Tough Mudder Mansfield, Ohio
This last Saturday in April I completed my fourth Tough Mudder. To be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to this event. My shoulder hasn’t fully healed and I hate not being at 100%. I ended up pulling muscles in my shoulder and bicep in December and it hasn’t fully recovered yet. When I signed up last year, my goal for this mudder was to really give the Funky Monkey a go. That obstacle has been my bane for three other Tough Mudders and I wanted to at least make it half way maybe even all the way.
I know I had to do this event because I was part of a large team and I didn’t want to disappoint them. Our team was comprised of fourteen people for this event and we had seven who were running Tough Mudder for the first time. As we prepared to start it was funny as several of the team members wanted to get everyone muddy before we even got to the start line.
This was a relatively flat course compared to some of the others I have done. Bear Creek, PA in 2011 was on a ski course and this was almost flat compared to that. The hills were minor and slippery. I love doing Tough Mudders because they make sure every kind of mud possible is on the course. Many of you are familiar with these types.. the slippery mud, the shoe sucking mud, the manure smell mud, the soft sticky mud, and probably a few more that I can’t even name. Each kind of mud has a specific way of getting through and it’s fun to see if I can stay upright and how quick I can get through. We joked as the map said there were two mud miles, but it seemed like so many more.
We had a few sections of running through the woods which made a nice break from the open fields. There were only three to four wooded sections. Most of the course was open fields as this was near a regional airport. We ended up winding along several fields so most of the course was open and easy to access for spectators.
Each Tough Mudder I attend, they get better and better at obstacles. Most of the obstacles I’ve seen before but there were some new ones that I really enjoyed. My new favorite obstacle is Island Hopping. I loved it so much I went back and did it a second time. This obstacle has floating platforms that you hop from one to another. I love obstacles that involve balance and agility and this is a great combination of both. Another new obstacle for me was Just the Tip which is a vertical flat wall that has hand holds and small foot holds. This version had four tiny foot holds and the middle was all finger and grip strength. I wanted to give this a try but only made it about two feet into the hand holds before I had to drop to stop doing damage to my shoulder.
Glory Blades was another new obstacle. These walls were interesting because they are at a 30° towards us. A fun twist is that there is no foot holds so another person has to push you up or you have to be able to jump and pull yourself up. I had to have a lot of help to make it over these and the Berlin Walls this time. My upper body strength needs some work after my shoulder injury.
This course also had some of the staples like Arctic Enema (a dumpster filled with ice water that you have to wade through), Berlin Walls (12 foot walls with one foot hold about 3 feet from the ground), Funky Monkey (monkey bars that are set at an angle), Walk the Plank (a 20 foot drop into a pool), Everest (a sloped wall that you have to run up), and Electroshock Therapy (a run through electrically charged wires). There were twenty two obstacles in total at this Tough Mudder.
It was an almost perfect day for this with the sun shining and mid 50’s to 60 degrees out. I seem to have luck with weather as only one of the mud runs I’ve done have been miserable weather. Tough Mudder put together a great course with some trail sections, some field sections, some incredibly muddy sections, and overall great obstacles. This was basically my two year anniversary of my first Tough Mudder and I can say that Tough Mudder keeps getting more efficient, more fun, and challenging. Really great race and overall I’m very happy I went even though I wasn’t completely into it when I started. I definitely warmed up to the race about the first mile in! I am really proud of my team as 14 started and all 14 finished. I know these events can be super difficult especially with the cold water, the electricity and sometimes being defeated by an obstacle. However, the entire team finished and I was so proud of everyone!