Arrive 7.00 am. So many people… collect welcome packs, pin numbers to tops. Gather the team amidst nervous laughter. And, we’re off.
Run, over the wall, up the hill and down again to the first obstacle. Crawl down through mud and under the wire. Crawl, crawl, move, move… done. Few cuts and bruises; nothing too bad.
Run… walls ahead… lift. OMG you’re heavy! Push, pull, and everyone’s over. On to the next wall. Sandy smiling, really happy. Lunatic.
Tough Mudder is about fun, friendship, teamwork and overcoming obstacles. With a course of 22 obstacles over 11,5 miles designed by the Special Forces, TM is guaranteed to test your mettle! But oh, what a feeling when you finish….AWESOME! But would we?? Sandy, Guy, Laura, Pete and myself committed to do Tough Mudder together and after 3 months of training (well, actually I’ve been training ever since I was born!), we were as ready as ever.
Run! Onto the climbing wall over the water, streeeeeetttttch… that’s it, shuffle the feet, reach, reach… splash! Laura’s fallen in. SPLASH! And Gary. Chuckle, chuckle. Sandy’s over okay. Me next, jump … that’s it. Safe and dry.
Start jogging, all the team laughing; great atmosphere. Up the steps for a jump into freezing ice water. Grab Sandy’s hand - 1, 2, 3… jump! OMG that’s cold!!! Breathe… breathe… breathe. Quick, out we get. Keep moving; jump around… anything to get warm.
Are those tanks? Oh hell….! Down into the mud and crawl under the tank; light ahead… push through.Push, push and we’re out. Help Sandy to her feet, she’s doing great, still smiling.
Up the hill, into the steep tunnel, watch out for the water at the bottom. Breathe… its cold. Through the water on my stomach, keep head up, can’t grip, use the legs, push, nearly there. DAYLIGHT …. I’m out! Turn around help the others. Wet again.
What’s that over there? I remember those when I was young… Monkey Bars … over yet more water. Still wet anyway, so no big deal. Dry hands in the grass, not great but will have to do. Need gloves. Stretch and swing, stretch and swing, nearly half way… slip, fall, in the water again and out. Go on Sandy, you can do it, swing, swing, splash. Never mind… great effort.
Keep moving, keep warm, pick up the logs, take it on the shoulder, through the woods, move, move. The wind is cold and biting; would be nice to be dry. Back to the start, one lap done, drop the logs, go.
I smell smoke… is that fire? Excellent, going to be warm at last… no chance! More water. Jump over the fire into the water. Ouch, that’s shallow. Jarred the leg… wade through the water, grab the nets and pull myself out. Pete’s singing and I’m not sure why. Hysteria maybe… or could it be he’s having a great time? Fantastic team spirit. Run! Keep running. What’s next?
It’s like Total Wipe Out with floating islands. Fast or slow? What the hell… fast, onto 1, quick jump onto 2, made it to number 3. No! Slipping, quick, balance, lean…. lean. Too late, wet again!
Keep running, nervous laughter …. we know what’s next. Shocking, literally! What’s that cracking sound? Is that electricity? OMG. Down into the mud and water, keep an eye on the electric cables. Is that Rob ahead? Crack! He screams - massive jolt through his body. Then another… OUCH! And another, they just keep coming. Can’t help but chuckle; this is great fun, poor devil. Crack! Then I’m hit with a jolt, don’t scream, keep crawling. Crack! Feels strange. Crack! Nearly there and out. Rob’s ok but he looks exhausted.
Where’s Sandy? Just starting. Forward, forward. Crack! Oh no! She’s okay. Crack. Don’t laugh Steve, she’ll kill you. Wait, she’s going for it, never seen anyone crawl so fast. Amazing, cheers allround!
Short climb up the slope, no problem. What? Carry a team member. Really? Okay Sandy, fireman’s lift, over my shoulders. You okay? You won’t slip, don’t worry. She weighs nothing. One foot in front of the other. Don’t panic, nearly half way. Switch? I don’t think so. Keep going. Finish, put her back on her feet, she’s still smiling. Where‘s everyone else, here they come. Great, off we go again.
Through the mud, over the hill, more mud, more hills… is that more water? Fine, bring it on! Don’t slip. Paul’s fallen in. There’s always one. He’s laughing though. Fantastic.
There’s the Finish line and in the last 20 metres about 10,000 volts of electricity. I’m ready. Go! Jump the hay. Half way, almost there … I can see the finish. CRACK! Ouch, picking myself of the floor, knee hurts … must have landed badly. Keep moving just a couple of metres and I’m out. Finished!!
Where’s the team? Rob’s hit, he’s down. Guy too. Pete’s okay. Sandy’s through.
All done! Collect the fabled Orange Headband and the T-shirt, have a quick drink of cider. Everyone’s laughing. We’re so doing it again next year. Tough Mudder rules….!
18 June 2013