I ran the Tough Mudder last Saturday. It is billed as “The Toughest Event On The Planet”.
The Tough Mudder was 11.5 miles long and featured 25 (mostly) difficult obstacles. Around 5 of the miles ran were through mud of some depth. Obstacles included: climbing 12 foot high walls, jumping into ice water, climbing through plastic pipes, monkey bars, running up a quarter pipe, balance beams, crawling under barbed wire, and being electrocuted. Also, I didn’t wear a shirt.
What I Enjoyed
There are three main things that I got out of the race. 1. Most significantly, the race gave me a challenge to train for. Actually running it wasn’t necessary, but the training for the race helped me lose about twenty pounds. Awww yeah! 2. There were portions of the race that were extremely challenging. In addition to the mud really slowing me down, the 12 foot high walls were extremely difficult for me. Luckily, about half of the people that run the Tough Mudder are total beefcakes who easily just threw me over the wall. Also, crawling under the barbed wire with dangling live wires was really cool. They would randomly flip on the switches and then WHAT!? I’m suddenly slamming my face into the ground from the electricity; that was really interesting. 3. The sense of camaraderie and teamwork were just amazing. Everyone was working together to stay with their team and help them through the obstacles, even if it was slowing them down to a crawl. Tough Mudder isn’t an individual race, it’s a team challenge!
What I Hated
Actually, fuck that last point. The sense of camaraderie and teamwork were so frustrating. Everyone was working together to stay with their team and help them through the obstacles, even though it was slowing them down to a crawl. There were some serious bottlenecks that forced me to walk in the race, which is ridiculous because I came there to race. People came really unprepared to the race and were still able to walk through the whole thing and skip any difficult obstacles. This made it more difficult for me to run fast, and then diminished all my work when they got the exact same medal as me when I finished. I would much rather have a race that challenged me so hard that I could even finish, than a race where I felt that I could have ran faster, but the course didn’t allow me to because there were so many bottlenecks. There was seriously a point in the race where I had to wait 20 minutes to do an obstacle because the line was so long. That’s just dumb.
How To Make It Better
This is such an easy problem to solve. What’s the best way to get rid of troublesome teamwork? Hunger Games this race. I mean, just by making it more like the Hunger Games, it would give the finishers so much more pride. When I got to the finish line and I saw a giant sea of people all wearing their victory headbands, I felt kind unsatisfied. If only like 5% of the people had gotten them though, then there’s an incentive to actually run faster and work harder. But yeah, they have a bunch of obstacles and challenges, all they need to add is some competition and arrows. Also, those wasp things. Oh, and explosions somehow.