Musings on WTM
Well, it’s that time of year again. No not a race I am doing but one that spawned this blog and one that I feel I learned an immense amount about myself, racing, and well life in general, World’s Toughest Mudder (WTM). Next weekend as I am running on the hallowed ground of Fenway Park many of my obstacle racing counterparts will be in New Jersey at a Motocross track trying to see how many times they can conquer the WTM course. I spent a lot of time thinking, prepping, training, then Monday morning quarterbacking, reminiscing, and ultimately reflecting on the race from last year.
For those tackling this event for the first time I have a few key blogs that might help you in your final prep and give you an idea what you might be in for:
World’s Toughest Mudder – Pre-Race
World’s Toughest Mudder – The Race Laps 1-3, Part 1
World’s Toughest Mudder – The Race Laps 1-3, Part 2
World’s Toughest Mudder – The Race Laps 1-3, Part 3
World’s Toughest Mudder – The Race, Lap 4… The Final Lap
World’s Toughest Mudder – After the Race
Advice from a former WTMer:
1. Do NOT spend a lot of time in your tent. Quick transitions are the key to keeping you in the race. Do not make your tent a comfy and inviting place to hang out.
2. Do NOT underestimate the power of a wetsuit. I was a sceptic going into the race but the wetsuit kept me going for much longer than I could have in clothing alone. The vest with the hood under the full wetsuit was a key layer in the middle of the night.
3. Find a friend, find someone to check in on you, watch you when you might be going downhill, and otherwise help keep you positive in those dark moments! Some can do the whole race solo but trust me if you can find a friend along the way do it.
4. Have a solid nutrition plan & FOLLOW IT! Prior to the race last year I had planned out each laps nutrition, transition nutrition, and had it bound in a binder, everything in the tent, perfect, right! WRONG! When you start to get cold (hypothermic), tired, and have been racing for hours, you forget things – like eating! If I were to do it again I would get small bins with food organized out before the race, label EVERYTHING. The less you have to think the better once in race mode.
5. Know your gear. Know what you want to wear, have enough and have back-ups. This I did well, but I hadn’t trained in being in a wetsuit for 12-20 hours. Know how everything works!
6. Take care of your feet! If your feet go, your race is over. It took over two months for my feet to be pain free in shoes after the race. Take care of your feet!
7. Pace yourself, if it’s your first 24 hour race pace is key to sustaining yourself. Use the first lap to figure out the course then attack it after that.
8. Have a hotel room for Sunday night. If you live in any sort of driving distance think about a hotel room Sunday night. You will be spent and driving yourself is dangerous after racing that long.
9. Make your pit original. In the sea of tents make sure you are able to find yours. It will make life again a lot easier at the hours build upon themselves.
10. You may DNF. I didn’t think I would DNF the race last year but I did, I dwelled a little on it. Know that sometimes you won’t finish and that’s ok or maybe you will finish and enjoy the sweet feeling of success. Either way enjoy the experience that brought you along the way, and use the race as the cap on your adventure. Have fun, smile and enjoy the madness in it all.
Finally, my friend Amelia Boone wrote a great post and I didn’t want to have to write stuff again since well she already did: The Gearwhore Edition – Cold Weather Racing. If you didn’t know she was one of only two women to be official finishers of last years WTM along with eight men. Oh and listen to her advice on a windbreaker over the wetsuit it saved my butt in the wee hours of the morning as we broke ice on the water obstacles. That extra layer is golden. Best of luck to all you racing and enjoy the experience, hopefully the weather gods will look upon your favor!