Tough Hijabi (2012)

This is a guest post by Dach Lost Star. Enjoy!

Ha. I was going to blog about training for Tough Mudder. Obviously that didn’t happen. The training did but the blogging didn’t. Hmmmmm, the training didn’t really happen either. I went to the gym and did the same thing as I did before I signed up. Despite the lack of blogging and specialist training I still went and I survived and had a blast.

I figure I may as well write a review since I didn’t manage to blog anything else much except my clothing (priorities right?).

Was it fun? Hell yes. Would I do it again? Hell yes but not in the middle of summer which is when the next one in Sydney is scheduled. I love my wrinkle free visage too much to put my hand up for 3 hours running around in sun in February.

The obstacles…… I grew up on a farm so some of the obstacles were kind of like a day playing about on the farm. I climbed hay bales, jumped in the creek and rolled around in the mud.

There was a fire obstacle but after a childhood where the highlight of every winter was burning off it was a bit of an anti-climax. There was plenty of smoke but very little in the way of flames. With all that lycra about I guess they need to be careful of naked flames (if you’re a lycra enthusiastist I urge you to attend Tough Mudder it’s wall to wall lycra).

The electro-shock obstacles weren’t really like when you get dared to touch the electric fence. Actually, they kind of were only there were lots more of them and you couldn’t just touch it with the back of your hand and run away. They hurt like a mo-fo and each one hurts more than the last one but the positive is that it only lasted a short time. In fact most of the obstacles were over pretty quickly once you started. For me the hardest obstacles were the ones that weren’t over in a flash. Carry Your Log which is the obstacle where you do exactly that and the Muddy Mile were both long, drawn out affairs and I was heartily glad to see the back of them.

I’m not sure why I was surprised by the amount of mud to be found on an obstacle course called Tough Mudder but I was. The mud was a germophobe’s nightmare. Judging by amount of horse and cow droppings I ran past there was plenty of manure in the mud and if anyone had any kind of contagious disease we’re all fucked. I’m actually kind of surprised I didn’t end up with gastro. I haven’t gone to the chemist and hooked myself up with worm tablets yet but it’s on my to-do list. I still have some of the mud lodged under my toenails and no amount of scrubbing or close trimming will get it out. I’m hoping that a swim in the sea will do the job.

The Mountain Man was a champ. His ankle is rooted but he ran anyway. And by ran I mean he ran. I was surprised by how many people we passed who were walking most of the course. The organisers were pretty clear about the cardio requirements so I did expect people to be moving a bit faster. That said, after the Muddy Mile which was about the 16km mark our run was more of a slow stumble.

The other contestants were brilliant. I couldn’t have done the course without the help of strangers to get me over the wall and the quarter pipe. Since I have a hard time with asking for help I think it’s probably good for me to do something that forces me to ask for help.

Organisation – they don’t answer emails even for questions that aren’t answered by their FAQs. Really the Tough Mudder customer service is crap and seems to generate ill will. They don’t answer questions on their FB page either although they do seem to clear spam off it. Apparently they are projecting revenue of $150 million this year (I got that figure from their job ad). It wouldn’t hurt to reduce that income a little by providing better customer service.

On the whole despite their crappy attitude towards their customers they did manage to run a generally smooth event, had I waited at obstacle like the Melbourne people did I would have been ropeable. I noticed that they used Red Dawn for security so if there had been dramas requiring decent security they would have been in all sorts of trouble.

Unfortunately they are unlikely to realise just how crappy their security provider is until too late so I’ll just hope they never need good security in Sydney.


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