"Event" report - Tough Mudder

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"Event" report - Tough Mudder

Daddyrox
Winter is over, for me anyway.  Back to running trails instead of skiing them.  I did the Tough Mudder in PA this past weekend.  Here's a report - it's just my opinion...

Summary...  Eh, sorta fun and challenging.  Would I do it again?  Maybe, but not until I do some other stuff first, or if they lower the registration fee.  I've had more fun (High Rock) and have been more challenged (Muddy Marathan).  

More detail....  The Tough Mudder is billed as an 'event' not a 'race'.  Your time is not tracked and most obstacles are optional.  It's a community adventure with everyone helping everyone.  The Bear Creak PA event was just over 11 miles (according to signs on the course), which took us up and down ski trails, through surrounding single-track, and through more than 20 obstacles.  This was a big event.  Waves of 500 people starting every 20 minutes.  5,000 on Saturday then 5,000 on Sunday.  If you do it I strongly recommend you get the earliest start time in order to avoid crowds at parking lots, trails, obstacles, etc.

There were plenty of staff on the course and at least 3 water stations (no snacks).  Some obstacles were relatively easy: crawling under nets/wire (up/down hill, in snow/mud), trudging though waste-deep water, crawling over hay bales.  Other obstacles were harder: climbing 8-10 foot walls, jumping 15ft into a freezing cold pond (39 degrees?) and swimming to shore, running through a field of live wires (I got whacked on this one), greased monkey bars.  Several people got hurt - mostly broken legs/ankles - and apparently a few cases of hypothermia.  The only obstacle I really didn't like was eating a habanero pepper 5 miles into the course.  That sucked.  I eat lots of spicy food, but chewing and swallowing a hot pepper in the middle of an event was, well, just stupid.  Yes, I could have skipped it but I was there to do all challenges and I - along with lots of others - ate the pepper.  Many people threw up shortly after and I'm sure more many people had their day ruined by that stupid obstacle.  But I digress....

All-in-all I had fun with some buddy's and everyone else who was out there running, crawling, jumping, climbing, through the mud and trails.  But, I can't get past my impression that Tough Mudder is simply a big marketing machine.  Even the history of the event seems to have it's roots in a marketing plan (google/wikipedia if you're interested).

I like adventure formats and have done a couple before - actual timed races.  If you haven't tried an adventure race, here's my analogy - "trail" races are enjoyable whereas "adventure" races (trails plus nutty obstacles) are fun.  I like them both for different reasons.  Again, just my opinion.  I may try the spartanrace next (after Muddy).

Pictures from the Bear Creek PA event ...

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?fbid=10150215638652790&id=121520047789&aid=343369
Chris
RNR
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Re: "Event" report - Tough Mudder

RNR
Administrator
Excellent write up Chris!  These types of "events" have really exploded in popularity within the last year.  I didn't realize that these aren't races.
"This is Watchung, not Siberia. Nothing bad will happen"...except bear attacks apparently!