How often have you heard that saying? Stuart Neail recaps and shares his experience of Tough Mudder South-West.
Saturday 20th August. Myself and a car full of my muddy friends were on our way to take on the Tough Mudder SW course in Gloucestershire.
I’d booked the classic 15km with a group of friends, 8 of us in total, 4 never having done one before.
We arrived at 10am for an 11am start. Free parking, a quick registration and off we went into the event village. Clever positioning ensured you had to walk under ‘Mudderhorn’ making it a huge centrepiece in the village. ‘Pyramid Scheme’ and ‘Electrotherapy’ were also there – such a huge buzz! It was so good to see people back in the mud again.
A quick change, drop my bag off, then I headed into the start coral for a fun warm up before getting down on one knee to give the infamous TM pledge.
We were off! Through plumes of orange smoke with 100+ people and straight into ‘Hero walls’! This is about having FUN, overcoming fears and facing challenges with friends, no timing, just fun.
The first water obstacle didn’t take long to come across and was a full submersion. The day was warm and muggy and the water was welcomed even after a few km!
The course at Badminton is fairly flat but the course ran well, interspersed with regular obstacles. All the favourites were there with TM making sure plenty of water obstacles were present. With ‘Funky Monkey’, ‘Well Swung’, ‘Arctic Enema’, ‘Augustus Gloop’, ‘Electric Eel’, ‘Blockness’ and ‘Tipping point,’ there was no chance of staying dry!
Obstacle were well positioned throughout with just a few queues at some of them. 4 x balance beams straight after the cage crawl ensured a wet and slippery beam one needed to take time to cross.
The kilometres were ticking off nicely and with well-placed water stations (3 in total) and a muchappreciated jelly baby or 2, our team were ticking the obstacles, including every one of our 8 all completing ‘Funky Monkey’ AND TM’s rig ‘The Gauntlet’, which consisted of rings and finger ledges mixed in with cheeky door knobs to traverse across!
The ‘Blockness Monster’ obstacle is always a firm favourite and no wonder it’s voted one of TM favourites. So many smiles all round and reassured that TM safety crew were at hand if needed.
High fives for all of us and on to the infamous ‘Mud Mile.’ True to its name, there was plenty of mud!! Obligatory pose for a photo opportunity, and we carried on.
A queue at ‘Tipping Point’ meant we decided to move on from this, as we could see ‘Everest’ and ‘Arctic Enema’ in the distance.
‘Everest’ has 3 levels so all abilities can give it a go. There’s always a helping hand waiting at the top as we never leave a fellow Mudder behind!
‘Arctic Enema’ was the obstacle that one of our group was fearing the most, but when you have nowhere to hide, just the slide through the tubes, you gotta suck it up! It wasn’t as cold as I’d hoped but it was a welcome dip and made the ‘Pyramid scheme’ that followed, a wet and slippery affair! Teamwork is key and with feet on shoulders, heads or anywhere else you can put them, we got each team member up and over the top. Just ‘Mudderhorn’ to conquer, (good luck if you have a fear of heights!) and then what better way to finish than be zapped with electricity through ‘Electrotherapy,’ and with the wind moving the tentacles, there was nowhere to hide!
We all crossed the line and got our completion headbands, T-shirts and our free 3-Fold flavoured water (4% alcohol!)
All you need to do now, is book your own TM and bring some friends.