Pennsylvania Tough Mudder 2012: 13.2 mile trail run with 23 obstacles dispersed throughout. Our team of 9 quickly became a team of 6 as 3 people declined to show up on time. Just as well, I think 6 was a much easier number to navigate through the course. Temp was about 40 degrees and sunny. The wind was nasty with gusts up to 30 mph.
To enter the start area, I climbed over my first wall. It was about 7 ft high with a 2 inch foot hold about 2 feet up from the bottom. Here I give thanks to my yoga instructor because I threw my foot several feet over my head onto the top ledge and hoisted myself up and over. No footholds on the other side, I just lowered one foot down and dropped.
We were then contained in the starting area with about 200 people for 15 minutes. The staff did a great job getting us pumped up before unleashing us into a 100 meter patch of shoe sucking swampy mud.
I won't talk about all the obstacles but a few stand out as "I can't believe it did that" so I'll focus on those.
The first obstacle was easy by TM standards. We crawled on our bellies through sticky mud under barbed wire. Next was Arctic Enema (yes, that says enema), where we jumped into a dumpster filled with brown water with actual ice cubes in it. I bit the bullet and jumped in, feeling
my lungs contract immediately. Unable to take a deep breath, I dove under the wood plank blocking the middle and came up the other side gasping. I felt the icy water numbing my muscles fast so I paddled best I could to the end and struggled to pull myself out. It was hard to run for the next several minutes with frozen numb muscles but if we didn't, we'd be done for. That darn wind didn't help any.
Next up was a 150 meter long tunnel we crawled though on hands and knees. The tunnel was curved so it was pitch black until about halfway through. The hardest part here was just getting myself into the blackness to begin with.
Several obstacles later, we came to "Walk the Plank", a 15-20 ft high jump into a cold man made lake. This was terrifying for me. I'm fearful of heights AND deep water. After about a half minute of pacing, I took the plunge...woohoo!
The Electric Eel was interesting in a torturous kind of way. We slide on our bellies through mud and water under electrical wires that gave a nasty painful shock when hit. I was able to avoid most but got shocked 3-4 times. I could hear people actually yelling in pain as I was wiggling through.
I skipped 4 out of the last 6 obstacles because they involved water (except for the 12 foot pair of walls which the guys even struggled over) and I was already shivering and sore. My muscles were so tight, I could barely move my head back and forth. This would be an entirely different race if it was 65 degrees with minimal wind. Maybe next year?
I'm happy to say I ran the whole thing except for some uphills. Toward the end, the guys had slowed to my pace and it felt easier to keep up. Having a team definately pushed me beyond what I thought I could ever do.
For photos, see the following link: