Tough Mudder 2014

Thankfully we had no issues getting in or out of the site yesterday. Some runners on Saturday reported 2 mile long traffic backups getting to the site.

Registration was a hectic mess, but wasn’t too bad. Dropped my bag off and we wandered over to the starting corral.

The first wave left about 2 minutes after I arrived there, and everyone else started walking on the spectator’s path.

Waited 10 minutes, then moved from the starting corral to the warm up area. Warm up guy was pretty entertaining. After 10 more minutes, wave 2 went, and we moved up to the starting line.

The starting line hype guy is a hoot. He really loves his job. Somehow I ended up about 2 rows from the very front, with a herd behind me. As we started, my focus was on not being run over, but neither being pressured into starting too fast. I treated the run to the first obstacle as a warm up. My goal was to run the whole thing.

About 0.75 miles, was the first obstacle, Kiss of Mud, basically a belly crawl under wire through mud. Just enough to get everyone dirty.

Mile 1.2 or so, was the Pole Dancer. Was much easier than I expected, I made it across with no problem.

Mile 1.5 was the Mud Mile (which was the hardest one in 2012). The Saturday people helpfully left many hand and foot holds, so it was MUCH easier this time around. Saw my dad there, this was as far as the Spectators could go.

Course was mostly hunting/ATV paths, with a good chunk of sandy gravel roads. Much better footing than 2012. There were some parts that were very nice and shaded too.

At mile 2 was Warrior Carry, about a 100′ buddy carry. I lucked into a 3-some running just in front of me.

At mile 3 there was the Arctic Enema. And it was cold.

Shortly after was the Glory Blades, which was a new one to me. They were slanted towards you. I helped a pair in front of me over, then the next group behind me boosted me up.

Then the course split. First timers just ran. Repeat mudders got to go down a hill to a lake and do a lake barrel swim. Nice and cool. Until we had to run back up the hill. I started walking big uphills at this point.

We rejoined the first timers, and into the Quagmire, which was an oversized Mud Mile pit at mile 4.

We then detoured off of the hunting area and ran around a corn field. No shade and plenty of dust. At mile 5 we had the Berlin Walls and Devil’s Beard (a cargo net we crawled under) back to back. Helped a nice 5-some at the Walls.

At about mile 6.5, we had 2 close together. The Cage Crawl, and Walk the Plank. Nice to cool off again.

At 7.4 was Balls to the Wall, a rope assisted wall climb. Had the same 5-some with me as before.

At mile 8, Hold Your Wood was a nice break from the running. My knee was starting to ache a bit, but we were on the home stretch now.

We joined back up with the Spectators at Hanging Tough, and I spotted my family. Slipped on the ring and fell in the water, which my son helpfully reminded me of about 38 times later.

Jogged out a big loop, then came back to the Funky Monkey. Thankfully, the bars were not as slippery, and I made it across, despite the lady in front of me taking her sweet time and holding me up some.

I got to Everest, and was slightly dismayed to see it basically deserted. I know in 2012 that it seemed impossible to do solo. But I made it up on my first try.

Repeat mudders got to do Fire in Your Hole, which was a water slide with flames at the end.

Last up was the live wires. I made it about 10′ in before I got a huge zap which laid me out like a sack of potatoes. Barely got up and started moving before I got another one which dropped me back down. Crawled a bit, then stood up and ran the last bit with one more little zap for good measure.

All in all, much better than last time. Being solo was both good and bad. Got to run at my own pace, but lacked anyone to talk to.