Mudder events have even introduced a lil’ mudder for smaller kids. If you really decide to take it further, you can do the tougher mudder, toughest mudder, and go on to the world’s toughest mudder.
Tough Mudder hosts these events all around the world. The course changes from event to event with only some obstacles carrying over to the next course. Obstacles can be anything from tubes running underneath things, dangling electricical wires, mud pits, freezing water, Steep slopes, or fire obstacles. Basically, whatever the designers can think up goes on these courses.
On average only 78% of attendees complete the Tough Mudder. I’m pretty sure it’s because you have to really want it to go out and do that. I saw plenty of couples, as well as men’s and women’s teams out there. A lot of them were a bit younger than we are, and there were some older groups as well. I also saw single person runners.
Tough Mudder encourages people to sign up even if they don’t have a team. I know, you’re thinking how that heck will that work? Obstacle courses? You need team mates for that! The reason why they encourage individuals to sign up is because once you arrive for your wave, you will wind up adopted into a team. Everyone you run alongside of in that wave is your team. Everyone worked together and looked after each other. In a nation so divided right now it’s nice to see everyone working together.
One of the things I love the most about this event is that you don’t have to feel like you’re a bodybuilder or athlete to do it.(although I do suggest doing some of the training workouts before you do it) From the very beginning during the race speech, all the way to across the finish line, the volunteers and runners are supportive and helpful.You will have constant motivation from everywhere and everyone.
The tough mudder tests fears, strengths, and resilience. But even if you are out of shape, have health issues, or need to build some confidence; in the end, it will only come down to how stubborn you are to finish.
They continuously drill into your head that your only competition is you. It’s not a timed event, it’s a get through it and challenge yourself event. Beat your fears, show yourself you can do it. If you don’t get through an obstacle, go back and try again, or, you can move on to train more and come back for another event. There is no shame in walking around an obstacle. Only motivation to at least try it before you just give up.
We finished last. No, seriously, I mean last. But that’s ok because when we went into it that day all we said was let’s make it through. It doesn’t matter how fast so long as we have fun and finish. We even made jokes about signing our wills and that we signed death waivers. In the end, we came out three girls that felt like they could do anything after completing a ten-plus miles and 23 obstacle course.
We weren’t the strongest, in the best shape, and we sure weren’t the fastest. But I’m fairly sure that we were the most determined.
We earned that headband and beer!
Have you ran any obstacle course events? Tell us about your experience in the comments!