Tough Mudder Check List
(Courtesy of My Friend Chris)
My comments are in parenthesis below each items.
Sneakers (2) Pair or Sandals For After
(I brought flip flops which felt great but then got all muddy during the walk to the car.)
Change of Clothes - Bring Hoodie
(I’d also recommend a comfy pair of sweat pants for the ride home and a warm pair of socks.)
Dry Fit Shirt
(I went with a tight workout tank top and it was perfect.)
(I wore JL rowing shorts but I wished I had worn full compression tights with my tube socks over them to protect my legs and knees more from cuts. I thought it would be too hot but the reality is that you are soaked or covered in mud most of the time so I would wear full tights down to the ankle with high socks next time, if there is a next time.)
Good Socks - Running Socks
(I wore hot pink tube socks. I was worried because they weren’t fancy running socks but it didn’t matter. They are wet within the first mile.)
Hockey Tape - Duct Tape for Shoes
(This was THE BEST decision ever. I used hockey tape. I tied my shoes so tight that it hurt the top of my feet, then I double knotted the laces followed by taping them. Then I taped a full, two rounds of tight wrap of hockey tape around the entire shoe over the knotted lace part. This kept rocks out of my shoes, which was a huge complaint from the rest of my team and kept the shoes from shifting or coming off in the mud. You want the shoes to be cemented to your feet if at all possible. The tape stayed on until Mile 7. One guy on my team wore the Vibrams and he seemed to be slipping around quite a bit whereas I was able to slog through the mud better. However, he didn’t have a lot of complaints about them at the end.)
Backpack with Your Crap - You Can Leave it at the Check-In Area
(YES. However, I kept the clothes and towels in the car. It ended up raining so a lot of people carrying bags around ended up with wet stuff. Also, I put my phone in a ziplock in the backpack - this is a sailing trick.)
Signed Death Waiver
Safety Pins - for Attaching Goo in Shorts
(Nope. I brought tons of water for after but no Goo or Gatorade. Gatorade gives me heartburn and they had Goo on the course plus bananas and four water stations.)
(Yes, but I didn’t take any until I got home, and again this morning.)
(Stayed in the car except for the bottle I brought to drink from before my race.)
Gloves - Mechanix or the like are good. Pepboys will have them.
(I used sailing gloves. I highly recommend a good pair of gloves. They protect your hands. They didn’t help with gripping things all that much but they did keep me from getting scraped up when I was crawling and pulling myself through mud and obstacles.)
(Granola bar for before.)
Ice packs in coolers - I have them for my knees for when we’re back in the car.
(Didn’t use them.)
(Yes. Stayed in the car.)
Garbage bags for wet clothes
My Amended Items
(I didn’t bring these items but I would if there is a next time, there will probably be a next time.)
Gallon of water to rinse off at the car
Q-tips or tissues for ears and nose
Sweat pants for ride home
MOST FEARED OBSTACLES: Electric Eel & Electroshock Therapy Sprint
OUTCOME - NOT THAT BAD - DIDN’T GET SHOCKED
Electric Eel & Electroshock Therapy Sprint: I was most scared of these going into it and I didn’t get shocked at all. My cousin told me she did on the sprint one and even fell into the mud face first.
Eel: I slid as close to the water as possible and I only got a baby shock on my butt getting out. And the water wasn’t that cold. It felt good to wash off the mud. KEEP YOUR HEAD AS CLOSE TO THE WATER AS POSSIBLE.
Sprint: I kept my arms up to protect my head and face, and did a duck and cover run through the thing as fast as I could, and not even one shock.
BY FAR THE WORST OBSTACLE: Everest
OUTCOME - SCARY BUT I MADE IT THE FIRST TRY
It’s the half-pipe one. Pick a guy that’s catching people good, make eye contact, run as hard as you can and get your arm up there and then don’t let go no matter what.
MOST OVERRATED OBSTACLES: Arctic Enema & Boa Constrictor
OUTCOME - NOT THAT BAD - YES, IT WAS COLD BUT IT’S NOT VERY BIG
Arctic Enema: When I jumped in, I was disgusting so I was looking forward to it. I kept saying I liked the “water features.” Going under a small board meant submerging my head. When I popped back up, I admit that I lost my breadth like when you jump into a cold, Adirondack lake but I was able to jump out really quick.
Boa Constrictor: There wasn’t a lot of water in them and they were easy to get through.
MOST INTIMIDATING BUT EXCITING: Walk the Plank
OUTCOME - EXCITING
When you get 15+ feet above muddy water, it is scary. My trick was to get right up to the edge and jump ASAP before my brain had time to realize what I was doing. When I came up for air, it was awesome. Some people got really freaked out on this one.
MOST UNDERESTIMATED: Funky Monkey
OUTCOME - FELL IN THE WATER ON RUNG TWO
I am really good at monkey bars but our start time was late in the day. The rungs spun and were full of slippery mud so I was chest deep in water immediately.
THOUGHT WOULD BE BAD BUT WEREN’T AT ALL: Berlin Walls
OUTCOME - GOT OVER THE FIRST TRY
There were plenty of teammates and random other people helping each other over.
DIRTIEST: Mud Mile
OUTCOME - PEOPLE FALLING ALL OVER THE PLACE
I loved the mud mile but a lot of my teammates were slipping and sliding, falling face first in mud. It looked like the perfect recipe for a knee replacement.
EASY AND FUN:
Bale Bonds: Hurl yourself over (or through) a stack of hay bales.
Cliffhanger: Was like hiking up a wet mountain in the Adirondacks.
Dirty Ballerina: Tons of mud. Glad I taped my sneaks on.
Hold Your Wood: Make like a lumberjack and carry a heavy log through a section of the Tough Mudder course.
Kiss of Mud: Eat dirt as you crawl commando-style under barbed wire set 8 inches from the ground.
Running through mud for miles and miles and miles. More like plodding along through mud, up and down hills, around curves. I should have ran more in preparation for it. If I could do anything differently, I’d be doing at least one 6-8 mile run per week leading up to it with a bunch of 5Ks in between. And make sure to do some hill runs because that’s what sucked the energy out of me. Honestly, the obstacles were all really fun and I looked forward to them. Our team stuck together. We would get ahead of each other during the runs but wait at the start of each obstacle and wait until all of us were through before we started running again. The one thing I didn’t expect was the spacing of the obstacles. I thought they’d be every half mile but some were really close and then we’d run for 1.5 miles. When we got to mile 4, all I could say was, “SERIOUSLY?!” Each mile just went by so slowly. But it was amazing and fun. I would do it again with my amended checklist of items and some more regular running.