Monday, February 25, 2013

This ain't that...

Tough Mudder Mesa, AZ 2013...

from the Tough Mudder website... "Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. With the most innovative courses, 700,000 inspiring participants worldwide to date, and more than $5 million raised for the Wounded Warrior Project, Tough Mudder is the premier adventure challenge series in the world."

Clinton Jackson does an awesome job getting the mudders pumped.

     I know everyone has heard about these mud, obstacle run challenges that are popping up all over the globe.  I remember doing the Camp Pendleton Mud Run as a team of 5 back in 2003 and having a really good time, thanks again Ed for the invite.  It took us just under an hour and we covered 10K and all the proceeds went to Camp Pendleton and the Marines so I was stoked.
     Since then I've personally stayed away from these due to there high entry fees, super crowds, usually short distances and sense of desiring more when I was done.  But one recently caught my eye.  It is called the Tough Mudder World Championships.

In this event you cover the same 11 mile course for 24 hours, non stop, winner take all $15,000.  So here's the catch you have to qualify by participating in one of there sanctioned Tough Mudder races.

OK I'll bite.  $160 dollars later I'm registered for the first one in my state.  Mesa, AZ 2/24/13.  This race has some 20 or so obstacles that extend over 11 miles.  Tough Mudder brands this event as a "challenge" not a "competition."  There is a lot of emphasis on Teamwork, and working together to help your fellow mudder.  They don't endorse it as a timed event, but in order to qualify for "Worlds" you have to be in the top 5% of your day.  I don't really know what that means because if you put people in front of me its a race, if you do a count down start its a race, As long as there is a start and finish line its a race.  This is just how I think..

Fast forward here I am the day after racing mountain bikes in Sierra Vista for nearly 4 hours its roughly 8:45AM in Mesa, AZ the temps are about 40-low 50's (at best) strong wind out of the North around 30mph and there are a ton of everyday people in running attire with sharpie numbers on there forehead like below.
Example of dressed up Mudders
I started at the back of the pack in the first wave of bought 150 mudders and had decided that I was going to have a blast, I love being cold but not freezing and I love obstacles.  By the 2nd obstacle,"Artic Enema" as seen below, I was in the top 15.

Artic Enema Ice Bath, sorry no pics of me.  This obstacle was no joke.
Froze my ass off for the next 2 miles
The race moved on I pushed and pushed to the top, the competition was on point and I was wondering if I would catch the leader.  There were a few of the front guys that got turned around on the course and missed a few obstacles so it worked out to my advantage, although this is technically not a competition you do have to complete the obstacle in order and at least attempt them.  By mile 6 I hit my Gel Pack and FRS chew and moved on.  I picked someone off every mile and by mile 9 I could see the leader about 1 minute ahead.

Electric eel.  I DON'T LIKE ELECTRICITY... Very unpredictable when its going to zap you.

Up the big wall

The finish line and again the electricity is not my favorite.  It's like being knocked out.
I had no body control and just fell over the hay bail.
I crossed the line in 1hour 41minutes and completed all obstacles.  First for my wave.  Let's see what happens in November at World's.

Thanks for reading.