After years of Warrior Dashes and Spartan Races, we finally came face-to-face with the pinnacle of the Obstacle Racing world.
Because running our first Ragnar Relay, four half harathons and our first marathon wasn’t enough, we decided 2013 was the year we’d also tackle our first Tough Mudder: 10+ miles of trails with 25+ obstacles. Seems like a cake walk until you realize that some of those obstacles involve electroshock therapy, ice baths and claustrophobic situations. There’s something for everybody!
Deanna’s Experience (Seasoned Obstacle Racer):
I had been looking forward to Tough Mudder for months. It conveniently fell on my birthday (“Happy Birthday to me! LET’S GET ELECTROCUTED!“) and I was STOKED.
Having a big team was awesome – it was so much fun to go through the course with some of my very favorite people. We all stuck together and helped each other through the tougher parts of the course. It was INCREDIBLY challenging – as far as obstacles/physicality, this was definitely the hardest race I have ever done. But I could feel how much my fitness has improved since Super Spartan in January 2012 – that race was also at Vail Lake, and I had a much easier time with the terrain and obstacles this time around.
Final verdict? I would absolutely do another Tough Mudder. It was the perfect combination of fun and gnarly.
Erin’s Experience (Seasoned Obstacle Racer):
Our team of 9 marched up to the starting line, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t paralyzed with fear over the electric obstacles. I’ve been anticipating/dreading this for months; I couldn’t even open doors while we were in the dry heat of Las Vegas because I’m literally terrified of static shock. I acquiesced to the fact that I was just going to do it and we embarked. The good news is that I felt MUCH better than I did at Super Spartan in January 2012 – I think being with a big group of people helped with the energy levels and knowing we’d all be together supporting each other. My favorite part about Tough Mudder was the camaraderie. EVERYONE helped each other, including me copping a feel on a girl’s ass as I helped her over the Berlin Walls. A lot of the obstacles that are featured on the website were not part of our course, but we did have some great ones that I’ve linked to below.
The electric shocks were just as bad as I anticipated and to be honest, I would skip that obstacle next time. A close second was the Arctic Enema; I’ve never been so close to feeling like my heart was going to stop beating.
Final verdict? Would DEFINITELY do another, skipping the electroshock obstacles.
Lauren’s Experience (First Time Obstacle Racer):
I’m not going to lie – for some reason I was really scared about Tough Mudder. Probably because the video on their website made the obstacles look impossible and because I had never done a mud run or obstacle race before. I wasn’t really scared of one obstacle in particular – the high jump into water scared me a little, but knowing that there was a team of 9 of us (including my boyfriend.. this was his first official race EVER! #beastmode) made me feel a lot better. I wasn’t scared of Arctic Enema… until I did it. I would have to say that was my very least favorite obstacle. As soon as I jumped in I couldn’t breathe because it was so cold.. but since I had to go under the water to swim under a wall, I just took a deep breath and went for it. It was over soon enough.
Like Erin and Deanna mentioned, having a big team was SO fun and kept the energy up throughout the day. Plus, we really did need each other on a few obstacles. Tough Mudder was definitely a physical challenge but was way more fun than I was expecting. I had a great time getting dirty, rolling in the mud, and doing things I though I’d never do.
Final verdict? I can’t WAIT for my next obstacle race/mud run! 🙂