Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tough Mudder, Virginia 2011 Obstacles 9-16

9. Underwater Tunnels: Between the Chernobyl Jacuzzi and underwater tunnels I should note that we had an unmarked obstacle. Loose net was hung between two trees and you had to climb 15ft up one side and down the other. Then we arrived at underwater tunnels- another water challenge (aka hate it!). Jump into a pool and dunk your head under 5 logs covered in barbed wire. Jumping again into cold water was bad enough, but dunking myself 5 times again? Absolute anguish.

10. Greased Lightening: Slide down the hill on a tarp into a pool of muddy water. This was fun in theory. Unfortunately under the tarp were rocks, sticks, and bumps that you couldn't see until you hit them. Ryan went down head first and crunched his wrist pretty badly on a rock. I would recommend next time to take it slow and slide down on your bum. Unfortunately, even that hurt on the way down.

11. Boa Constrictor: These were small tubes you had to crawl through that submerged at the bottom. then you had to crawl out through cold, muddy water and back up into another tube. This obstacle reminded me why I bought gloves for the event. There were rocks at the bottom of the tubes! It worked on so many levels- pain, claustrophobia, fear of drowning, and my dislike for cold water. On to the next challenge!

12. Berlin Walls: This was a wall made of hay. In order to get over the walls, you needed run at it as fast as you could, to be hoisted up and then pull yourself over. There was a little bit of a wait for this challenge, but people generally helped each other and had good spirit. That is until we made it through the next challenge.

13. Death march. Ugh. this distance was looooooooong. They called it death march for a reason. This is the first part of the race where I felt the distance and started to really feel the burn. We ran up a hill, stopped at a water stand for a quick break and bananas. Then we continued to run more up hill until we got to the ridge of the mountain. It was in this stretch (probably the 5-6 mile mark) where we started to see people dropping out with muscle cramps or throwing up at the side of the trail.

14. Cliff Hanger: This was a relatively simple challenge. We had to continue up the hill to get to the ridge, but on the way up was a slippery muddy hill. Either you ran fast enough up the slope, or someone grabbed your hand to help you up. Once you made it, you kept running until the top of the mountain. This continued the long stretch of running through a golf course. Hey, at least it was flat!

15. Kiss of Mud: This crawling challenge was also not difficult. Throughout the day, people had worn several trenches through the mud under the barbed wire, so as long as you crawled as close as you could to the ground under the wire, you were okay. This challenge guaranteed bloody knees and muddy clothes. Also, getting caught on the barbed wire meant little holes in your clothes!

16. Log Jammin: Navigated ourselves over and under a series of logs, as dictated by more barbed wire fences. They made sure to fill the bottom with some sort of manure mud, so it was extra stinky as you crawled through the muck.

Click HERE for a rundown of obstacles 17-24, and advice for people who are running Tough Mudder!

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