11.17.2011

Tough Mudder

The Tough Mudder is one of the toughest events on the planet. Each course is 10-12 miles long and full of obstacles that test your strength, endurance, will, and camaraderie. At the beginning of the race, an announcer reminds participants that finish times are not relevant; just finishing the 32-obstacle course is an honor. On Sunday, Brian completed the Tough Mudder, and I have never been more proud.
Brian completed the course with Team Rickshaw, a group of seven men who came together to raise money in honor of Sergeant First Class Daniel A. Suplee, one of our fallen heros. His brother Paul led the fundraising efforts, and together the team raised over $4,000 for the Wounded Warriors Project. Brian was honored to be a part of the team.
Team Rickshaw: Max, Brian, Paul, Tom, Terry, Chad, and Kui. 
Brian and I knew one of his teammates from our days at the Redeye Grill, and became fast friends with the other five guys as they stretched and prepared for their 10:45 start time. Before we knew it, the countdown was announced and the team was off running behind a monster truck, the first of many obstacles at Raceway Park.

By the time I caught up with the team at the tenth obstacle, they were deep in mud mile. They crawled under barbed wire, sprinted up muddy hills, and swam through underwater tunnels. It was the most intense thing I have ever witnessed.
So intense, in fact, that they had to sign death waivers. I even had to sign a waiver just to be a spectator!
The most inspiring part about the day was watching the team work together throughout the entire course. Many of the challenges required teamwork, and competitors helped each other any way they could. They caught each other after running up a quarter pipe...
Made jokes as they hauled tires around tracks (Hey guys, are you tired?)... 
And held spider web ropes for each other deep in the woods... 

The Tough Mudder would not be tough enough if it didn't have a ton of ice cold water events. Luckily, Brian made it across the wooden beams without falling into the cold water below. Some of his teammates were not as lucky. 
They were sprayed with sprinklers as they ran through mud pits and crawled under the Devil's Beard, a long, heavy net around mile seven.
And greased monkey bars awaited the team at mile 10, which led to one of many cold swims in an icy lake. 
But don't worry, they warmed up for a little while when they ran through fire.
The folks at Tough Mudder save the craziest obstacle for last: electric shock therapy. Brian and his teammates ran through live wires as they jumped over bails of hay. I happened to catch the moment when both Brian and his teammate Max blacked out for a few seconds after being hit in the head with wires. Zaps and pops could be heard each time someone ran through. It was so painful to watch!
It was an amazing moment to witness the team cross the finish line arm in arm after battling the course together for over three hours. I was so grateful I got to run most of the way with the team and capture all of the intense obstacles they completed together. 
Brian could barely think straight after being crowned with his orange sweatband, and was violently shaking from being so cold. Men and women could be seen all around the finish line area holding their free beer convulsing from the cold; it was a very funny and strange thing to see.
I was so incredibly proud of Brian and Team Rickshaw, and so happy that they all made it to the finish line safely with only minor injuries.
Shoes were cut off and abandoned throughout the raceway grounds as competitors made their way back to their cars. Small piles of shoes, socks, and athletic gear could be spotted next to each parking spot.
After the guys changed out of their wet, mud-soaked clothes and shoes, they celebrated with steaks and scallops on the grill. We reminisced about the outrageous course and laughed as we remembered moments from the day. And believe it or not, the team was already talking about and planning their next Tough Mudder.
The sunset provided the perfect end to an amazing day at the Mudder. I can't wait to cheer on my man next fall as he sets out to finish another Tough Mudder course with Team Rickshaw!
The Tough Mudder has raised over 2 million dollars for the Wounded Warrior Project. If you would like to learn more about the WWP and donate, please visit the Tough Mudder page. 

8 comments :

  1. My husband is thinking about competing in the event here in Colorado next June. His buddy is in training now......I'm just in awe!! :) Congrats to your man for crossing the finish line!

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  2. Great account of the spirit of the event and why we put ourselves through all of that. Mud and blood, we started together and we finished together.

    Semper Fi and SOMF,

    Chad

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  3. I was totally thinking, "Maybe I should do that! What a great cause!" Then I saw live wires. Hmm, maybe Matt is tougher than me.

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  4. That looks a lot like the Warrior Dash I signed up for next summer. I have a lot of preparing to do for myself : )

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  5. What an awesome event! You have one tough guy! I hope nobody died on the course, it looks really really tough :)

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  6. Yeah, there's definitely no way I could ever complete that :-) But what an amazing cause it was for!

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  7. That looks amazing! I would love to get a group of friends together and do something like that! Happy everyone ended the race safe!

    Bailey
    http://lostandfound-bailee.blogspot.com/

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