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My Experience at Tough Mudder

This is a repost of a post I made last month. Unfortunately, the original site got hacked so I was forced to make a backup of all of our posts and delete the site and start over. I also decided to move the site to a new web hoster , so we’re starting fresh here. These posts are also missing  images that were originally published with them, so the blog isn’t as great as it use to be… 

My buddy and I went to Tough Mudder: Tampa Central Florida over the weekend.

It was my first Tough Mudder experience and it was a great experience. It was like a casual boot camp experience where we got rewarded at the end of the day with a beer and a snazzy headband that says “Tough Mudder” on it.

Below I will attempt to explain everything for you potential first-timers by explaining what you should do before the event, what you should bring, and by describing what the obstacles are like.

What to do before the event:

  • Train as hard as you can by making sure you can run/jog at least 4 miles straight. Also, working your upper-body and making sure you can lift yourself  and other people up over a wall — this will help tremendously.
  • Start drinking more water so you are hydrated for the run. I would call it a race but you don’t have to race anyone. In fact, you can skip obstacles and take as long as you want when going through the course.
  • Eat bananas the morning of, so you don’t cramp up. I don’t think I ate enough yesterday morning :(

Bring the following:

  • A photo id
  • Your registration forms (there was a long line even before registration opened so you should get in line early).
  • A bag to keep a change of cloths and other items in.
  • $5 dollars to check-in your bag. Apparently they just started charging for this and all the proceeds go towards a charity.
  • A change of clean cloths which should include a pair of shoes because they will GET MUDDY!
  • A small (preferably water-proof) pack to carry snacks and anything else you  will need during the event. You can even bring a camel pack but it’s not recommended since it can get you stuck in some obstacles. The key is to stay light on your feet so you don’t have to bring anything at all!
  • A towel to dry off with, which come in handy after you wash off all that mud.
  • plastic bags for your muddy clothes!
  • A pair of old RUNNING shoes. You can either keep them (even though they will be extremely muddy at the end) or donate them to Tough Mudder. If you donate them, then they will go to a charity.
  • Motivation!

Course Breakdown

Some obstacles were fun and exhilarating and some obstacles were lame and painful. Here’s our breakdown of each obstacle, just click on the obstacle link below to skip to a description of it:

Starting Line

Unbeknownst to me, there were actually two starting lines: the first one was where the wave was gathered after they went through registration and baggage check-in.  We were all gathered in this area and then suddenly everyone started moving forward. I heard someone shout, “This is it!” but I couldn’t believe it because I knew there was always a debriefing before the run.  As we were talking towards the official starting point, it eventually all became clear: they made us jump over an 8 foot (or 8ish…not sure) wall before we could reach the debriefing part. I thought this obstacle was the hardest of them all, it was more of a “wake up and get pumped up for this run” obstacle. Don’t worry, you can always get help from your fellow teammates and other Tough Mudders when going over this wall but it helps to be able to climb over it by yourself! At the second/official starting point, we were debriefed about the run by a MCer. named Sean Corvelle. This guy was very motivating and he will definitely get you motivated for the run , OORAH!

Kiss of Mud

I’m listing out these obstacles as they are listed on the official Tough Mudder course map, but I don’t remember this one being the first obstacle. In fact, it seems like some of these obstacles were reordered differently. However, I will give a short description of it here. It was easy, it just required commando-style crawling underneath a barb wired cage. It’s not as bad as it looks! In fact, none of the obstacles were as bad as they look!

Jesus Walk

There were several Jesus Walks obstacles in between the main/bigger obstacles. These involved a lot of running, walking, and jogging through mud and water.

The first one brought me back to my childhood (when I use to play in the mud – don’t lie you did that too!) but it also gave me a taste of what Tough Mudder is mostly about, TEAM WORK! As we were walking through a ditch full of mud, about waist high, we had to navigate around holes in the muddy ditch (which we couldn’t see because of the mud). I fell down once and the other Tough Mudders pulled me out of the mud. In addition, there was a little socializing going on as we were walking through the mud. I would definately recommend this event (or perhaps all mud run events) for people who are looking to make new friends.

Sack Up

This one required us to lift up a heavy sandbag and carry it down a trail. I think the trail was about a half-mile. Everyone just walked through it, so you don’t have to run through it if you don’t want to. This one was one of the easiest in my opinion. Some people carried the sandbags on their backs while others carried them on their shoulders. I found alternating the carrying between each shoulder was less painful.

Mystery Obstacle #1

This one required us to crawl underneath a structure that was dark inside. One side had fog while the other didn’t have fog in it. This one wasn’t hard to go through.

The Phoenix

This one is most likely named after a bird called The Phoenix which appears in Greek mythology,  or after the X-Men character…I guess the idea about this one is that you will feel reborned after jumping over fire and then into a pool of water.  It didn’t make me feel reborned, just little irritated because I didn’t expect water to go up my nose.

Mud Mile

The mud mile was easy, but that’s because people weren’t actually going through the main part of the obstacle! We didn’t realize it at the time, because everyone was following everyone else. I can’t say it was challenging but we did get a little exhausted after all that running.

Hangin’ Tough

More like, “Hangin’ and Fallin’ into the water”, AMIRITE? No, actually I’m not and this would have been easier for me if I worked out my upper-body more. I only managed to make it to the third ring before falling into the water. This obstacle required us to swing from one hanging ring to another ring.

Electric Eel

This one required us to crawl through a cage with electrified wires that were hanging down. My friend was like “NOPE, no way, I’m not doing this.” while I was like “Psh, a little electricity has never hurt anybody.” I went through it and thought I didn’t get shocked because I was THAT GOOD, but it turns out the power for it was turned off. Still, there was a lot of space between each wire and it was easy to slide between and underneath them.

Warrior Carry

This one was about depending on your fellow teammates, which means you had to carry each other to the end of the obstacle. This wasnt that bad, just make sure you can lift each other up as if they were injured and need to be evacuated from a hostile situation.

Course Hazard

Along the way, there were mounds of sands we had to climb over and mud we had to walk through. I believe this one was mounds of sand that we had to climb over. 

Jesus Walk

More running through the mud.

Glory Blades

Remember when I said there were lame and painful obstacles? Well, this was one of them. It consisted of two walls, each angled about 90 degrees inwards towards the start of the obstacle. It was too painful to go over because of the way it was designed. It was like the very first wall we had to climb over, but slightly different because of the way the walls were angled. In fact , you had to climb over the back of the walls (so there was a lot of framing in front of you to navigate around.)

Funky Monkey

Brass Monkey, the Funky Monkey… sorry, I couldn’t resist.  This one was about going across monkey bars over water, however, some of the monkey bars rotated on you so it was hard to keep your grip on them. I almost made it across but ended up falling into the water.

Cage Crawl

Ahhh, this one was like floating down a lazy river and yes, it was that easy. All you have to do is slide down on your stomach, and rotate yourself on your back and propel yourself forward to the end (which means you will go backwards). You can propel yourself forward by grabbing on to the chain length fencing above you. I have to say the water was cleaner than what the pictures of this obstacle suggested.

Artic Enema

Ahhhh, this one was the Pièce de résistance of this year’s Tough Mudder. It required everyone to jump into a pool of below-freezing waters and then dive underneath a barrier so you can get to the end of the pool. You couldn’t hop over the barrier because it had barbed wire above it. This one wasn’t as scary as it looked…actually it was as scary as it looked. Despite the numbness and shock that comes with it, I would recommend this one anyways. It will make you feel refreshed afterwards.

Please note, you should run as fast as you can after Artic Enema so your body warms up quickly! 

Course Hazard

There was a small dip in the trail after Artic Enema, which had lots of mud in it. It felt great to run through it because the muddy water was warm! 

Trench Warfare

This one was fun and interesting. We had to crawl through a makeshift tunnel that had very little visibility inside. I guess they dug trenches in the dirt and then put plywood over them. This was one also was easy to go through, but it was also one of the dirtiest because we had to crawl through sand.

Walk the Plank

So, this one was the one I was going to skip out of fear. I was pretty sure this one was going to kill me but thankfully that wasn’t the case. In retrospect, I should have skipped it. We had to climb up onto a structure that was about 20 feet high in the air and then walk onto a plank. We then had to jump off the plank into a pool of water as if a bunch of mutineers forced us off our ship.  I think it’s funny how this concept was invented as a form of punishment and now people pay to go do it for fun. Again, you should be a good swimmer when going through this one and know how to dive properly (feet first that is!).

Course Hazard

This is when my legs started to cramp up badly which almost caused me to give up. I kept pushing myself to go further (and it was worth it!) when my legs were killing me. I can’t remember the last time my legs cramped up that bad.

Mystery Obstacle #2

This one was another great obstacle. We had to hop into a pool of mud and then lift ourselves up into large drain pipes. However, there was a hose in each of the drain pipes that shot a blast of water into your face as you crawled through it. The best approach for this one is to hop into the tube quickly and grab the rope that is inside it, so you can use the rope to propel yourself upwards towards the exit of the pipe. I found that flipping over onto my back and crawling out backwards was the easiest thing to do. There was a makeshift slip-in-slide at the end that everyone slide down which was fun to do.

Underwater Tunnels

This one required a lot of swimming. We had to swim under 3 sets of barrels that were lined up horizontally. The hardest part was swimming towards the shore while wearing shoes.

Berlin Walls

Remember when I said you need to work out your upper body for Tough Mudder? Well this is one of those obstacles that requires a lot of upper body strength. The falling down part from it wasn’t that difficult to do.

Everest

The Berlin Walls obstacle was the last obstacle that was away from the base. Once we ran out of the woods, we were in a field which led us to the base. This is where all the concession stands, tents for changing cloths, gift shop, and the start/finish lines were. At the base, there were two obstacles: Everest and Electroshock Therapy.

Everest is an obstacle that is just a quarter pipe. The goal was to run up it and then grab onto to the ledge of it, but most people got help from others by getting pulled up onto the ledge.

Electroshock Therapy

This one was like the Electric Eel obstacle except for you get to stand and run through it. Also, the power was actually on for it so I got shocked a few times while going through it. This one had the most spectators watching it (maybe because of the comedic effect) and announcers commenting on it. Don’t worry, the jolts of electricity weren’t painful at all, but they will give you a funny sensation, like when you hit your funny bone.

Finish Line

Beer, Glorious Beer!

Finally, after all that running, going through obstacles, and wading through mud, we made it to the finish line and got our Tough Mudder headbands and beer! I have to admit I didn’t think getting any of those items would feel worthwhile but now I feel like they were hard earned.

What about you?

Are you a Tough Mudder or do you have any questions about the event? If so, please feel free to share or ask in the comments section below!

Categories: Mud Runs

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Steve

I'm a web developer and the founder of this blog.

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