Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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Tough Mudder Race Recap

Last year I was really into mud runs and obstacle course races. I participated in a string of really good ones. Then, I participated in some crappy ones and I kind of got over mud runs. The problem is that in the middle of my mud run love I signed us up for Tough Mudder, the granddaddy of all mud runs. I was really excited about the challenge and excited about doing Tough Mudder because it was the first mud run I had ever heard about.

Fast forward to last week and I was not looking forward to doing Tough Mudder. I was thinking of every excuse possible to not do it: it's too far, we don't have a babysitter, I just ran a million miles the weekend before. It didn't help that Alex's motivation was even lower than my own. Thankfully, we were doing this run with a big group of friends and I didn't want to let them down. I lined up a babysitter at the last minute and Sunday morning we woke up early and drove the two hours to the race location.

In many ways, I knew what to expect because this wasn't my first mud run. The distance (10.2 ) miles wasn't even scary for me because Superhero Scramble was 9.5 miles. What surprised me the most was the camaraderie of Tough Mudder. While we were waiting to start the run, the MC kept saying how it was more important to help your fellow runners than to race to the finish line. Sure enough, there were plenty of people on the course there to help one another and there were plenty of spectators on the course cheering runners on.

The obstacles were what I expected, but the running was not. Most of the run was through sand and mud and just plain hard. But I like to run and running is the one thing about these mud runs that I know I can definitely do so I pushed myself to run every chance I got. For me, the running was truly the hardest part of the run. There was enough support from my teammates to help me through the obstacles, but the running was something else.

While it was pretty awful, I think my favorite obstacle was the Arctic Enema. That was a complete shock to the system and it was hilarious watching people's reactions as they went in and came out of the tank. My least favorite obstacle was the Monkey Bars; I couldn't even get to the second bar before I fell in the water.

I was so happy to finish this run and was even happier about how much stronger I have gotten in the last year. The best part of the run, however, was doing it with Alex and having him say, "I think I'd rather do a half marathon than this." He may fight it, but I think he's a runner after all.

What I liked:

  • Camaraderie of other runners and my teammates. 
  • Water every 2 miles, electrolyte gummies at mile 6, and protein bars at mile 8. 
  • Challenging run. 
  • Fun obstacles. 
  • Feeling like a badass at the end. 
  • Huge lake to wash off in after the run. 
  • Changing tents. 
  • Getting that headband!
  • Lots of photographers on the course.

What I didn't like:

  •  The location was too far for me. 
  • Too much running. I'm a weirdo and like a lot of obstacles. We had to run about a mile and a half before we got to the first obstacle. 
  • The bibs barely lasted the entire race. 
Next race recap will be July's Rock n Roll Chicago, but I am thinking about signing up for a few 5Ks between now and then. 

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Unknown said...

Great pics, I have to try one of those!

Jeremy Rice said...

Was the electroshock as bad as everyone says it is?

Anonymous said...

Glad you had a good race! I have been thinking about trying one of those, just to switch things up. They sound like a nice change of pace!