Tough Mudder

Mark Briercheck competed it what is called "Tough Mudder" which is a race for only "Tough Mothers"!

Mark was lucky enough to survive to tell the following tale  :)
April 9, 2011 - Tough Mudder
Bear Creek Mountain Resort
Macungie, Pa.

I'm still alive!

At the request of some friends i took a bit of a departure from the cycling world and entered the April 9th presentation of the Tough Mudder in Allentown, PA. I figured how hard could an obstacle course be?

Apparently, pretty hard...!!!

The Tough Mudder is an event  (not a race) that focuses on fun, teamwork, not being a sissy, and just plain survival. With a course distance of 11.25 miles and 26 obstacles (instead of the 16 they originally planned on because people complained that last year’s event was too short and too easy) i found out what it means to be a tough mudder.

Before we even began the event, my group was hanging out in the hotel lobby 1 hour before our start time . As we sat there two paramedics wheeled a guy into the lobby…his leg was a total mess as he told us he fell off one of the 15 foot walls. I think we all got a little bit more nervous.

Cardio was definitely the name of the game. You were either running up or down ski slopes and it became pretty evident to which participants had logged running time in training versus those that didn’t. The obstacles started simple (uphill climbs under cargo nets) and progressivly got worse...crawling through 30 foot mud tubes...monkey bars over mud pits...and mud.

Muddy Surfaces... Muddy Water...
Muddy Mud.

The toughest part of the event was the water obstacles. Forcing yourself to willingly jump into freezing water is a sign of toughness....or stupidity. Not sure which one. The highlight of the day was the platform jump. You climb up a 15 foot wall and then exit via jumping into a lake. While initially it looks fun you soon realize it was a bad idea when the 38 degree water hits you like a lightning bolt.

And then you can’t surface.

In a panic you open your eyes and see nothing but brown and black muddy water. Eventually you pop up and you’re freezing and gasping for air while your your heart rate spikes to 190.Then you have to swim God knows how many yards to get to shore. Amazing.

Then immediately after that you have two more water obstacles that leave you submerged. The only way to get through it is finish the obstacles and then just start running in order to get your body temperature back up and stop the shaking.
The variety and difficulty level of each obstacle was progressively more interesting and the final stop was the icing on the cake. It was called 'shock therapy' and it required the mudder to run through a tunnel of electrified wires. Some wires contained low volts while others packed 10,000 volts.

Somehow I got lucky and escaped with just a few little shocks. One of my mudder friends was less fortunate as he took two full 10K hits…both of which sent him face down into the mud.

Apparently 76% of the starting participants completed the course on Saturday but 100% of my group was victorious! I saw a few injuries (another guy fell off of a wall and probably broke his arm and some girl got a giant nail stuck in her foot) and a lot of folks that didn’t hydrate or eat enough as they were obviously cramped up and doubled over in pain.

To sum up the experience, the Tough Mudder course proudly displayed signs all over the course reading:

"Remember, you signed a death waiver"

1 comment:

Skir said...

Mark, is definatley made up with the "right stuff"