The most important news about Tough Mudder is that I finished. It was a grueling event and laid out in a way that made it especially difficult for me in the last mile.
At the beginning, we recited the following pledge. UNLIKE any other event I have ever run, ridden etc, people really did help and encourage each other all along the course. This event really was like being in Army training and not a civilian event, because the others mud-spattered competitors really were helping. They helped me through three obstacles near the end when I was worn out.
As a Tough Mudder I pledge that…
* I understand that Tough Mudder is not a race but a challenge.
* I put teamwork and camaraderie before my course time.
* I do not whine – kids whine.
* I help my fellow Mudders complete the course.
* I overcome all fears.
The race started half-way up one of the steep slopes so we began with a "Braveheart Charge" downhill. We turned and ran, then walked (most of us anyway) up the longest climb of the course. More than half-way up, was a snow, slush pit that we crawled and walked across, then continued up the climb.
On the way down the other side we crawled under a long net sliding in the muddy grass on hands and knees. We continued down to a pile of firewood. There we each grabbed a small log and went up then down a 200-yard climb. We went from there to the steepest climb which was actually OK for me. It was bike riding muscles on the hills. Down the other side we ran through hip deep mud, crawled through smooth sewer pipes, then went down a long hill to a low crawl under wire through the mud. After that we ran through the woods for a couple of miles. When we emerged from the woods, I was in trouble.
First, I had linked up with a group that called themselves the Pandas. Panda 6 said their leader dropped out. I told him he was the leader. In the Army 6 is the number the commander uses. So our commander in Iraq was Diablo 6. Panda 6 was happy--"the Army guy said I am in charge." I ran with the Pandas to the water obstacle. I dragged myself across a really cold pond hand over hand on a sagging rope. Panda 6 thought this would be better than going over on a two-rope bridge. Maybe I spoke too soon. All the energy went out of me in that cold water.
The next obstacle was under barrels in another pond. I was colder. It was in the high 80s. I was cold.
Next we jumped off a pier and swam around a buoy and back to shore. To the trained swimmers in the water, I looked like a practice dummy. One swam up to me and asked if I was OK. I said No. His partner on the pier threw me a line and towed me in like a boat with no engine.
Out of the water, I jogged to the 12-foot wall climb. I had to climb two 12-foot walls. Other Mudders helped me over both. From there we went down a 100-foot water slide into a pond. I flipped into the pond butt first and landed on a rock with another guy's legs landing on my head. He helped me up and I swam for shore.
After that the run between the burning hay bales was positively refreshing. I took a few pictures at the end, but I was so tired, I ate everything in sight then drove home.
I was SOOOOoooo happy to finish. It really was a happy 57th birthday.
Tough Mudder vs. Ironman, Part 3
Tough Mudder vs. Ironman, Part 2
Tough Mudder vs. Ironman is Here
Second Tough Mudder Report
First Tough Mudder Finish
First Tough Mudder Photos
First Tough Mudder Entry
Ironman Bucket List
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