Hangin’ Tough–Swing Tarzan-style across a series of hanging rings suspended over a pool of ice-cold water. Rings are placed 4 to 6 feet apart. It is important to maintain momentum and coordination while swinging across this series of rings. A strong grip and precise coordination are required to complete this obstacle successfully.
I knew that there was very little chance that I would be able to complete this obstacle. I lack any significant upper body strength. And I’m not very coordinated either. I made it almost halfway before dropping into the water. But it was great watching the people who did make it. Keeping your rhythm was very important. If you lost your momentum, there was no way you were going to be able to reach the next ring. Half our group made it without landing in the water.
Cliffhanger–Cliff Hanger is an obstacle all about teamwork and camaraderie: a 40+ foot cliff of slippery mud angled at 45-degrees. The Cliff always begins with good intentions: a muddy sprint up onto the slope and transitions into a crawl with handholds and footholds in short supply. Beware if you attempt this obstacle alone, your futile vertical scramble will likely turn into an uncontrolled slide back down into the mud pit below. Successful Mudders will form a chain link of fellow participants slowly inching up the slope. If you want to train for Cliff Hanger you should find the biggest hill near your house, measure it, then drive until you get to a hill twice as steep.
This obstacle wasn’t as bad as the description made it sound (the above photo is not from our event). For the most part, we were all able to make it to the top, maybe just a bit of help to get up the last bit. Going down was more difficult. It was very steep, pretty muddy, and really slippery.
Boa Constrictor–If you don’t like small spaces, this obstacle will be a challenge for you. Crawl through a series of pipes that force you on a downhill into some freezing mud, then a slippery uphill to the other side. Your legs will be useless in the narrow confines of the Boa, so use your arms to pull yourself through this obstacle. There really is light at the end of the tunnel.
The name of this obstacle freaks me out. From the day I signed up, I knew that this one would be the hardest. You are basically just crawling through some tubing. The bottom of the tubing is cut out, so there are some rocks you have to deal with. The first section of tubing goes down hill-into water. As you get closer to the end of the tube, the level of the water rises. The problem with this is that water and air cannot both occupy the same space at the same time. That is just simple physics. And, for my body to function, my lungs need air. You can see how this presents a problem. More water+enclosed space=less air=Heather freaking out!
Once you got to the end of the first section of tubing, you got a break in the water, before going back into the tubing.. The second tube started in the water and went uphill. I really had to talk myself into going in that tube. My teammates were really encouraging and Preston actually went through the second tube backwards so that I could see his face the entire time. Totally awesome!
I can’t even express the relief I felt when I was done with this obstacle. I didn’t care what was left in this event, the hardest part for me was over. As my reward, I had a nice 2 mile section of just running, no obstacles. Bliss! Except that part of it was through the woods and I swear, they must have brought in (literally) tons of mud to destroy the trail we were running on. It was thick and one of my teammates had her shoe come off in the mud several times.
On the obstacle list, it says that our next obstacle was the Spiders Web. They must have decided to take that out at the last minute, because we didn’t do it. It is basically a big cargo net strung between two trees. Oh well, maybe I’ll get to do it next time.
Kiss of Mud #2-very similar to the first one, except I think the wires may have been even lower this time.
Berlin Walls #2-This one was much higher than the others. And by this point in the course, some of the obstacles were experiencing some serious bottlenecks. We waited a long time for this one. I needed some help to get over (duh…remember that lack of upper body strength), but the getting down is still the toughest part.