Eight courageous Benders dressed in black… Seven courageous Benders dressed in black and one navy blue arrived at Mount Saint Louis Moonstone to face Tough Mudder 2017. There was a mixture of experienced obstacle course racers in the group. Many having done the always popular Mud Hero. Others had Warrior Dash on their resume as well as couple Spartans mixed in. Surprisingly though no one in the group had done the Tough Mudder.
After passing the multi-tiered registration process which moved surprisingly quick the group found their way to the starting corral. Going off in the first wave of the day, the warm up in corral was pretty standard with the hype man getting every one pumped while making sure everyone stayed safe and looked out for one another. One thing that stuck out in particular was that Tough Mudder was NOT A RACE. It was an experience, it was about team work. I didn’t think much of this line until the gun went off and the crowd started moving.
The start of the Tough Mudder began with a climb straight up the ski hill. In every race I’ve been in the past there’s always people that burst out of the gate and gun it full out regardless of terrain or their ability. Surprising true to what the hype man said, Tough Mudder was not a race. The crowd almost leisurely made their way up the mountain. A growing line of Mudders assembled up the mountain giving each others encouraging high fives as they made their way up. This was going to be a team experience!
Tough Mudder boasts 20 obstacles spaced over 18kms. We were met with the first obstacle after cresting the mountain. Mud! Getting everyone dirty right off the bat. From there it was obstacle after obstacle with only breaks to climb mountains or descending them. Laughs, cheers and high fives as the group made their way through the course.
There were challenges to be found too, whether it be tight spaces, cold dark water, heights or electrocution every Bender faced something out of their comfort zone. Teamwork provided the extra bit of encouragement that some needed when confronted with that challenge that seemed too daunting. A few obstacles offered two choices, one for newbies and one for Legionnaires (veterans). The Legionaries options offered a more challenging twist to the obstacle. Even though we were all first timers the Legionnaire route was what we tackled with glee. That is all but one obstacle.
The final obstacle offered up this choice but there was something different about this obstacle. Legionnaires to the right for Kong, everyone else to the left, Electroshock Therapy. If anyone has heard one thing about Tough Mudder, it’s about this obstacle. The name isn’t just a clever title. THERE IS ACTUAL ELECTRICAL SHOCKS!! 10,000 volts worth of shocks!
Watching a few brave Mudders run the gauntlet and face the sharp sting of the dozens of live electrical wires suspended above a pit of mud and water it was our turn. One by one we made our way through the final obstacle. Some carefully and calculated, other wildly and quickly, regardless of the strategy there was just too many live wires. Zap! Zap! Zap! go the Benders, one by one we all fell to the 10,000 volts! But we all made through to the other side earning the free beer that had been strapped to our wrists all day. Cleaning up and hitting the beer garden we relaxed and enjoyed our free beer to the yelps of fellow Mudders getting zapped.
Cheers to the Tough Benders!
Also cheers to the amazing spectators who followed us throughout the course on the special spectator route snapping pics, taking videos, laughing and cheering us along all the way! Hopefully we can return the favour next year!