Checkout my YouTube VLOG from Tough Mudder Yorkshire 2017
This was my first experience of Tough Mudder and second OCR event. I have always wanted to tried a Tough Mudder out and have always been interested in obstacle courses, so its an ideal match. What has put me off in the past has always been the need for a team of us to get around. Most of my friends have either not been interested or none committed so I have missed out. This time around one of the guys I cycled Death Valley with in 2016 said that he was going to do the full Tough Mudder Yorkshire to raise money for The Christie in Manchester and asked if I wanted to join him. Needless to say, I said yes I would love to.
Chris and I were in the 9am wave on the Saturday, the night before we had really heavy rain, now normally heavy rain the night before an event makes me worry about running or cycling conditions during the race, this time around I was quite pleased it had rained, this meant we were going to get the worst Tough Mudder could throw at us. At this point I hadn’t thought about the car parking in a wet muddy field…..
Sooo, I got to Broughton Hall at 8am, parked up fairly quickly considering the queue and the field was very wet and muddy but I managed to get parked without issue, getting out might be a different story once all of the other cars have messed up the field. Checkin was painless, I did see signs saying to show prove of wave start time and I had forgotten to print this off, I was a little worried about that but they never asked for it. Once checked in I met up with Chris and dropped of my bag. We were now ready to hit the course, we were both nursing a number of injuries which meant we were not going to be quick at this even if we wanted. But thats not what Tough Mudder is all about, it is about team work and camaraderie, in fact you make this pledge before starting the race. We got warmed up with our 9am start buddies and set off on our way.
Firstly we came up to a little stream jump, nothing too tough about this one, then some hay bails to jump over and a fence to crawl under, again pretty easy stuff. Then we had to wade down a stream which felt pretty cold, or at least, it felt cold at the time. After getting out of the stream we jogged up a muddy bank, the first proper muddy experience. This reminded me of when I was a kid playing in the fields behind our house running around and sliding on the muddy banks, great fun as a kid and just as fun at 35yrs old. We then crawled under the hay bails which we jumped over earlier, this time squeezing through a little tube and then we came to Artic Enema 2.0, which basically, you climb to a platform and slide down a tube / slide into a trough of ice filled water, remember me saying that I thought the stream walk was cold earlier? well let me tell you, dropping into this water proper took my breath away and left me gasping for air. I then had to duck back under the water to swim under a plank of wood. After that experience we headed off on our way, hoping to dry out a little but it was a cold grey day with some heavy rain showers so it wasn’t the most pleasant of experiences right now, I was FREEZING COLD!! its July, I mean come on, it should be warm and sunny right?
We went through the Birth Canal and Shawshanked, which has you on your belly crawling through the mud under some barbed wire, I was powering through the mud crawling fast then felt the barbed wire scratching down my back, oops!! my fat ass had got in the way again, leaving two big scratches down the length of my back, a hole in my shirt and a hole in my shorts…. good job I wore some old gear for this. Then came Everest 2.0, a slippy ramp which you can run up or run up and hope someone is at the top to pull you over. I managed to run straight up to the top, those months of running around Scholar Green finally paid off!
A few more obstacles passed without issue, as we were running down hill we spotted the monkey bars, this was one obstacle I was not looking forward too. My grip strength isn’t the best and to be honest, its not something I have trained or worked on, at all. So we got the Funky Bars which were a set of around 10 monkey bars followed by a series of 4 wheels of differing sizes all hanging 6ft over water. To my surprise I went across the monkey bar section with ease, got onto the first wheel and instantly spun around to face the way I had come from, I managed to jump backward and catch the next wheel with one arm, again surprising myself that I could hang one handed, then swinging over to the 3rd wheel my hand slipped and I fell into the water. I was pretty pleased to have made it almost all of the way across.
Once again, soaking wet and cold we had a mile of running up and down the hill and to make matters worse I had stones in my shoe AND it was pouring with rain again. I thought to myself, I have paid for this, paid to be cold, wet, hands hurting, stones digging in my feet, but loving it all the same. Next up was Snot Rocket, back in chest deep water, this time climbing a tube with water pouring down over us, pretty straight forward but wet again. Next we faced the Mud Mile, climbing over mounds of slippy wet mud and sliding down the other side into a trough of water eight times. This was great fun and one of my favourite obstacles from the day.
After the Mud Mile we got through a few more obstacles without issue and then headed over to Pyramid Scheme, having ran up Everest earlier I tried to run up the slope again but slipped and face planted the floor, very embarrassing until I watch at least 10 more people do the same just while I was getting to my feet, so its not just me. To get up, I lay on my back, Chris climbed up onto my shoulders and pulled himself up to the beam half way up, then pulled me up and we scrambled to the top from there, a pretty good effort for a team of 2. Once at the top we stayed behind for a short while pulling others up and helping out…. TEAM WORK.
This left us with the last obstacle, Electroshock Therapy. I had totally under estimated this one. I thought, the electric shock can’t be that bad otherwise they wouldn’t be allowed to do it, so I just ran straight in and got shocked three times, the first I thought someone had punched me, then the second time I realised it was the electric shocking me that felt like a punch, third time got me on the leg and nearly took me down lol, so wasn’t expecting that, this is me looking pleased / received to be out and over the line, job done.
Both Chris and I really enjoyed Tough Mudder despite the cold wet weather, I feel this added to the experience. The obstacles weren’t that difficult in my opinion and my worries of not having a team in the past were over nothing, I could have come here and ran this by myself and barring a few obstacles where others would have helped me, I would have been ok as a single mudder. We are now part of the Mudder Nation both legionnaires. During this event in Yorkshire, the 3,000,000th mudder crossed the start line, what an achievement to have so many mudders.