2012 Sydney Tough Mudder
Something that I've wanted to do for a while since it was marketed in Australia, is ToughMudder. The timing of this was good, as I had been competing in a few events which required reasonable fitness, and I was relatively happy with my fitness levels. Really enjoyed the training sessions we had organised as a team, good to get out outdoors and do the exercise. Lots of Crossfit style - trying to increase arm (chin up) strength and general core fitness. Also really appreciated the upper body training with Naomi from Fit2Excel. Logistically, went down to Sydney with 4 good friends (Pete, Tim, Damien and Paul). All who had good fitness levels and made the weekend a good getaway male bonding break as well as the actual event. The event itself consisted of 21 Obstacles with about 20km of running. Also wore the Vibram Five Fingers which I had also been training in. Loved them, given that I don't have the issues with shoes filling up with mud and getting soggy etc. The course was:
1. Kiss of Mud #1 - Good way to start - Straight into the mud. Comandoing 20 or so meters.
2 . Artic Emena - A quick dip under and back up the other side. It helped that that water as relatively clean getting there early.
3. Berlin Walls #1 - Nice and fresh, with the step at 90cm, this was relatively easy - it also helps that we were tall!
4. King of the Mountain - Climbing over a bit bail of hay. Lucky we were early and the bails were still shaped square and relatively easy.
5. Twinkle Toes - Trained for this alot, but failed due to the fact that the beams were really wobbly (and there was fast current water underneath). Apparently they closed this soon after we did it.
6. Kiss of Mud #2
7. Funky Monkey - Monkey Bars. Also trained for, but trying the monkey swinging technique failed as the bars were slippery.
8. Trench Welfare - Good length of commando-ing trough underground trenches. Seemed to go forever and was fun yelling at others in other trenches.
9. Dirty Ballerina
10. Boa Constrictor - More confined spaces. This time tubes at incline and decline. Found it ok using my feet to push and get some movement.
11. Electric Eel - This one bites. Unexpected and having to commando 20m with dangley electric shock wires. took a wrong tactic of going on the edge and with eyes closed and going as fast as possible there were a few times I got stock against the edge getting zapped.
12. Berlin Walls #2 - A good sequence of 3? Walls a good obstacle. Glad I am tall!
13. Fire Walker - 20m run through fire on each side. Biggest issue was the smoke. Take a deep breath first!
14. Spider's Web - Realtive easy single rope net climb. Bit tricky with lots on at the top
15. Hold Your Wood - A circuit of 500m? carrying a chuck of wood (which you can pick the size of).
16. Wood Chopper
17. Log Jammin
18. Mud Mile - Surprisingly the most tiring and cardio obstacle. lots of ups and down mud hills. Like doing 30 burpees.
19. Walk the Plank - 5 m jump into water. A good nervy jump. Great for the team.
20. Everest - A mental challenge. First try didn't have enough speed and faceplanted and came back down, then 2nd attempt made it up (with support from my team). Somethings you just can't train for!
21. Electroshock Therapy - Speaking of not wanting to train for challenges. This one was also not plesant. Fortunately i made it through without falling over and stopping. I really feel for the ones that fell over! It's was pretty funny watching this one at the end.
Recovery: Post event Tough Mudder organisers put on a great gig. Good ability to hose down and cleanup and quench the thirst with a cold ale or 3 - with a few good stories to share.. Garmin Link is also here Almost wish I had the heart rate monitor on - but thought it would come off in the obstacles. Tips:
- Start in an early wave (also get there early and leave relatively early). Apparently the traffic took 1h+ just to get in/out of the venue later in the day. Also some of the obstacles had queues to do them..
- Get arm / elbow skin protection. Call me soft, but the socks we wore were initially a team fashion statement, but turned out to be really handy to protect the skin on the sections where you are in the mud / tubes when you are on your elbows.
- You don't need to be able to run 20km straight (but it helps), as there is alot of stopping as part of each obstacle. Trail running would be the best running training.
- Do lots of Commando crawling and upper body strength exercises
- Relax - take your time on the course. With all the training you put into it - it's over before you know it!