So a few months ago Cheryl had a business trip in Atlanta for a week. I decided to fly down with her the weekend before and stay with our friend Jill who had recently moved there. Since the trip was last minute, she already had a few things planned. One of them was the ATL Tough Mudder. She asked if we wanted to participate, but I told her this time I would watch and maybe do it one day. After seeing the actual race though I’m not sure if I will ever do one, but more on that after.
She was running the race with a bunch of people she worked with at the school in Georgia. They were all really cool.
All the teams running each had a start time, but it didn’t really matter. You just showed up at the start with your team and they let you into the shoot once the group in front went. You had to climb a small wall just to get to the stet line so you know it was serious.
At the start they had a guy yelling and screaming about teamwork and who has done Tough Mudders in the past and stuff. He was somewhat motivational. He had everyone repeat a Tough Mudder manta too.
Then they were off! Tough Mudder is a team event so they all had to stay together.
We had to pay to be spectators at the event. Not sure why, but we did. There was even a separate spectator path so we could go from event to event to watch. We stayed near the start area where the mudders looped back around to do the Funky Monkey.
Monkey bars over really gross looking water. Most of the guys made it across, but the other two girls on the team both fell.
When it was my friend Jill’s turn she rocked it! Even with all my crossfit I still don’t think I could do that.
They were all in pretty good spirits at the point and moved on to the rest of the obstacles.
This is where things got confusing. Cheryl and I started off the down spectator path to get to the other obstacles before them to watch. Well the spectate path just kind of ended and we were standing in the middle of a field with a bunch of other people trying to figure out where to go. We finally started walking around a barn and saw the team going up a hill so we followed them. They got to a giant hill with a net on it.
After we watched them on that (not a spectator area) we found other lost looking people that told us how to get back to the path. We made it to the next spectator area at arctic enema a few minutes before the team. They were starting to wear down at that point. A nice ice bath should wake them up!
You were forced to go under a wall and a lot of people couldn’t do it, but the whole team did. Then we kept going to the next spectator area at the Berlin walls. Giant wooden walls to climb over. This is where teamwork was necessary!
Most of their hands were blistered or broken open at this point, but they seemed to be having fun. We moved on to the next spectator area at everest. Everyone has seen it. The half pipe you have to run up all gross and muddy. This one wasn’t as bad as ones I had seen in pictures from other races. Probably because it was so hot the mud wasn’t wet.
It took a long time for the team to get there. I got bad sunburn sitting in the field waiting. One of the girls had twisted her ankle so they were mainly walking at this point, but still going! The guys got up the wall easily. Jill failed the first time, but finally got up. It must be hard for short people.
After we walked next to them back to the start/finish area. We ran ahead to see them do the electroshock therapy at the end. I saw a few people try to run through so they wouldn’t get shocked, only to fall HARD in the mud. The team got through ok, but it looked painful. Someone said they got shocked in the eye! OUCH!
But they finally made it to the finish line! I forget how long it took, definitely a few hours. I was hungry and tired and sunburn, but it was definitely fun. They got beer after so we joined them.
They were all pretty dirty and beat up, but definitely thinking about doing another one. I guess it’s the same way I am with running halfs and marathons.
On the way out there was even a place to leave your muddy shoes!
It looked like a fun experience, but probably not something I will be doing. I would be so afraid to hurt myself, and I also tend to get competitive so having to stay with people the whole time might be rough.
I am doing a ROC run (5K) next month with 2 friends and Cheryl. Smaller group of people to stay together so it will be a test to these longer intense obstacle races.