The Tough Mudder experience starts at home, garden, park, fitness centre or gym. But, what is the actual event like? What training do you need? How fit do you need to be? Can you bring a friend? Do you need to be in an established team? These are all valid questions, some will be addressed here.
First, this is not the Olympics, so don’t panic. And for you military people, this is not a pass or fail and you’re out. Yes, you need to get fit with a strong core as you can, but not super-fit or abounding in muscles. However, the right attitude and motivation is just as important as physical ability. A strong mind and body helps against injury too.
Any newcomer to an OCR (Obstacle Course Race), you will find it a whole new world. This is full of exhilarating excitement taking you through fears you never realised you had, with a multitude of new boundaries being crossed and all encompassed within a rush of adrenalin. So cool!
ON THE DAY: At the actual Tough Mudder event, most newcomers tremble with excitement, hardly able to talk calmly, clinging onto the closest friend or stranger near them. This is totally normal. In fact the trembling is excited anticipation … your body is preparing itself.
As the event starts your head is filled with lots of messages from your senses. New sounds, smells, and sights. Couple this with your imagination working overtime, doubts and fears mixed with laughter and tears. Again, this is normal. So calm down. Loads of us have been there too.
The Tough Mudder start area is your first real taste of what’s to come. Up to 200 people herded together waiting to be set off. You’ll have a motivator instructor addressing and leading you all in stretching and winding you up like a toy aeroplane. The whole 200 herd is then led to the start line for the participant rules and procedures – very necessary. Seconds after the countdown begins … 10, 9, 8. All your senses are filled with electric excitement … then BWAAAAAARF, the air horn sounds and YOU’RE OFF!!!!
Keep calm, remember your training. Pay attention to where your feet go, and move at your pace. Let the fast ones go ahead, you may catch some of them up later.
Your training kicks in with every hurdle, obstacle and mile passed. Everyone will seem to be fitter, stronger and faster than you – but don’t panic, that’s what everyone else is thinking too. You’ll soon see people struggling and at the point of giving up. Encourage them as you go past, they may be helping you later. Lol!
Heights. Tunnels. Funky Monkey bars. Deep muddy pits. Crawling in tight places. Freezing cold tanks. Cargo nets. Swinging at 5 metres above ground level. Climbing up wooden structures. Scaling 7 foot, 12 foot walls. Holding your head above water. And of course, electric shocks.
10 miles, or sometime later, you will be at the finish line. Exhausted, weary, wet and muddy yet buzzing with a new experience. You’ll be re-living each obstacle as you tell your friends the highs and lows of your latest journey.
So, to answer the title question … it’s so much fun!
… Team Chariot’s next blog will be a bit more specific: What to wear, fitness training, nutrition, the event .