Sunday, October 15, 2017

Tough Mudder 2017 done! (1 of 3)

I have a lot of mixed feelings about yesterday, although they are mostly good. I'm typing this with a body that is angry at me and few sips of coffee, so any coherence will be solely achieved through luck.

We had an 8am start in Sedalia, so anyone who's know me at all knows that me and mornings don't see eye to eye typically, especially when I know there's going to be plenty of suffering coming up in the near future.

When we got there, it felt very similar to Warrior Dash, with probably the same size of crowds (700 participants or so and spectators, not a small crowd).  Speaking of spectators, I'd be remiss if I didn't call out my very dear friend Ryan Mulbery, who so graciously took all these great photos.

Here's the team (L to R): Ryan Schimmel, John Thong, Jarrett Marshall, Denny Rader, Wallace, Peter Colpitts, The Bearded Wonder). Jarrett drove in from St Louis to take Ryan's spot after he had to bail after his old man hips gave out on him.

Just a quick recap, TM is 11 miles long with 20 obstacles that vary in size and skill required to traverse. None were exceptionally easy, but some were clearly harder than others.

So at our start time at 8:00 I came busting out of the $hitter to see a group of guys leaving and my team starting to take off. Not an auspicious start. Fortunately, 8:00 was a soft start time as they would let groups of 350 off every 15 minutes, so we were at the start of the 8:15 group. The only thing worse than being late is being early. So we were hopping around waiting for 8:15, and when that finally hits we go to another staging area, and then we are treated to music at probably 130db. I'm thinking they were trying to numb our brains with sonic waves. Then the announcer/MC comes up and gives a little rah rah speech and gets us pumped up. Until the audio cuts out. Again, not an auspicious start but I'm here for adventure, albeit I figured it would be out on the course not in the warm up area.

No cannon shot, we just start running. And running, and then the first obstacle. Run up the stairs at the fairgrounds 4 times. Not pleased with my training already, and now you're going to cook my legs before mile 1? This is going to be a beaut, Clark. Once we're done with the stairs, we run halfway around the track (I think that was 80 miles) to the next obstacle, which was the partner carry. Shimmel and I partner off, he starts by carrying me with the fireman's carry, and then halfway we switch and I carry him with a piggyback method. That wasn't too bad, but again, it was all legs. More running (see a pattern here?), and then it was Pitfall. Basically a giant muddy pit filled with muddy water and hidden holes dug out of the floor of the "pond". Not too bad, and it felt good to cool the legs off a bit. Next was Slick Rick (think adult-sized muddy slip and slides) and Skidmarked. I had to look the latter up, as my brain was anoxic and I have no memory of it. This was a slanted-towards-you wall that you had to scale, and it was one of the first obstacles that really showed how important teamwork is to this event. We don't have pics for awhile as there were no spectators' areas back here.

Next up was a mystery obstacle, but I have no idea what it was. I must have done it though. It probably involved mud. (Edit: It didn't. It was hurdling cow fences about 40 times. It wasn't bad until you rammed your knee/shin into the top of one, and then that slowed you down since you weren't as eager to go hopping them.)

Probably our easiest obstacle was up next, Devil's Beard which was climbing under heavy cargo nets, although our team figured out a really kick ass way to do it that took us only about 10 seconds. Next up was Berlin Walls, just more walls to giddy up over and then Bail Bonds:

This got us to mile 4 of 11. Next up was a more visually impressive obstacle, Everest 2.0. A video is worth a 1000 pics, so they say.

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