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Date: Sunday, October 7, 2012

From: Sharon

Tough Mudder 2012

A multiview postcard from Sharon. Anytime you hear her kids saying they've got one tough mother, you'll know that they ain't kidding!! 

Hey Ferals, here’s my adventure, Tough Mudder 2012. I have included some pics, not sure if you want them or not.

Seeing as the postcards were becoming very male dominated I decided to let you guys know how I went in the Sydney Tough Mudder event in September.

A group of 15 of us set off on Friday morning for Terrigal in the bus, excited but also fairly nervous about what to expect. Everyone had seen youtube clips about different obstacles on the course and  needless to say, being electrocuted was probably high on our list of things we weren’t looking forward to. ( Me especially, and the rest of the group certainly took pleasure in reminding me about the 10,000 volt wires) So, after a few calming ales on the trip down and at dinner, I slept soundly.

We woke at 5.30am, had a quick coffee and some toast, and jumped back on the bus for our 40 minute trip to Glenworth Valley. Fairly quiet trip, I have to say, with a lot of people complaining that they couldn’t get to sleep as they were too anxious (again, thank you VB).  Heading into our venue, we collected our registration packs and had our race numbers written on our foreheads (??) To say there were some fancy dress costumes would be an understatement, (Florescent mankinis, smurfs, Kevin Rudds, superheroes) we were feeling very conservative in our black team singlets.

Our team had a start time of 8.30am, with waves being started every 15mins, so after a quick tug’ o’ war with the Solo promotional team, (won ourselves a free t-shirt) we climbed a 2 metre wall into the start area, where we took our Tough Mudder oath (this is a challenge, not a race), listened to safety rules and set off in a cloud of orange smoke (not poisonous) with the background music blaring ‘Eye of the Tiger’.

The Tough Mudder course has about 18- 20 kms of running (a lot uphill too!) broken up with around 15 obstacles to complete. Our team of 15 soon broke up into 3 separate teams and we stuck with each other throughout the course.

We did a lot of creek jumping and swimming, crawled through so much mud under barbed wire and had to scale 4 vertical walls of different heights. We ran through a corridor of smoke caused by lit hay bales, carried a log around a swamp loop, jumped lots of muddy channels (saw some pretty nasty accidents here!) and made our way up and down steep narrow hill paths. We had greased monkey bars to cross (fell early here, gloves were no help!), a mud mile of channels and hills to traipse, and a tall rope ladder to climb.

The most challenging obstacles however, were the ice pool, in which you had to jump in, walk to a wall, then go under the wall and climb out the other side (to say it was freezing, would not do it justice), getting to the top of the half pipe ( thanks to my team mates for hauling me over!), the 5 metre jump into murky water, and of course, the electric eel! Imagine a 30 metre slip and slide with hundreds of wires dangling above it at about knee height. You slide in on your tummy and basically crawl like hell as fast as you can out of there! There is no use trying to avoid being zapped, as you can’t.  At first the wires gave me  small, slight zaps, which were uncomfortable but tolerable, then, you get these incredibly powerful ones which make your body spasm uncontrollably. (I can’t even tell you what came out of my mouth, but I probably put a sailor to shame)

To top it off though, right at the finish you have to run through those delightful wires again, but being at the finish, you have lots of spectators around laughing at your inevitable falling and mud plants. (A bit ashamed to say, but I also stood there at the end and captured some pretty funny moments on my phone!)

And then (2.45hrs later)  you cross the finish, get your revered orange head band (which, I’m told you can’t buy, but must earn), a can of VB and Solo (guess which one I chose to drink first) and your official tough mudder t-shirt. You celebrate with your team mates, toss your shoes (if you’re still wearing them and haven’t lost them to some mud pile) and wash off in a (cold) wash bay.  

All in all, an incredible experience, made even more so by the camaraderie and friendship surrounding you, and one I will definitely be doing again.