A few months ago my friend from work L said “hey mate, I’m entering a fun event in August, would you be…”
My answer before she had even finished… “YEP I’m in… what is the event?”
I do that a fair bit. Drives hubby insane. I think I mainly do it because: a) my friends are way cool and have way cool ideas, and b) as a working mum of 2 year old twins, I don’t get much free time that fits in well with friend time so jump on any chance to catch up with friends when I can.
A race + catching up with a friend. Perfect combination in my books.
The event was Tough Mudder. A 20km obstacle race. You might have heard of it? Although new to the Sunshine Coast, it has been getting a fair bit of air play here in Qld. I have done other obstacle races, adventure races, surf races, surf boat races, outrigging races, running races, and triathlons. But this was different. And very special.
The event was Saturday just gone. A week later I am still on a high.
And without further delay — here are the reasons why I loved my Tough Mudder experience hard!
1. It was promoted as a challenge, not a race.
Anyone who knows me in real life knows I am not a fan of focusing on racing times/places. This is for a number of reasons and past experiences. I love races and training with a race goal. But I love them for the experience and do not give a shiz where I come.
Tough Mudder put a big deal on communicating to everyone entered that the event was a challenge and not a race. And that looking after your own team and other teams out on the course was key. They even made you take a pledge on bended knee. Which sounds dorky now but was very cool 1 minute before the race started.
They didn’t even take official times of the event. Can’t say that happens in many big sporting events these days.
Post-race this stopped the questions that I hate. No “where did you come” questions. No “what was your race time” questions.
And meant for all the questions that I adore hard. ”How was it?”. “Did you have fun?”. “What was the best bit?”.
2. The challenges were way cool and BIG.
Unlike other obstacle races I have done, I think the challenges in Tough Mudder would be near impossible to replicate yourself. They were large-scale, built with machines, and some were scary as feck. I jumped into and had to swim underwater in a pool of just ice, I got electrocuted 12 times, I jumped and free fell off high beams into dug-out pools, and I crawled under ground in pitch-black sewers of muddy water (whilst singing Wilson Philips ‘Hold On’ to keep me calm). And that was just 5 of the 20+ obstacles. Looking back, I am amazed at some of the things I did that morning.
3. Mah teammies.
I was in a work team with my friend L, her hubs D, and some guys from work. Such an amazing fun group. Everyone looked out for each other and pushed each other along, figuratively and literally. Getting in with the right group is the key to a race like this I think. Massive props to L and D for teaming up with en spouse without a divorce on the cards post-event. I am not 100% sure if hubs and I could do the same in such an event. Maybe we should try one day. Or maybe we should just stay happily married. Ha.
4. The atmosphere.
There were plenty of good vibes! It was all a bit American but was perfect for the day. I mean come on, who doesn’t love climbing through mud with the Smashing Pumpkins blasting in the background and someone on a microphone egging you on?! Tough Mudder has super fun vibe. I wish I could bottle it and sniff a bit each morning.
5. 5star organisation and logistics.
Out of all the races I have ever done, this event is the best organised. The logistics and organisation that goes into this race is premium and despite the huge numbers of people competing, in my experience on the day it was all so easy and I could not have wished for anything different. Parking = easy. Registration = walked straight in. Bag drop = 2 seconds. Race start = pumping. Race nutrition = water, sports drink, and bananas in abundance out on the course. And bins for rubbish all along the way.* Finish line = cross, picture, solo, beer, high-five. Showers = OMG they had the BEST setup for showers. Aus race organisers and even Aus music festival organisers could get a lot of great ideas from these guys.
Would I do it again? You bet.
I think anyone could do Tough Mudder, if they wanted.
The key is finding the right group to do it with.
I am going to hit up my 60+ year old dad to see if he will join us next year.
If you are interested in this sort of thing, on YouTube you can view the official short video of the Sunny Coast Tough Mudder race or a guy (SurfShacked – who I don’t know) has put up a really cool GoPro video (14min) of ALL the Tough Mudder Sunny Coast obstacles (he filmed it as he raced – wow).
I am backing up this weekend for the Sunshine Coast Half Marathon. Once again, for fun.
Hubs and I are running with the pram. And our 2 year old twins.
It could be a disaster. Or it could be unreal fun. Will soon find out.
Have a fun weekend. xx