So, I did the Tough Mudder Tahoe Event on the 13th, and I have a confession to make. Before I did the event, I said to my buddy Dough, that I was doing it with, “I already know the title of the blog I’m going to write about this… ”Tough Mudder Wasn’t Tough”.” He laughed, and asked how I could possibly come to that conclusion before I participated in the event. All I could say is, “I just know it.”
Truth be told, I had a little more to go on than my gut feeling. In preparation for the event, I decided to train like an animal… No, not really, in fact the only thing I was worried about was what to wear. I mean, I didn’t wan tot show up looking like an idiot that had no idea what he was doing. In fact I watched a video on what to wear and, as a matter of fact, the guy was actually making fun of people who were wearing bad clothes. Ultimately I settled on getting a pair of sneakers from Target, and wearing some gym shorts and a compression shirt that I already had.
Then to physically prepare I ate a bunch of ice-cream, for the energy, and also had some McDonald’s. That was it. Honestly, and I kind of feel bad for this, but I had a mocking attitude towards the whole thing. I mean, everything about it seemed silly. The website really hyped it up and made it really seem ”tough”, and I just knew it wasn’t. None-the-less I ran the event.
It was cake.
So, basically this is how it goes: You stroll along the trails, and from time to time you casually do an obstacle. Or at least that’s what most people do. Sure we saw some people jogging every now and then, and a few more running, but you know what? We just caught up to them every time there was a line for an obstacle, or when they were catching their breath.
Okay, so like I said, I did have an attitude of mocking the whole time, but I wasn’t even the worst. At the start line I saw a guy wearing a polyester suit. I kid you not. A polyester suit on a hot day in Northern California. That guy was may more into the mocking thing than me, and he was like sixty years old.
I suppose I should speak to some of the obstacles. Nothing was really that tough. I’m not going to talk about all of them since, honestly, there isn’t much to say about some of them. I’ll only comment on a few. For your reference you can find the full course map that I did here. It was just over 10 miles with 19 obstacles.
I’ll start with the first obstacle, ”Glory Blades”, not because there was anything remarkable about it, mostly because it was a sign of things to come. A sign of a lot of cake. It was a wall about seven feet high leaning towards you. A shorter person might need help getting up that high, and someone that couldn’t do at least one pullup might need a boost to get over it since you really couldn’t use your feet at all. I basically jumped up, grabbed it, and with not too much difficultly got over it. In all fairness to saying the whole thing was cake, it was actually kind of tough.
From there, basically there was a lot of crawling through muddy arenas of sorts whether it be through tubes or under barbed wire., There was plenty of mud on the obstacles. It even included a bath in ice-water to wash off all the mud. None of that was really too challenging, though, unless you didn’t like getting dirty.
The toughest obstacle was something called ”Lumberjacked”. It was basically some really high logs that that pretty much required a boost to get over. There were two of them. On the first one I tried to make it over by myself, but it was pretty hard to get a grip on so someone ended up pushing my feet up. I wasn’t even going to try to get over the second one by myself, but Doug said, “This one looks a lot easier, just get a running start.” So I was like, “Okay,” and made a run for it, and actually got over it by myself. Doug had quite a bit more trouble than me and ended up doing some weird somersault over it and then fell on his butt, and he was super angry and embarrassed for the next mile. Ultimately that was the toughest obstacle, especially if you decided to do it by yourself.
Another kind of fun one was the ”Berlin Walls”. On the website it says that are 12 feet tall, but my guess is that proved too dangerous in times past, because it most certainly was not 12 feet high, more like 9 feet, maybe 10. This was one that I had no problems doing solo either. It was fun to watch other people try it though. Some basically just smacked their faces in to the wall. The seemed to be jumping forward and not up. Others walked around, and plenty more got boosts up. Doug ultimately needed a boost too since his leg was cramping up. So that was that.
Of course I must mention the scariest obstacle which was the electrocutions. The ”Electric Eel” was the first of two of these. Which was crawling under wires, occasionally getting shocked. Really the scariest thing about it is because you didn’t know when to expect a shock to occur so it was basically just a shockingly surprising jolt that you all the sudden felt. I only got shocked twice that I could feel on the ”Electric Eel” and the second shock made my leg kick, and I may have kicked the person behind me. The second electrocution obstacle was ”Electroshock Therapy”, which was also the last obstacle. You run through this one, and I think the idea is that you are running and then get a shock and it ends up knocking you down because your leg muscles spasm or something. I only got shocked once on this one, right at the end, in the arm. Not enough to knock me over, but it would have been hilarious to have gotten knocked over. Like the I said though, really not that hard, just you didn’t know when to expect a shock.
In conclusion, it was basically just really easy. Doug said that he though the obstacles should have been three times as long, and then it might have been tough. And I decided that it might have been tough had the obstacles been back to back. I mean it was really just some hiking, then a fun obstacle. You really couldn’t even go fast on the obstacles if you wanted to because there were so many people on them. Also, I will admit that we didn’t make it particularly tough. If you actually ran the whole thing and tried to do it in an hour and a half or something like that it would probably be pretty tough. But taking four hours to do it, no way is that tough.
As for preparation, eating some ice-cream was fine, and you don’t need to bring anything with you. They have Clif Bars and bananas and water all along the way for you. Doug ended up saying that the toughest obstacle was that there were no bathrooms for the last two miles, and we both had to go, so we just held it.
Apparently some people get tattoos, I have no idea why. You don’t prove anything by doing this. I mean it literally was just a walk in the park on a nice sunny day. Ultimately I will say this, despite the fact that it wasn’t tough, it was fun. I’ll give them that. What you should do is just get as big a group as possible and do it. Anyone that can hike 10 miles can do it, and since they have snacks for you it’s hiking without a backpack which makes it super easy. So do it, and have a blast! And last of all there is absolutely nothing to worry about. You can skip whatever obstacles you want, and the only thing you have to deal with is your self sense of shame. I had one buddy that I invited to do it, and he was like, “Man, I’m not in shape.” And afterwards, I was like, “Man it wouldn’t have mattered.” I would say this though, if you do do it, sign up early. I paid almost $200.00 to do it, and seriously that’s a lot of money to pay to go hiking.