The next section of the course covered miles 3-5. There were a couple longer running sections. As you can see from the map, the course weaves back and forth. That is usually when we are running switchbacks up hills. It certainly isn’t flat.
Trench Warfare–This military-style obstacle requires Mudders to crawl through narrow, dark, muddy trenches. Watch out for rocks, obstructions, and the occasional splash of muddy water from the Mudder crawling ahead. We advise all Mudders to move quickly through this obstacle to reduce the risk of contracting gangrene or trench foot. These trenches will test the stamina and mental grit of all Mudders, especially those who fear dark, confined spaces.
Ok, now we’re not messing around any more. These tunnels are dug underground. They are enclosed. It is dark. There are people in front of you so that you can’t see the light at the end. There is a limited amount of air in underground tunnels. My body works best when it is surrounded by ample amounts of air. In other words, I really don’t do well in enclosed spaces. I had a hard time forcing myself to get started.
The tunnels were really rocky and it was hard to move quickly. This is where I scratched up my knee. Battle scars! I started to get a bit claustrophobic about halfway through. That is when someone started in behind me. That was hard. It was difficult enough to feel like I was blocked off from the end of the tunnel, but when I was totally blocked off from both ends, I started feeling like I was running out of air. My teammates were totally awesome. They knew that I wasn’t looking forward to this obstacle and they were at the end cheering me on and there was a hand waiting for me when I got to the end to help pull me out. Whew! I was glad that I had a nice long running segment after that obstacle to catch my breath.
Logjammin’-This is a series of logs that you have to alternately climb over and crawl under. The ‘under’ ones have barbed wire on top to keep you from climbing over them.
Prior to this obstacle, was a pretty long running section. Since our team all ran at different paces, we had a bit of time before this obstacle to regroup and catch our breath before our up-and-over, down-and-under trek. The only problem with this obstacle was during the ‘under’ sections, since my left knee was all scratched up from an earlier obstacle.
Fire Walker–As the name of the obstacle implies, you’ll be running through a trench of blazing, kerosene-soaked straw. You can expect flames at least 4 feet tall. While the flames might seem like the most intimidating aspect of this obstacle, Mudders often forget that with fire comes smoke. Take a deep breath before you enter this obstacle because believe us, you don’t want your lungs full of this thick smoke. Build up your lung capacity while training for Tough Mudder or you’ll be forced to inhale some nasty carcinogens.
There was nothing horribly challenging about this. It was just dark and smoky and stinky, but then it was over.
Walk the Plank–Test your fear of heights and cold all in one with our 15+ feet high jump into freezing water. Mudders like to display their fancy diving skills (or belly-flops) at this obstacle. Don’t spend too much time pondering your leap – Marines at the top of the platform will chew you out, or worse, push you into the freezing depths below.
Ok, so I’m a bit afraid of heights. I was proud of myself for being able to climb up to the platform without any assistance (it just took a bit of flexibility…no upper body strength needed). But when I got to the top, I was kinda screwed. Tim and I were planning on jumping together. My guess is that the platform was about 20 feet above the water.
There was a race volunteer on top of the platform with a blow horn yelling “1, 2, 3, jump!” and an entire row of people would go. So, Tim and I made our way to the edge. The volunteer yelled “1, 2, 3, jump!” and Tim jumped. He got to the bottom and turned around to look up and I was still standing up there! I was yelling down to him, “I didn’t go!” The very nice military-fatigue-dressed man next to me told me that I still could!
I finally made myself jump. It’s a long fall. And the water was really cold!! I dog-paddled to the ‘shore’ and climbed out to watch the rest of our group jump.