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This was an epic day. I survived my second Tough Mudder. I guess I forgot the aftermath soreness from last year’s event.
This year the event was held at the EAA Airventure grounds in Oshkosh, WI.
Injury report: Several scrapes, cuts and abrasions on my legs, knees and elbows.. One pretty deep one on my right elbow. Jammed ring finger on my right hand. It kinda hurts to make a fist. My right knee is just a touch sore. Typical soreness that happens when my muscles do things they aren’t used to. Innumerable bruises on my knees, inner thighs, under my arms (from climbing over the walls), and elbows. The most epic injury is a massive bruise on my right butt cheek. Huge. Seriously. I slipped on the way out of the Arctic Enema and landed ass first on one of the two by fours. It hurt so much when it happened that it literally took my breath away. And since I had just come out of the Arctic Enema, I didn’t have much breath to take away. It hurt the rest of the race. Every time I tried to run, I could feel it. It felt like I was being kicked by a horse on every step. The worst part was getting back to the car and sitting down. I screamed! It hurt so bad. Sitting is still very painful. The bruise has swelled to about 6 inches by 4 inches. It is a stunning rainbow of purple, black and red.
But, on to the race. We got to Oshkosh and it was raining buckets. We sat in the car for a little while; we needed to psych ourselves up for what was about to happen. And that it was going to happen in a torrential downpour. From the parking area, we had about a half mile walk to the registration area. We were completely soaked by the time we got there. We picked up our bibs, but because of the rain, no one was getting body marked. That is a bummer, because it is one way for the official photographers to identify you.
We dropped our stuff off at bag check and found some of the rest of our team. We had to wait for two of our guys who had decided to complete the course twice. They were still out on the course, so we hung out at the finish line and waited for them to come across.
It was pretty cool watching some of the runners going through the Electroshock Therapy at the end of the course. I am pretty certain they had the voltage dialed up this year. I saw more than a few people who really got their bell rung when they hit a live wire. And a few people who blacked out. I’m not sure if that is awesome, or a bit too much.
Anyway, we were just hanging around, in the rain, killing time, waiting for Preston and Kevin to finish, and mentally preparing for the course.
Yes, Tim is wearing a tutu. It got a lot of compliments and lasted through the first obstacle.
Once our team was complete (7 of us), we made our way to the starting area. In true Tough Mudder fashion, there is an obstacle to complete before you reach the start line.
Our starting wave was very full. Since the weather was still horrible, the MC skipped much of the typical starting line procedures. We did the National Anthem and then we were off!
The rain was making the course even muddier. There were sections that were completely trashed!
One of the main goals of Tough Mudder is to encourage teamwork. There is no way that I could have gotten through this day without my team. Other than the fact that I have NO upper body strength, my teammates were there to help me out when I got to the obstacles that really scared me.
Kevin helped everyone up over the Glory Blades. He is pretty hard core. The Electric Eel consists of crawling through the water underneath a bunch of wires. Some of them are live. It makes for a very interesting experience. I think I got zapped about 5-6 times. This is a great picture of Tim getting zapped.
I got zapped as Corey was helping me out of the obstacle. (And yes, I was thinking about the safety of crawling through water and electric wires during a thunderstorm.)
There were three sections on the course with an obstacle called Bale Bonds. Basically, it is a row of round hay bales that you have to jump over. There were about six sets of bales in each section. By the time we got to them, several thousand other people had already gone through. The ground leading up to the bales was slippery and muddy, so you couldn’t get any good footing. And the bales were covered with mud so it was hard to get a good grip on them. I did okay on the first section. I tried to get a decent jump and then just grabbed a handful of hay and kinda rolled up to the top. It mostly worked. Everyone seemed to have their own strategy for getting over the bales. Teamwork was necessary.
As you can see, the sun came back out. None of us had sunscreen on. Even if we had, after going through the first hour or so in a downpour, the sunscreen wouldn’t have done any good anyway.
One of the next obstacles involved picking up a log and carrying it about a quarter mile around a muddy circle (Hold Your Wood). The first piece I picked up was a piece of bark that had fallen off one of the logs. In retrospect, I should have stuck with that one. Carrying around a huge block of wood is hard. I tried moving it from one shoulder to the other shoulder. I tried balancing it on my head. I tried carrying it in front of me. There was no way around it; it was just really heavy and awkward. We were all wiped after that one.
The Mud Mile came next. It isn’t actually a mile in length, but that doesn’t make it any less challenging.
The torrential rains had actually destroyed some of the mounds of mud that we were supposed to climb over. I think the worst part of this obstacle is that you end up with tons of little, tiny rocks in your shoes that you can’t get out and you have to get through the rest of the course running on a ton of rocks. There were two Mud Miles along the course.
That is my husband taking an epic fall into the mud!
After the Mud Mile, came the Fire Walker. Not a difficult challenge, but interesting nonetheless. Basically, a trench with hot, burning coals that we jumped over, into a pit of muddy water.
Then came one of the signature obstacles. The Arctic Enema. It is exactly as fun as it sounds. It is an industrial dumpster filled with water and literally tons of ice. There is a board across the middle that you have to swim under, before climbing out the other side.
The best way to attack this one is to not think about. Just go. Jump as close to the center board as possible, because your muscles will seize up the second you get in the water. Get under that board and get out as quickly as you can.
I made pretty good time getting out of the dumpster, but then I slipped on the way out and landed on my right butt cheek on a two by four that was nailed to a ramp that we climbed down to get out. Immediately, I knew that this was going to be more than just a sore ass. I was hurt. It instantly took my breath away and left every nerve ending in my body tingling. My entire day changed after that. I was still having a good time, but I had pain with every step. This picture was taken right after Arctic Enema and you can see that I am holding my injured right butt cheek. You can see some crazy people doing pushups. There were several Burn Zones throughout the course. Because, apparently, some people don’t think the course is hard enough as it is. There were a few push up stations, a bear crawl station, a couple lunge stations, a wheelbarrow station, and a pull up station. I may have done five push ups. I mean, read the sign. Really? I think it is giving me an out!
This is getting long. There is more to tell. I’ll be back with Part Two.