Amputee Tough Mudder -#7 Scotland 2017
I wasn't expecting to do a post on Tough Mudder (TM) this week but I figured that it seemed quite appropriate, following on from a video that was posted on the Tough Mudder page of me completing Everest.
For those that don't know, Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile obstacle race with challenges that range from simply crawling through mud under barbed wire to climbing huge structures to monkey bar across water. It is viewed as one of the hardest obstacle courses just due to the length and intensity of the 20+ obstacles.
On Friday, I booked 1/2 a day at work so left Hampshire at 12:00 midday to go home quickly to change before travelling up to Scotland. I picked up two of my friends and set off on the road - one of my friends was completing his first TM while the other was just volunteering on the Saturday and fancied a road trip. Unfortunately, as we headed up, we seemed to hit every bit of traffic possible and didn't get to the TM campsite until 11PM. We checked in with the volunteers there and started to get our tent set up. As TM participants (or legionnaires as we call them) create such a community, we weren't able to sleep until about 1:30AM as it was clear that everyone was exited and wanted to chat.
Up at 5am, with only 3.5 hours sleep, I started my TM volunteer shift, to help get the other runners registered with their bib numbers and start wave bands etc. Being a volunteer with TM is not only extremely emotionally rewarding and an amazing experience but it also gives you a huge discount on running!
At 10:00AM I started running my 7th TM and proceeded to keep running until about 5/5:30PM. I say running......I'm still not able to run so simply walk the course. It was my goal to help 100 mudders over obstacles and by halfway, I had already achieved my goal. My friend that I was with put in a fantastic effort and I was pleasantly surprised with his ability to conquer the course. If anybody else would like to run the course with me, please let me know.
The penultimate obstacle is one called Everest, which is essentially a huge ramp that you have to run up and hope that somebody catches you to help pull you up. Many people take multiple attempts to conquer this. Having completed this obstacle multiple times previously, I was surprised when I saw ropes on the slope! I was determined to finish this obstacle without any help so I started to plan out how I was going to do it. As I started to hop up to the ramp, one of the TM crew were filming me and managed to get it all on film to put on their Facebook page. Surprisingly, in the 3 days that it has been up, it has had over 240,000 views! With this in mind, I really hope to be doing some more footage with TM in the future mostly to try and inspire others and help them achieve something they otherwise thought would be impossible.
Having a shower after TM is one of the best feelings ever! If you volunteer with TM, you are able to camp for free and therefore are able to have hot showers. It takes me about 1/2 hour to shower after TM as it takes me about 20 minutes simply to wash all of the mud off of my iWalk leg. Luckily, I have a second iWalk so it's not completely necessary for me to wash off every cm of mud but it still takes quite a while. After cleaning up, we headed to the local shop to get some food for a BBQ before heading to bed for about 11PM.
On the Sunday, I was again up and ready for a 6AM volunteer shift to help the mudders with any queries at the information desk. I volunteered my time until 1PM and then went back to the campsite to pack down my tent to go home. I said goodbye to all my fellow mudders and headed off at about 2PM. It's always sad saying goodbye but you always know you'll see them again in a few weeks for the next one.
8.5 hours later, I arrived home with my lovely new pink headband! A pink headband signifies that you have completed between 7-9 TMs. It has been now placed on my stand that I made specifically for my TM headbands and I am very proud to have completed yet another course. I have planned to complete three courses in July and have booked my flights to Ireland and Germany. As I am still due for surgery, I will have to wait to see if I am able to do more this season. I feel part of this community that has welcomed me with open arms and it's safe to say that I am addicted!
I am still unsure right now how I am getting from Dublin and Hannover airport to the TM location so if you are going and have space in your car, please let me know - I would really appreciate it!
It's safe to say that I had a fantastic weekend away and despite being very sleep deprived (especially after starting work at 8am on Monday morning), I am happy and healthy. I'll try to keep you updated with future events and thank you for all of your comments and video shares following my Everest attempt.