Tough Mudder is one of those events I always swore I would never do. Mostly because the price tag is simply offensive, but also because it’s 10 miles of obstacles…and I am not good at anything that involves upper body strength. However, it also bugged the hell out of me that it’s the one I had never done. So I had to do it.
When my work pals decided to get a team together, I found myself parting with my hard earned cash to roll around in the mud collecting bruises. What else are Bank Holiday weekends for right?
MediaCom Mud Runners: The before photo
It was an early 5am start to head down to Henley for the London West event but the sun was shining, it was going to be a beautiful day and I was in high spirits. Our start time was 9:30 and we were ushered into a holding pen with a fairly small group of people for a little warm up and to get down on our knees to make the Tough Mudder pledge.
The course is 10 miles broken down into two laps. And it’s hilly. Like, proper hilly. In fact, one of the obstacles is Killa Gorilla and is simply running up a very steep hill, and then down again…and repeat. Bad times.
The obstacles are a mix of having to climb over things of various heights, often involving people lifting you up, running up things, water based challenges and rolling around in the mud (in Devil’s Beard you literally get on the floor and roll down a hill under a net).
My favourites were the water based obstacles:
Block Ness Monster: Jumping into cold, muddy water you have to grab and hold a large rotating block to get over the other side…before moving onto the next block
Shawshanked: Pulling yourself backwards up a dark tube, you reach the top and have to fall backwards into a water pit below. Loved it!
This isn’t anyone I know but perfectly depicts why I loved the water challenges!
Cage Crawl: You float under a cage elevated just above water and pull yourself along. Just don’t freak because there’s no way out until you get to the end!
Arctic Enema: A simple slide down a tube into an ice bath that takes your breath away. It doesn’t end there cause you then have to fully immerse yourself again under a beam to get out. It’s a tad chilly
My least favourites were the ones with high walls, they had a narrow edge at the top and you were totally reliant on other people to get you up there. However, Everest was quite fun where you had to run at a curved wall with people at the top to pull you over, and the Pyramid Scheme was also good where you made a human pyramid to get to the top of a high ledge.
The Best Bits
- The atmosphere and camaraderie. It was second to none
- Team spirit – not just from my own team but from every single person out there who worked together to help each other out
- The water challenges. I loved them all!
- The photos are free to download…but only if you’re lucky enough to be snapped
- The hills. Love to hate ’em…but I know they did my fitness the world of good
- The pledge
- Getting a piggy back from Lucy in the ‘Hero Carry’!
- The weather. We were so lucky to have such a warm day, I think it would have been miserable being in and out of muddy water in the cold!
The Worst Bits
- The big price tag #1: You’re looking at £100 – £140 for the ‘full’ 10 mile version
- The big price tag #2: It cost me £15 just to park my car in a field. IN A FIELD
- The big price tag #3: £3 for the bag drop. Fair enough, it went to charity, but surely TM could have siphoned off some of the entry fee for the charity?!
- The lack of water stations: Even without the hot weather there weren’t nearly enough stations. I lost count of the number of people I saw suffering from cramp – this was inevitably down to dehydration
- Some obstacle duplication: Not the end of the world, but it would have been nice if they were all unique
- The lack of photographers
- The climbing / high wall challenges: OK, this is just me because I can’t do them and am totally reliant on people helping me over (sorry guys!)
- The hills: Did I miss the warning about ALL THE HILLS?!
- It totes ruins your nails 🙄
The Ugly bits
- The scrapes
- The bruises
- The DOMs. I opted for rolling rather than walking the next day
- …but I wouldn’t expect anything less and I’d have felt cheated if these things hadn’t happened!
MediaCom Mud Runners: The after photo
It’s fair to say that Tough Mudder exceeded my expectations in a lot of ways. It’s a lot of fun and it’s totally do-able if you don’t mind some hard graft and getting bashed around in the mud. Importantly, it genuinely is a really inclusive event that brings out the best in human spirit, everyone is willing to lend a hand…literally.
Is it worth the price tag though? I’d have to say no…but it’s not far off. If you love this kind of thing it’s very much worth getting your mates together and having a go. I mean, no one messes with people wearing this little outfit now do they?!