When you talk about obstacle course races (if you ever talk about them…if your visiting this blog then you probably do) generally the first one that comes to mind is Tough Mudder. The amount of times people ask what I’m up too at the weekend and I say ‘I’m doing a mud run/obstacle race/putting myself through hell’, there is generally a pause and then I end the silence with ‘like a Tough Mudder’ if they don’t end the silence that way first. Yes Tough Mudder is probably the most well known Obstacle Course Race there is (maybe bar Spartan Races). In the U.K. It’s the most well commercialised event of its type, let alone its world wide status.
Despite this fact, I’ve got a small secret to share; I have never taken part in a Tough Mudder! Shocker right. Someone like me who loves nearly every aspect of OCR and I still haven’t completed the one that everyone knows so well! Why you ask? Well here is why:
- I am a sucker for value. I’m not the richest man around and OCR is an expensive habit. Now if you add Tough Mudder into the Mix, it becomes extreamly expensive. Unless you hit the early bird tickets, you still end up spending a pretty penny.
- I am a man who likes to show off my accomplishments. When it comes to OCR, that is with a medal. So when I heard that all I will receive is a headband, I wasn’t very impressed. I mean no medal! You must be crazy.
- It’s 10 miles!! That is a long way to run whilst getting muddy, dirty, wet, climbing obstacles etc. This distance scared the hell out of me. I still remember when I only could run 10km.
- Everybody else does Tough Mudder. In my head this meant the events will be packed, grid lock at obstacles and a general slowdown in flow of the race which is extreamly important.
Right, that’s enough of my pessimistic and might I say very old views. Since late 2016 I have taken part in increasingly harder events. With the increase in difficulty generally came and increase in distance and therefore price.
It took me committing to my first Spartan Beast (which ended up being 13+ miles long) to completely change the way I thought about these events. I didn’t mind paying as much because I knew how much hard work goes into making these events happen. Your not only paying to take part. You are paying for the entire experience. Whether you are alone or with a team, you always have a great time. This goes hand in hand with the fact that I have got over not getting a medal at the end of the race. The headband is the medal! That’s is the sign of your achievement.
The distance doesn’t scare me anymore. I now wake up on Sunday mornings and do 10 mile runs as part of regular training. I have come from not being up for a 2km jog to signing up for my first marathon (London Marathon Ballot 2018). I’ve come a long way. Furthermore, so many people who don’t consider themselves in good shape or fit complete Tough Mudders every year! I have no excuse! I also know how well these events are manned after taking part in so many, so waiting times have never been a big problem for me (plus it gives you a cheeky breather).
With all that’s been said, my aim in my first post of the year (Goals for 2017) was to take part in my first Tough Mudder! Luckily with a big help from For Goodness Shakes, I’ll be getting involved in both the half and the full Mudder events! I like the deep end so I might aswell start collecting these headbands! I think it’s time to see what the hype is about and see how good the event actually is. To be honest, I can’t wait!! September 16th can’t come soon enough!
Have you completed a Tough Mudder? What are your thoughts on the event? How do you think it compares to other OCR events? Let me know in the comments below