Sunday, July 23, 2023

Tough Mudder 5K

The Tough Mudder came and went and it was much more fun than I thought it would be.  Dave organized a group of 9 of us that included his high school friends in Pennsylvania and a group of folks from Purdue.  

The high school crew included Pete (and his son Krischan) and Chris (and his daughter).  The Purdue contingency included myself, Pat, Doug, Todd (and his wife Heidi and son Zane).  Pat and Doug were the much needed support crew.  The rest of us did obstacles.

The event really stresses camaraderie, teamwork and looking out for your fellows.  It draws contrasts to society which has become increasingly independent and neglectful of our fellows.  After thanking first responders and the military, the national anthem was played and we headed out.

We started with some creek crossings and then the obstacles:

  1. Pitfall - Was basically a waist deep mud walk with some deep holes that were invisible until you stepped in and had to regain your balance.
  2. Berlin Walls - Was an 8' high wall that some folks could clear on their own, but others like myself needed a boost and a little pull
  3. Lumberjacked - Was an easy roll over a 4' high log
  4. Trench Warfare - Was fine because it was not full of water, but basically a cargo net over a shallow trench
  5. Skidmarked - Was kind of tricky to get over, but they did have hand holds and with a boost everybody could manage.
  6. Widow's Peak - Was a fun balancing act.
  7. Arctic Enema - Was around 45-50 degrees and much more comfortable than the advertised 34 degrees
  8. Mud Mile - This is when things got real and teamwork was required.  It was a series of 6 foot mud humps about 4 feet apart and 3 feet wide, filled with thigh high water.  To get over, a person needed a boost and then would be pulled up from the top.  3 people had to help get one person over.  Everybody kind of just payed it forward and back by boosting a few people up, getting pulled up and then pulling people up.
  9. Pyramid Scheme - This was even more challenging with a slick slanting wall about 15-20 feet long and 12-15 feet off the ground.  To get over a people pyramid would be built with 2-3 folks at the bottom, 1-2 folks in the middle and then reaching for the people on top who would pull you over.  The same teamwork and camaraderie applied, but this was certainly more strenuous.
  10. Block Ness Monster - Was teamwork, but much easier, pushing or pulling the block while a person held on.
  11. Mudderhorn - This was a fear factor, but did require teamwork, similar to Mud Mile to get started.
  12. Electroshock Therapy - Was the final one, some people got shocked (I did not), but nobody really panicked.
People did truly support and cheer for each others.  Groups of friends came in all shapes and sizes and it was fun to do an untimed event for fun.

Overall it was a lot of fun and I would welcome the opportunity to go again, but would not seek out a group or put one together.

Logistically, I was well outfitted in old joggers, low top socks, swim shorts, wicking t-shirt and gloves.  I should have worn sunscreen.

I could have made better use of the bag drop with extra clothes and flip flops, snacks and first aid.  My kit just had cell phone, keys, ID, credit card, extra shorts, sunglasses that I had removed and a snack.  A small towel was a nice to have and a large towel for a deck change.  I did not need athletic tape.  A zipped bag would have been perfect for the bag drop.  Arriving early was important as it was a 15 minute walk to the start line.  There were plenty of port-o-lets.  Also plenty of food stands and a huge Tough Mudder merchandise tent.

I would estimate there were between 1000 and 1500 cars in the parking lot and around 2500 people there on Saturday between 5K, 15K and Infinity Runners.

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