Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Scoop on Tough Mudder - During the Event

I had bought a disposable waterproof camera to take some photos of us during the event but I can't imagine what I was thinking!! I abandoned that idea the night before when I realized that I was not going to be able to manipulate even a disposable camera with my kayaking gloves on and that we'd really need to keep moving for warmth.  Here are links to event photos taken by TM:  Saturday, another group from Saturday and Sunday.

After reading posts on the Tough Mudder Facebook page Saturday night and Sunday morning, we were thankful that we enough clothes to cover up all exposed skin save our faces.  We wore tight winter-weight Nike mock t-neck shirts (on sale!!), winter weight tights (well Tara wore compression shorts), gloves and our diving beanies. We made a point of getting our faces wet during the wading obstacle before the big jump and it was SUCH a good call to do that.  But not everyone was as concerned about the cold water as we were.  There were people wearing COTTON t-shirts, sports bras or no shirt at all.  There were men in dresses, tutus, footie PJs, shorts, Speedos, boxers, you-name-it.  I can't tell you how many people we saw in that water wearing nothing on their heads or hands.  We asked the very young-looking burly guys who drew our numbers on our faces if they'd have our back during Walk the Plank.  They said not to worry, they'd pull us out if need be...."we pulled out about 300 people on Saturday."  I didn't know if that made me feel better or worse but decided I'd walk my plank right next to them just in case.  You know what?  It was not that bad! I jumped off quick and I was warm enough to swim plus the distance was not nearly as long as I feared it might be.  Boy did I feel healthy after that!  I won't even go off the high dive at the pool so I still can't believe I jumped that 15 feet. It was easy to enjoy the rest of TM with that particular obstacle out of the way.

The slog through the mud was next and I can't exactly say I enjoyed it because it was so long and the mud was even more glacial than the pond, but at least it didn't involve any fear. My wool socks did the best they could to warm my feet but they were numb for the next mile AT LEAST.  After that, there were many obstacles interspersed with twisty-turny hilly running on the slippery muddy motorcross track.  Some obstacles were straightforward, like the Kiss of Mud, Boa Constrictor and Spider's Web.  Some obstacles we could not complete by ourselves.  Rebecca was seriously close to getting over the 10 foot "Berlin Walls" unassisted but Tara and I needed the help of #414, who graciously allowed us to use him as a staircase for all three walls.  None of us could traverse the Funkey Monkey Bars past bar two, so that meant more wading through arctic water. There were steep mud hills where people had to pull us up and where we lent a hand when we could.  It was hard to feel like we could be helpful to such enormous and muscular men except to add encouragement for the very long run.  I think the length of the event may have been the most difficult thing for many people.  The TM site said 22% of Saturday's group did not finish.

Tara, Rebecca and I were jubilant and thankful to finish without injury and to be able to honestly say that we had a TOTAL BLAST!

Posted via email from Cathleen Phelps

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