A long time ago, I was asked to be part of a team that did Tough Mudder. I am pretty sure I said no... This was obviously ignored, and in early May we trooped up to Henley on Thames to participate. Here is the story!
TOUGH and MUDDY. That's basically it, but read on...
One of my best mates, Dan, knows Linvoy Primus pretty well, and through Dan, I have met him a few times. Linvoy's a top bloke, and something of a legend in these parts having been a regular in the Portsmouth FC team throughout the noughties! Linvoy is heavily involved with a local charity - Faith and Football - which engages with less privileged kids through football and Christianity. You don't need to be religious to appreciate the work they do, and they have made a massive difference to the lives of many people. Linvoy was often known as the nicest man in football - it's easy to see why! Anyway, the long and short of it was that the Tough Mudder was to be done for the charity, and like it or not, I was in!!
At this point, I was pretty relaxed, I had recently done the Great South Run, a couple of Half Marathons and a few 10k's. I'd been skiing and I was pretty fit. Oh well, why not, I thought... Trouble was, for a variety of reasons my fitness dropped off leading up to the event, and I was concerned!!
Tough Mudder is nearly 12 miles of hills, mud, and 20+ obstacles. It's a lot of fun, but it's really tough (as the name suggests!). It's a team event really, and it was a team I was joining!
The "Tuff Brudderz" was our group, and along with a couple of Tuff Sisterz, we headed off to Henley on Thames for our day. Conditions were great - cool and dry.
We'd all chipped in for a tshirt, and of course, I donated eGloves! It was XTREME's and Sport's for a small donation to Faith and Football. They are actually an important part of the kit as it turns out!
We got to the event went through the check in paraphernalia, and lined up in our start pen. You are released in waves to try and spread everyone out over the course so you aren't hanging around too much - which works up to a point, but there are delays in certain places!!
Some of the obstacles are easy, some are fairly easy but unpleasant, but most of them are somewhere between tough and close to impossible (for me anyway!!). Noteworthy are; Arctic Enema - this involves sliding into a massive skip of ice and water! It is unbelievably disorientating, you feel numb and as you have to submerge yourself fully it messes with your thinking! Shock Therapy is the electrocution bit, and the best known obstacle - and it hurts!! (Unsurprisingly!! Haha!!). There are loads of 'em - The Block Ness Monster, Mud Mile, Hero Carry, Pyramid Scheme and Everest, to name a few...
All in all, the more time that passes, the more I recall the event fondly! I'm not sure I would do another, although I am under a bit of pressure to do so! It's a definite tick in the box though... :-)
If you get talked into doing one, here is my list of tips!
Notes and tips:
- Traffic - leave plenty of time to get to the venue - we were in Henley and traffic was terrible!
- VIP parking is REALLY convenient!
- Trail Shoes are better than normal running shoes - you'll need the grip.
- Quick drying clothing is essential...
- Base layer with long sleeves and run tights are best - I wore shorts and ripped my knees up a bit - wish I'd worn some Absolute 360 run tights!
- Wear your eGlove XTREME's - these are ideal as they dry quickly and give you protection...
- Change or clothes - you WILL be filthy!