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Matt’s Tough Mudder Race Recap!

Hey hey!

I thought it would be fun to share some thoughts and a recap from Matt (my fiancé) since he just completed the 11+ mile Tough Mudder race on Saturday!

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If you haven’t heard of it before, the Tough Mudder is basically the big daddy of all mud/obstacle races — they range from 10 to 12 miles and in addition to running they include numerous obstacles designed to challenge you both physically and mentally.

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I definitely want to challenge myself to do one of these next year — Matt said the obstacles were similar to the 5k and 10k mud runs we’ve done together before in the past, but just a little bit harder, and of course the whole event is a lot longer and more grueling. If our wedding hadn’t been a month after this Tough Mudder and another girl was on board I would definitely have joined them — I was worried I’d break my ankle or something and end up hobbling down the aisle. ;) Matt said someone in front of them actually did break his foot along the course — yikes!

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One of the best things about these kinds of races is the team work. It’s not even timed and the main goal is to finish, so everyone is encouraged to help out those around them and especially their own team members. Matt ran the race with 5 other of his guy friends and they all stuck together the whole time, especially because most obstacles you could not do on your own — you need a team and/or others to assist.

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If you’re doing one of these races (or even just running alone frequently), you might want to invest in some sort of ID bracelet in case you get hurt — the folks at ICEdot sent me some complimentary bands a couple months ago so I had Matt register himself and wear one for the race, just in case. ICEdot is an emergency identification and notification system (your band has a PIN number on it that’s associated with your emergency contact info profile that you create online); ICE stands for In Case of Emergency, so responders will see that and know what it’s for.

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I’ll let Matt take over from here. Here’s what he had to say about the Tough Mudder!

  • Awesome time, but actually harder than I thought it would be.
  • If I could train all over, I’d do more trail running, but I thought my upper body and distance training (running endurance) were about right. Each week, I did 1 to 2 days of Crossfit, 1 day of soccer (I’m on a local men’s league), and 1 long run (made my way up to 9 miles).

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  • Try to do one where they have done it before. The one in Frederick (MD) was a logistical nightmare — they ended up pushing back start times and even cancelling Sunday’s run due to permit/logistic issues. We got lucky with parking (and the fact that we ran on Saturday), but many sat in traffic for 2+ hours.
  • A waterproof camera stored in a SPIbelt was awesome! (I used Anne’s Kodak waterproof digital camera — it’s a tank and has lasted through numerous mud runs, kayaking trips, etc.)

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  • Hydrate 48 hours ahead of time and bring fuel that will up your potassium and/or electrolytes — I saw a lot of people stretching out calf’s due to cramping (myself included) around the 8-11 mile markers. The race did provide a fair amount of water stops with some fuel though (gels and bananas) and I brought some sport beans with me that Anne had.

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  • The infamous Tough Mudder ice bath was pretty brutal, but it was over so quick I didn’t mind. (It was also the very first obstacle!)

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  • The electricity obstacles actually hurt. They aren’t messing around. (One of the obstacles had live wires you ran through!)
  • The hardest obstacle was the "mud mile,” which was just muddy mounds with mud/water in between. It was so slippery it was like trying to climb dirty ice.  This was the obstacle where someone broke their foot and others had leg cramping issues.

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All in all, I’m definitely going to do another one! In the meantime, I’d like to do some 10k mud runs or others with a similar distance to keep up the fitness.  It’s my kind of exercise and it makes you feel like a kid again… a bad-a$$ kid. :)

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—-

Thanks to Matt for sharing his thoughts, and congrats to him and his buddies for successfully dominating the Tough Mudder! I’m impressed. :)

Have you ever done a mud run? They’re a blast! Here are recaps from the previous mud runs that I’ve done. These posts (and the photos that accompany them) are seriously among my favorite on the blog.

Comments

  1. 1

    I’ve been “morbidly obese” (yes, an actual medical diagnosis) for years. Six months ago I started running as part of my new fitness/weight loss program (Weight Watchers for Men). My fitness goals have been small and attainable – lose a pound this week, run/walk for 30 minutes, etc.

    My running has improved, but I’m not where I want to be yet (run a full 5k without stopping). As soon as I attain that goal I want to do a 5k mudder! This looks fun and challenging.

    Baby steps, but I foresee a roll in the mud by spring of 2013!

  2. 3

    It looks so fun! Congrats on finishing, Matt!

    Ok, probably the fact that I am asking this question means that mud runs are not for me, but how do you get in your car afterwards? Do you put a bunch of towels down? Do you basically get everything dirty until you are able to shower?

    • 4

      Haha the ones we’ve done in the past have had like a hose or something so you can clean off, and then we brought a change of clothes for the car. I’m not sure what the guys did at this one – maybe just put towels down?

  3. 5

    my boyfriend is doing one of these in NJ in October, it sounds crazy. I decided not to since I’m training for a marathon and don’t want to injure myself before I run it, LOL. sounds like matt had fun! I’m going to show my boyfriend this recap!

  4. 7

    Thanks for the recap! Love all the photos and the Steeler love!

  5. 8

    I’m hoping to do my first mud run next summer – they just look so fun!

    Glad Matt had a great time with it (although the guy that broke his foot – yikes)

  6. 9

    David and I are doing the Gladiator Mud Run next weekend with another couple and I am not sure if this post has inspired me or scared me! Luckily its only a 6k and Matt gave me comfort in the fact that I have been trail running to train. Anyhoo hopefully there are no ankle breaks, I got this wedding thing coming up in a month I am really excited about ;)

  7. 11

    Congrats Matt! Those photos are so cool.

  8. 12

    Awesome pictures!!!!

  9. 13

    Great guest post!
    thanks for sharing all the pics and stories w/ them, its seems super hardcore, sounds like a very long race with everything involved. Great job Matt and Company!

    Seems like a logistical nightmare in these pics, tons of people in every pic and lots of people standing, waiting for others… yikes. I’m glad everything worked out for the team and everything. What position does Matt play on the soccer squad?
    Also, Anne, are you a footballer (soccer player)?
    Thanks,
    Matt

    • 14

      You always end up waiting at obstacles during mud runs – it’s part of the fun. And good to have a moment to catch your breath! I’ve never been a soccer player – did swimming and tennis when I was younger!

  10. 15

    Mud run is definitely not my thing, but my husband is planning to do one in a couple of months. I will be sure to share this with him.

  11. 16

    Well done Matt! I would love to try something like this and there is actually something similar coming up right near me in October…so tempted to sign up now!

  12. 17

    First and most importantly: Go Steelers!

    I haven’t exactly done a mud run but I did one of those Zombie 5ks a few weeks ago (http://runforyourlives.com/) and the obstacles and a good portion of the trail running was all in mud. I’m still not totally clean.

  13. 19

    I had a lot of facebook friends who apparently did the same event because my feed blew up with pictures from last weekend! It does look awesome, although I had no idea it was so long! I thought maybe 3-5 miles. I’d def do one!

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