Sunday, June 16, 2013

Tough Mudder Oregon Recap

I have to say that I am very impressed with the Tough Mudder event.  Everything from parking, course design, volunteers, to organization they had it dialed.  I'm not sure of the exact number of cars in the parking field, but I would guess that there were about 600, so that would mean there was somewhere in the neighborhood of 2000 people there to participate.  

a wall obstacle to climb over to warm up before the start

Tough Mudder is not a race, so there's lots of camaraderie among everyone along the course, instead of throwing elbows.  Instead of sending all 2000 people of at once, they sent about 300-400 people off at different times; just about every hour starting at 10am and the last one at 2pm I believe.

Over the course of 10.5 miles, there was probably 8,000ft of elevation gain.  I was amazed by how much steep hills were included in the course.  Not to make it any easier, the terrain was almost always off-camber and loaded with rocks.  I don't think I was ever able to get into a normal running stride, even though I was jogging.  I ran everything except one hill around mile 8.5; which was extremely steep and long and rocky.

giving Jenny (backpack on right) the Mudder pose while running

There were 19 obstacles that we had to navigate, none of which were that difficult, but one on particular, the mud mile, would probably have been impossible to do without the help of someone else.  There were about 8 mounds of mud, separated by 3 foot wide troughs of muddy water that we had to jump into and then climb out of.  Because the mud was so slippery, the help of your fellow Mudder was needed to get up and over.

I think I underestimated the "Walk the Plank" obstacle.  This one involves you to walk up 20 feet to a wooden platform and then plunge into a 12-foot deep pool.  I didn't think I would have any problem with this one, but once I got atop the platform, things seemed a bit higher than they looked in You Tube videos.  I paused for about 10 sec. and then jumped feet-first into the pool and crawled out using their netting.  One girl was so freaked out that she was up there for about 5 min.

The Electric Eel and Electroshock Therapy obstacles involved crawling and running through hanging wires that sent of electrical shocks (all while crawling and running through water of course).  The shocks were more potent than I thought they would be, but nothing that left a lasting impression on me.

As I mentioned earlier, I ran most of the course, and roughly 7 miles was with a guy I met from Portland.  Lots of people came to the event with a group of 3-6 others as a "Team", I did it solo.  I tried to get others from bend to join me but couldn't rally any takers.  I think if you had people who were of equal fitness level that it would be pretty damn fun.  It's basically a big party going on the whole time.

Here is one video from the event...

And here is another...

With all of the military-style belly crawling and hopping over logs, my stomach, elbows, and knees have a few scratches, and my knees are a little swollen from all of the steep running.  The worst thing I take away from the event is a major sunburn on my back.  I loaded up the sunscreen but being out in the sun for almost 2 hours I still got burned.  can't image those who were out there for 4 hours...ouch!

I can't wait to do my next obstacle course event, the Spartan Race, Aug 3rd, which IS a race and there is prize money to be won.  

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