Add another completed OCR to the list: Tough Mudder. This edition of Tough Mudder was in Lebanon OR at Lester Farms. My initial start time was at noon, which put making it back in time to see the Timbers match in jeopardy¹. Luckily, my future brother in law and his Crossfit club were running the TM as well and had a start time of 9:45 and I was invited to run with his team. Knowing I had an earlier start time, an hour and 45 minute drive, plus another 30 minutes to get to Ben’s place, a 5am wakeup call was set.
After arriving at Crossfit SW Beaverton‘s box and waiting for the rest of the team to show up, the caravan to Tough Mudder was on the way! In a few short hours, we would be hitting the trails and mud!
When we got to Lester Farms we parked, headed over to the festival area and prepared for the Tough Mudder. We took before the Mudder pictures and did a group warm up. Never under estimate the power and necessity of a warm up workout before the race. You really do not want to go into an OCR cold. Tough Mudder knows this as well, as every heat had the option to do a pre race warmup workout while the heat ahead of them was in the coral waiting to head on out on the course.
The emcee for the event was hilarious. A comedian by trade, he told us of the thrills, dangers and rules of the course with clever jokes embedded in the speech along the lines of, “if you are wearing a recording device, make sure you have your name and contact number somewhere in there. You guys have no idea how much of a killing I make afterwards selling your stuff on ebay!” While entertaining, it made you listen to what he was saying. Brilliant!
Throughout the 10.1 mile course there were a lot of unique obstacles to the TM course that I had not seen before in other OCR’s that I really enjoyed including, Walk the Plank and Everest. Walk the Plank was a 2ish story jump from atop of a tower into a pool of water. This obstacles was so much fun! I wanted to do it again! Everest is the curved skate ramp that gives many Ninja Warrior contestants issues, only Everest is not as tall or slanted as in the Ninja Warrior course. Having said that, I was able to get up to the top and pull myself up without any help.
Before the race, everyone was commenting on the Warrior Carry obstacle, where you have to carry another Tough Mudder 50 yards or so and how they wanted to carry the lightest person. I joked that I wanted the biggest guy. When the time came for this obstacle, it was a gentleman that we had invited into the group at the beginning of the race (who had travelled down from Seattle by himself, while on a business trip) myself and two ladies that were not part of our group. He was about 6’4″ and I would guess over 250lbs. The volunteer at the obstacle joked if the girls would be carrying the bigger guy. They started to laugh. Without skipping a beat, I told him to get on my back. “Are you sure?” he asked. I said “Yes.” He got on my back and I started the walk to the switch point. Along the way, he said that he was impressed that I was able to go so far with him on my back. I had to let him down about 5 steps form the halfway point and he asked “Are were switching now?” I told him “No, I want to finish my half.” He got back on my back for the last five steps. For the last half of the Warrior Carry, he had no issues carrying me to the end. I bet I felt like a jacket on him. I don’t do these races to do easy obstacles. I want the challenge. I got it on the Warrior Carry.
There was one obstacle that we skipped, the Prairie Dog. This obstacle was a rope down a tube that you had to crawl up from a mud pit to the top, which was maybe 10 feet. We skipped this due to the half hour wait time to perform this obstacle.
There were a handful of people that were in the Mudder Legionnaires (completed at least one Tough Mudder previously), that I got to watch perform the Legionnaire Loop where they got to complete extra obstacles. These obstacles were going over logs that were about 6 feet off the ground and the Leap of Faith. The Leap of Faith is another obstacle that looks like it was taken form the Ninja Warrior course. You jump from a platform and try to grab onto a cargo net that is suspended over a pool of water. If you are able to grab the cargo net and climb up over the obstacle, you are awesome! Otherwise, you are in the water. Most of the people I saw received a bath, which is where I would have gone. I need to work on my arms to be able to complete this obstacle.
The final obstacle was the Electroshock Therapy. There were three tubes that you would choose one to crawl through and then jump over all three while trying to not get tagged by the hanging wire that will shock you if you touch them. While waiting for my turn, I saw a lot of people that were scared to go through the obstacle. I just figured, what the heck and proceeded to run through the obstacle. I started to jump over the first tube and I was immediately keeling down at the second tube. I paused for a few seconds and thought, “WTF?! How the hell did I get here?” I expected to be a few feet back just passing the first tube, not kneeling before the second tube. Then the shocks started to happen. Dull Zap! Then again and again. I started to roll my way out of the Electroshock Therapy pit. Afterwards, Ben said that he was glad that he was able to watch me during that obstacle. He said that after I jumped over the first tube, I must have gotten shocked, as I took a knee got up and moved again. I got shocked again and went down on all fours and paused. This is where I “woke up”. I had no idea any of that had happened. I did not black out, I just lost time or time travelled. Really crazy and I’m glad I didn’t get hurt! Pro Tip for newbies: don’t try and run through the Electroshock Therapy!
Much thanks to Crossfit SW Beaverton for letting me run with their team and most of the pictures that I got from this race. Pro Top #2: Make sure your GoPro is fully charged the day before the race. Whoops.
¹ In the end it didn’t matter. By the time I got back into town, back home, grab my ticket and fiancée then head back to the stadium, I would have missed most of the first half of the match.
14.08.09.OR Spectator Map – Course Map