Last weekend, on Labor Day, I completed my first tough mudder. Though this was considered a “mini” tough mudder, not nearly as intense as the officially sanctioned ones. It was a shorter distance at just over 5K, and even though it had more obstacles, they were less difficult for the most part.
I also managed to rope two others into my craziness, one of my oldest friends, Faye, and my brother’s lovely fiancé, April. They were both less than pleased with the adventure I believe. Having never even run a standard 5K before, this was a tough one to start on, no pun intended.
The event itself was Morgan’s Mud Gauntlet. It’s an annual thing at Morgan’s Canoe and Campground in Brookesville, Indiana. If you’re interested in seeing a video of the course I’ve included a link below to the actual site.
Included in the 5K-ish course were 40 obstacles, 6 mudpits, and the largest hill to climb up and down in all of creation. Most of the obstacles included various combinations of hay bales, canoes, tires, ropes, etc. There was a fun slide into a deeper watery mud pit. I attempted 38 of these obstacles, successfully did 37 of them, and did all the mud pits. I skipped #35 and #20, though #20 was accidental. We turned the wrong way when getting out of the river and skipped the whole loop on that side, going directly from obstacle 19 to 21. #35 was the reverse of #34, which were both giant climbing walls. I manage to get up and over the first one with only moderately freaking out, but couldn’t bring up the courage, and the confidence in my arm strength, to attempt the second. I’m not sure how many obstacles Faye and April completed. I wasn’t honestly keeping track. I was just super grateful and excited they were there with me, even if it was just to cheer me on as I climbed over/under stuff.
Faye opted out of the gigantic hill at obstacle #11, meeting back up with us at #14. April opted out at #22, meeting back up with us afterward. Faye and I walked/crawled across the finish line at 2 hrs and 17 minutes.
If you’ll notice in the pictures below, my gym shoes died a horrible death. I ended up throwing them away once I got home. About halfway up the monstrous hill the soul of my right shoe decided to come away, so every step I took after that was followed by a lovely flopping noise/feeling. If I had duct-taped my shoes on like all the sites suggested this may not have happened, but I probably still would have thrown them away anyway. They had gained probably at least a pound each with just the sheer amount of water and mud. These were my yardwork shoes though, and were at least 8 years old, so they’ve lived a good long life.
As part of the registration fee we received a long sleeve, black commemorative shirt (very useful in 90 degree heat), a finisher’s medal, a “free” meal of pulled pork/beer, and “free” camping the night before onsite. The pork was super yummy. Out of the more than 400 participants not that many took advantage of the camping option. We, of course, did. We came the day before, set up camp, and then went exploring!
Another benefit of being a participant is that we could have gotten half off canoeing if we had wanted to. We opted not to, not wanting to mostly kill ourselves before completely killing ourselves the next day. Instead we wondered to the nearby town of Metamora. April and I went horseback riding, then we meandered around the kitschy little town for a bit, and ate dinner at a little English themed pub/tavern. Afterward we went back to camp for campfire and alcohol induced fun.
This was the first time since losing the weight that I’ve been horseback riding. I’m pretty sure I’ve commented on the lack of cushioning on my posterior now. 5 days later and that’s the only part that is still hurting some. My “undercarriage” didn’t appreciate the hour in the hard saddle. No matter which way I shifted I just couldn’t get comfortable. I did come ahead of April though. Her horse ran her straight through a large tree branch causing a long scrape up her upper arm.
We were at campsite #14, which was right next to the river. If you look at the race map we could see obstacle #23 from our tent. Though it was cool to be able to walk down to the water, I will say that navigating a sand-filled campsite isn’t the funnest thing in the world.
5 days later I’m just now not feeling sore. Even with that I would not hesitate to do this again next year. It was a blast! I got such a sense of accomplishment from completing the obstacles. At my fluffiest I probably wouldn’t have even attempted them, psyching myself out. I never would have even seen if I could do them, thinking I was to fat to even try. Now the only issue I ran into was my height. Being on the shorter side made some of the obstacles harder, and made the monkey bars literally impossible. I couldn’t reach the damn second bar!
I’m probably going to have to find other accomplices next time though. I don’t think Faye and April will be willing to join in again. I can’t imagine how sore they probably were. I have a year and a half of working out 3 days a week under my belt and was still walking like a little old lady needing her walker.
It was such a fun weekend though. I had such a blast! Thanks again to Faye and April for joining me!