Tough Mudders emerging from the Electric Eel
The toughest race on Earth isn’t really a race: no timers, no records, no winners, no podium. Just 12 miles, cross-country, over 22 sadistic obstacles designed by the British Special Forces. The objective? To finish and to help your fellow Tough Mudders finish too.
This past weekend my boyfriend Drew finished his third Tough Mudder, along with his brother Nate and a few of their friends. Me — I stuck to the sidelines as team photographer. You won’t catch me crawling through electrified mud for fun!
A wave of 250 runners get pumped up at the starting line. Waves went off every 20 minutes all morning. I haven’t seen the stats yet, but easily more than a thousand runners signed up for this crazy event.
Obstacle #1: Arctic Enema. Yeah those are ice cubes floating in there and you have to duck your head under to get under that plank. Brrrrr.
After Obstacle #2: Kiss of Mud.
Obstacle #4: The Berlin Walls. One of the many of the Tough Mudder obstacles designed to require teamwork.
Obstacle #5: Hold Your Wood. Half-mile log carry around and through a lake.
Obstacle #6: Dirty Ballerina
Obstacle #7: Electric Eel. Those wires are live!
Thumbs Up after the Electric Eel
Drew gets low through the very slimy Electric Eel
Electric Eel Aftermath
Army Heckler at the Electric Eel. This woman was awesome.
Obstacle #8: Walk the Plank!
Mid-course Banana Break!
Some people go through the Tough Mudder course carrying everything but the…
While other people run the course with next to nothing.
The next time we saw the boys they were on Obstacle #20: Boa Constrictor
Obstacle #21: Everest! My favorite obstacle to watch.
To get up Everest you have to run full tilt up that slippery slope and launch yourself into the arms of somebody at the top. At this point, the mudders had run over 11 miles over 20 obstacles. People were beat and Everest took everything they had left. The drama and comraderie of Everest was incredible. I could have watched this all day!
The demographics of Tough Mudder were also amazing. Yes, there were a lot of fine physical specimens who made mud look good and the race look easy (I’m looking at you, Marines!) but there were also a lot of regular folks out there, people who you never would expect to sign up for such suffering. But suffer they did, usually with a big muddy grin on their filthy faces. I haven’t seen stats on how many people finished the course this weekend, but I didn’t see anybody quit. It’s true what they say: You are tougher than you think.
Last but certainly not least. Obstacle #22: Electroshock Therapy. Those wires pack 10,000 volts. Ouch.
Drew and Nate demonstrate two techniques through Electroshock Therapy: flail and tuck. Neither works.
Brotherly Love at the Finish Line.
Tough Mudder Aftermath: Headbands, t-shirts and beers all around!
If this looks like your idea of fun, sign up at www.toughmudder.com. Read about my idea of a proper Suffer Fest here.