Tough Mudder Toronto 2014 was definitely one of the best experiences I’ve had in a long time. I had only found out about the event a few weeks prior, and hadn’t much time to train. Cardio was never my strong suit and I’m by no means a long distance runner, so the idea of running 16.5km is what I imagined to be the most difficult. Gymnastics was a huge part of my life, so greased up monkey bars, crawling through mud, rope climbing, wall scaling, diving off cliffs, and running up 15 foot quarter pipes didn’t phase me as much as I think it did others. Running though a field of live 100,000 volt wires… I don’t know how anyone prepares for that.
The heat I was in began at about 1:40, which was later than planned. Everyone shot out of the gates with high energy, and right away I could tell I was surrounded by marathoners. The first kilometer of the race was running up a mud covered hill. I wasn’t in horrible shape, but I could feel my breathing by the top. The first real challenge was called “The Mud Mile” which was about 6 huge mud/clay mounds with 3-4 foot deep trenches on the other side filled with water; climb over the mound, slide into the water, climb over the next, taller mound, repeat. Hardly begun the course and we all gained maybe 20 pounds of mud. My shoes were especially heavy. (I have a pair of light runners, but they have no grip left, so I opted to buy a cheap pair for $15 at target. These quickly became uncomfortable and heavy.) We were now at the top of a hill, so of course the next obstacles were at the bottom. Lots of people were trying to slowing walk down the hills while some were sliding on their butts. I did a bit of both. This was the course map with all the challenges.
It started raining and storming by the time we were about 2 kilometers in. It was already somewhat cold outside, but this caused me and my team to be wet and freezing for the entire duration of the event. The hardest part for me was definitely the running. I found each challenge fun as well as a bit of a physical challenge, but nothing I wasn’t comfortable with. I pride myself in saying that I did not fall into the water on any of the events that had that possibility. (This for example) My mom had told me that “I’m the kind of person to push myself until I throw up.” Turns out she was right. About 20 minutes after crossing the finish line, I was in shivers and throwing up. I threw a blanket on and warmed up before going home. This morning, I’m feeling a little sore and scratched up but I had a great time getting this way.