Fitness · Running

I am a TOUGH MUDDER

The day finally arrived, months of preparation followed by months of niggling injury, to say we were a little nervous would be an understatement. Mable had a camp site booked for Saturday night, which was supposed to be after party night, and apparently the party goes off, but getting up at 6am rather than 4 am to start our 20k challenge won out

So in the dark sometime on Friday night we set up Mable’s sandy tent with the slightly broken annex pole, and hope it stayed up for the night

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then settled down for a few quiet drinks, glad we chose the “familyish camp area rather that the “Party crowd” one, the music from across the creek was fairly loud and they sounded rather boisterous

Our tent survived the night, though it was cold sleeping on the stretchers, neither of us thought we slept at all. we breakfasted on Bacon and eggs, kindly packed my Mable’s husband….. that would also be the time we discovered the block of rocky road chocolate stashed in the esky.

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IMG_3344 a quick pre race pic or two

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We wandered the 2.5ks to the Registration area where we collected our I.D verification wristbands (so you don’t need to show your licence to buy a drink), race numbers and had our numbers written on our head and arm

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With no phone reception (oh noes!) we had no idea how we were going to find mum and dad who were coming to take pics and cheer us on so after the SOLO crew painted our faces and my hair we stood in the middle of the base yard near the start and eventually saw them arrive.

Our wave was called up shortly after, to get to the start we had to climb over a wall, this is the only wall we agreed to climb as Mable had bad knees and mine are questionable at the moment

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we made it over, then followed along, instructions for calling first aid followed by and echo call

(announcer) “first”

(starters) “aid”

“First”

“Aid”

“FIRST”

“AID”

Followed by “when I say Kanga you say Roo”

“kanga”

“roooo”

“Kanga”

“Rooo”

“KANGA”

“ROOOO”

Then the obligatory

“AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE”

“OI OI OI”

and then the pledge, every one down on one knee and repeat after me

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 atmosphere was great, the build up was awesome and we were off

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off on a 5kish trot through the bush, into creeks out of creeks, up hills down hill, Arctic enema taking our breath before we ducked under the board, making it hard to get out of the tub, swim across another creek before the Berlin walls which we walked around, neither of us up for the landing from the top a crawl through a mud puddle, under barbed wire known as kiss of mud

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  at some stage there was a trudge for at least a kilometre along a creek, a long trek uphill before being told this is not an obstacle but mudders find their own way down

Dirty ballerina was a pretty awesome obstacle too bad we haven’t got any pics of it, mud trenches about chest deep with wide strips of solid ground between them, the idea is that you leap along the strips of land, I tried the first one, landing heavily on my arms, I heard and felt my shoulder click at the same time as my calf cramped, I swore, a lot, then got a shove from Mable and continued on sliding into the trenches and climbing out, the whole area was filled with giggles of people trying to leap and slipping over landing on their bums or bellies

aid stations dotted along the way, water, Water and bananas, water and energy gel grab 2 down one …. mmm salty lemon with caffeine, so not a great taste but just what i needed at the time

then we hit the trenches, my biggest fear, being underground, was met at the trenches, which were tunnels dug into the ground then covered with boards and hay “is there water in there?” I ask the marshal, “no and you’ll see the light at the end about halfway through” as it turns out the tunnels were deep enough for a proper crawl and light filtered through gaps in the boards, at the end was a knee deep puddle, such a relief

the next tunnel, known as the boa constrictor, was a set of pipes, one going down into probably waist deep water then another going up again the tight spaces, undergroundish was hitting me again, until Mable in her quick thinking way said go down feet first, which we did, it wasn’t quite as slippery as I expected but still a lot of fun to wriggle down the pipe then crawl up the next

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another few k’s of jogging, the electric eel, a place of constant groaning, mum mentioned later the marshals called it the Tourette’s station referring to the random twitching and swearing of the contestants and the got shocked crawling though

more walking and swimming, a cargo net, some hill climbing and more mud, we came across Hold your wood, I nice little walk around a big muddy circle while carrying a log, I picked the longest thinnest Log I could find, and managed to carry it all the way around without putting it down once 😀 I was so proud at that

the mud mile, was long and tough, muddy puddles, followed by climbing over mounds of mud it was loads of fun for the first 4 or 5 then the mud started to get thick and sticky and at times a little scary, we rescued one girl who was stuck on her belly unable to move forward or back because the mud was so thick. but it was fun to slide down the mounds, eventually with the pits getting deeper and dryer and the whole knee issue we decided to skip the dry ones

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Our next fear to be faced was “walk the plank” a giant leap of faith IMG_3348

Mable went first pausing for only a second then dropping into the water, it was a few seconds of watching to make sure she came to the top yelling out to me “just close your eyes and do it!"

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What seemed like a few seconds of free-fall and crash, into the murky brown, a slight panic as I realised how deep the pool was and then as I tried to kick up my feet hit the bottom and I can push off and pop up at the top, we bobbed around for a few minutes calling out to a poor girl who was frozen at the top, it wasn’t safe to climb back down, the best bet was to jump, later when we looked she wasn’t at the top anymore but I’m not sure if she jumped or not

more jogging and a water crossing brought us to Everest, originally I’d had every intention of attempting Everest, but with my shoulder aching a new fear arose, what if someone grabbed that hand and I was left hanging by that arm, possibly damaging the shoulder more. no I decided it was a risk I was not willing to take. I wanted to be able to start work on Monday morning

the final obstacle, electro shock therapy did me in, luckily it was only a few meters from the finish, it was very like the Bug zapper in the valley stampede, but twice as long and curved, i fell over in the middle, every move after that resulted in another shock, I couldn’t stand up, I had to crawl out, it was physically and mentally exhausting, even being an electrician and having copped as many minor shocks over the years as I have didn’t prepare me for that, i was glad to get out and stumble across the finish line receiving my headband, almost in tears, we did it in approximately 5 hours, we earned out orange head bands and our VB’s  and had an absolute blast

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wow, it’s a bit of an epic post, but then the day was huge, a few words and pictures just wouldn’t cut it, I totally recommend watching the video that some of the links lead to, and if you are a little bit fit or not far off and a Tough Mudder event comes your way, have a go!

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