A few weeks ago a mate of ours asked if we'd be interested in doing the notoriously horrific assault course, Tough Mudder, which was coming to Ireland for the very first time. This request was accompanied with a video of various people faceplanting into mud while attempting the course. Sound.
Having previously ran Ultramarathons, dabbled in long distance triathlon but more recently training heavily in Mixed Martial Arts, I thought I had a good base for at least completing the course. When the folks at Volvic Ireland offered to make a donation to charity if I agreed to do it, then I didn't really have a choice, did I?
The course is 12 miles long and includes 26, yes 26, obstacles. Said obstacles range from the staggeringly uncomfortable to the physically demanding - and sometimes a nice mixture of both. Ideally you need to doing the event as part of a team; there are high walls aplenty that require help, while the whole vibe that Tough Mudder organisers push from the get go is that of team work. There will always be an element of chasing a time (triathletes, I'm looking at you), but most people don't time themselves and the focus is firmly on course completion and general self flagellation (Crossfitters, I'm looking at you).
While you can see some of the obstacles in the video, the toughest for us was the arctic enema. Essentially a pit of ice, where you have to swim under some giant tires in the middle. Our body went into complete shock the second we dived in, and we couldn't force our heads under the water - so out we went. With just another 11 odd miles and countless walls etc to scale.
The rest of the course featured things like 'mud mile' 'hang tough' and 'cage crawl' which are all fairly self explanatory. The latter seeming to freak a hell of a lot of people out. There was very little room to breath and your ears and the majority of your head are in the water while you pull yourself along the cage, but it was short enough that if you manage to switch off, you'll pull through it - so to speak.