This past weekend, I found out that I’m not that far off!
Tough Mudder, an internationally recognised obstacle course challenge, recently brought their event to the desert sands of Dubai. And boy was it tough. And muddy. And did I mention fun?!
I rounded up a few friends (team of 4 of us in total) to take on this mudder of a challenge to see if we had what it takes to be tough. And muddy.
You have the option of either an 8km course, or a 16km course. The (similar) Desert Warrior Challenges that I’ve done in the past have all been 10 km’s so I was quite happy for us to just tackle the 8 km for this – not sure I was quite ready for 16 whole kilometers of obstacle challenges!
We all arrived on the morning of the
race challenge, a little unprepared, but all quite eager to get stuck (literally) into it 🙂 We arrived shortly before our wave was due to set off which was great – no time spent idling around… just get straight to it! As you start entering the Start chute, they’re playing “Highway to Hell”, which brought about a few giggles, and you then hang about for a few minutes while they get you pumped up, run off a few safety tips and eventually, set you on your way.
The first challenge was a nice ease into things – simply jumping over haystacks. But that was the last of ‘easy’. Things got progressively harder, tougher, muddier and more challenging from there on out.
From crawling under barbed wire, to sliding down sewer pipes into cold water, and trying to run through mud puddles, there was no shortage of hard work. But, working as a team and helping each other along when anyone was feeling the burn from running on sand, or just needed a breather, we stuck together and helped each other along.
There were a couple of obstacles that require assistance from other teams around you which we gladly accepted – all 4 of us are not the biggest, most buff people around and the extra bits of strength were always welcomed.
Pretty much everything involves a little bit of water, then heading out onto the sand, which means that by the end of it, you’re literally caked in mud, your shoes are 4 kg’s heavier, and your clothes will need a serious wash. And then you reach the odd obstacle that involves a huge puddle / dam-type-effort-thing of water and you splish and splash around in that for a few minutes, trying to get yourself to a reasonable level of not-so-muddy. But boy was it all so much fun!
We didn’t try kill ourselves out on the course – we wanted to push ourselves and attempt every obstacle (happy to say we all managed to complete every obstacle!) but we also wanted to have fun while doing it. Running on the desert sand for 8 km’s was not easy, but Tough Mudder were brilliantly organised and they provided loads of aid stations where they provided water, energy drinks, toilets, medics etc.
One of Tough Mudder’s most well-known (notorious, maybe?!) obstacles is the Finish Line obstacle… the electroshock. This involves running through a muddy swamp, with electric wires suspended above you that you have to run through… or you can drop down on the ground and crawl through the mud to avoid the wires. Unfortunately though, as we neared the finish line, we were told to turn left which takes us away from the electroshock… the 8 km racers do not go through that obstacle 😦 Obviously rather relieved that we’re not subjecting ourselves to electric shocks, we were still rather disappointed that we did not get to at least try this signature obstacle.
But, we still all held hands as we saw the finish line ahead of us, and ran through it, proud, strong, dirty and extremely happy with ourselves and team mates for an excellent effort out on the course!
And this is what happens to your shoes… post-race, to post-wash 🙂