My brother moved to Oklahoma last year and this January he called me and said, "Guess what? There's going to be a Tough Mudder in Popular Bluff, Missouri this fall. That's about halfway for both of us." So, in April we signed up.
Tough Mudder is difficult to describe. It's a race with obstacles, but you aren't being timed. It's an event that's meant to challenge yourself physically and mentally. It's also something that you really can't finish alone; you have to rely upon others.
I'm just below average height (5'8") with a hefty build. I'm a scholar and not an athlete. I knew that this was something that I wouldn't be able to do without some sort of training. As much as I hate it, I started running about 2 times a week in June. There was a three week period where I wasn't able to do anything because of rehearsals for a show I was in, but after that, I started training hard. I joined a gym and started working out 3-5 times a week for the next 8 weeks. I almost made it through an entire "Couch to 5K" running program and I increased my capacity to lift weights by almost 25 lbs between the time I started and the day before our Tough Mudder. I also lost over 5 lbs. Tough Mudder recommends that you are able to do 5 pull-ups. I do, too, even though I still wasn't able to do a single full pull-up before our Event.
The morning of our Tough Mudder, I wanted to make sure I was plenty hydrated. So I drank half a container of orange juice and 2 water bottles. I used the restroom before leaving and felt ready. What I didn't expect was the almost hour wait in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the road leading to the parking lot. I've never had to pee so bad before my entire life. I thought about just going to the bathroom outside of the car, but there were lots of other people around (including children). I asked a volunteer if there were port-a-potties around and he said yeah, but I wasn't allowed to go to one because I wasn't registered, yet. So, I had to register and then wait in line again to use the bathroom. I was in a cold sweat and intense pain for a good 20 minutes. What I learned is that even though you should be hydrated, don't overhydrate yourself before hand. Also, take note that there was no toilet paper in any of the port-a-potties, so do a number two before you leave home and bring lots of baby wipes in case you need to go before the race.
My brother and I joined a college friend and his team. Before hand, we all decided to wear these bright yellowshirts from Wal-Mart. They said, "WARNING: YOU COULD GO BLIND FROM MY PURE AWESOMENESS." The saying was kind of lame, but they were cheap and bright and allowed for us to recognize each other when we got separated during certain portions of the race. If you ever do a Tough Mudder and are on a Team, I recommend your team wearing some sort of matching clothing. It really helps later in the day.
Our event time came and we jumped over the start wall. The speakers weren't working right so our heat sang the national anthem together. Then we dropped to a knee as the mc went over all the necessary info.
A few minutes later, we were off. We were maybe a couple of hundred yards into the race when we hit first mud. It was a blast.
The first obstacle was the Berlin Walls #1. These were 8 foot high walls. This is where being able to do a pull up and having good upper body strength comes in handy. If you can do a few pull-ups and have some upper body strength and are taller than average, you can almost climb over these alone. However, if you're not, you're going to need help. Towards the end of the race (obstacle #19) we came to Berlin Walls #2. These were 12 foot walls and you can't climb over them alone. You also either need to be a lighter person or have some good upper body strength to make it over them. I ended up skipping Berlin Walls #2 because at that point I had hardly any upper body strength left and being a heavier person, I didn't want to burden anyone else with trying to push me over something most everyone else was climbing over.