The Tough Mudder (TM) is an international competition, spanning the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Ireland, Japan and Austrailia, that will challenge your physical and mental strength. The worldwide event is designed to challenge a person, in every physical aspect, in one day and in one location. The founder, Will Dean, wanted to create a challenge that would exceed marathons, triathlons, mud runs, and adventure races. Prior to developing Tough Mudder, Dean had a background in financial counter-terrorism for the British Government.
The Tough Mudder series is being launched because there is not an event in America that tests toughness, fitness, strength, stamina, and mental grit all in one place and all in one day. Sure, there are a few that will test these things – for thousands of dollars and a week of your life. But in one day in one location? We don’t think so. Other summer sun and fun mud runs? Forget it – unless you want to run alongside your 60-year-old grandmother. Tough Mudder is a truly exceptional event for truly exceptional people. Fair weather runners should stay at home. – Tough Mudder website
Tough Mudder courses will have 10-12 miles of hills, mud, water, ropes, walls, electric shocks, and fire. Yes, electric shock and fire! This is Tough Mudder, after all, this event boasts to be the toughest competition on the planet. The website for Tough Mudder is complete with FAQ’s, video and recommended training. For example, it is advised that the participants are running consistently each week, up to 7 miles; able to master up to 25 push-ups in a row; complete 6 pull-ups; and swim 50 yards without stopping. The website mentions that competitors can skip the water obstacles.
On Sept. 17 & 18, 2011, Tough Mudder came to Squaw Valley, California, a well-known Califoria ski resort. I am proud to have a friend, Beckie Mayer, compete and complete this event. I was so impressed that I knew her story would be an inspiration for my readers.
Thanks for sharing your Tough Mudder experience, Beckie. My first question to you is why did you choose the Tough Mudder? It seems like a brutal event! “I’ve participated in 5k, 10k and 12k runs in the past and I did the Folsom Lake Down and Dirty run last year. I liked that a lot, so I went in search of other mud runs and came across the Tough Mudder. I’ve never done anything like this before and so I told myself I’m doing this.”
Did you go it alone? “I dragged my niece along with me, Breeanne. She was a great sport and great support as well. I need to give kudos to my sister, Vickie, for being our photographer, driver, and cheerleader. I love my family.”
I have known you for a few years now, and always thought you were fit. Did you do anything special to prepare for this event? “Aw, thank you for the compliment. That’s nice to hear. I didn’t do anything special to prepare for Tough Mudder unfortunately. I started going to a fitness class back in February and continued going until the event. I upped my running but not nearly enough considering the first half of the course was uphill.”
You were training a few years ago for Eppie’s Great Race but had some injuries. “I really wish I could have done Eppie’s back then. I was disappointed that I couldn’t compete. I still have knee issues which actually came up during the TM.”
Do you want to try Eppie’s again? “If I sign up for Eppie’s in the future it would probably be with a team and not as an individual.”
Where do you workout? “Glad you asked that question. I workout at a place, in Roseville, called FitnessMD. I love it. I was going 5 days a week for quite awhile at 5am and to Saturday classes. I lost 16 lbs by going to these classes and watching what I ate. They push us hard at FitnessMD and I would recommend it to anyone. There are so many success stories with weight loss in this gym.”
I have seen you post on Facebook about Skyrobics, a trampoline aerobic style class. Does your gym offer that too? “My gym does not offer Skyrobics. Skyrobics is offered at Sky Zone, in Rocklin, off hwy 65.”
I mentioned Sky Zone in one of my other articles. It is nice to hear people enjoy the work out. Do you still attend those classes? “After I started at FitnessMD I stopped going to Skyrobics classes but they are a great workout. One of the instructors is my son’s Cross Country coach and she is awesome. She actually may be interested in TM next year. I’m so excited about that”.
You are so much stronger than you were a year ago. What is your most challenging workout? “Oh goodness. I think all my workouts are challenging in some way. Running is probably the hardest workout for me because I’m not a long distance runner and I push myself each time I go out.”
Do you use the buddy system or workout alone? “I workout alone. Running is something I do alone because I can go at my own pace. I might have to change that alone time once in a while to accommodate my son’s running. At the gym it’s a group class so I’m never alone but I can still work independently.”
Do you prefer to workout alone? “Any time I’ve worked out with someone I feel that my workout suffers because there is a lot of talking around me.”
Your son is Mason. Does he like to workout with you? “Mason is a Cross Country runner. He just finished up with it but he will continue to do running club at school and run with me a couple times a week. In March he will be starting on the track team.”
How old is he? “Mason is 12 years old. He is faster than me is which makes me feel slow! His coach says he is a sprinter so I’m excited for track to start. It’s taken a long time to find a sport he is interested in.”
What is your next event? Sadly, my tight budget takes a toll in my event schedule. I was going to do the Down and Dirty, at Folsom Lake, but I need to think about higher priorities like Mason’s birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’ll start back up with running events after the first of the year. I’m going to try to do as many as I can and drag my son along for the ride. The next mud run I do will probably be the Irvine Mud Run, in Southern California. I did it last year with my son and his father.”
I think I’ll try Tough Mudder next year. Do you want to train with me? “If you do Tough Mudder next year that’s great! I would definitely be willing to hit the hills with you if you want to train for the altitude and the uphill.”
Before I commit, what is the story with the electric shock on the course? “Mudders have to weave through wires charged with electricity. Most of the wires were pulled down by the time we reached that part of the course.”
Which obstacle was the most difficult at Tough Mudder? “Oh wow, the toughest thing about the TM for me was getting up the mountain in the first half. I don’t know if I could have done enough training to prepare for that. I was hurting after we finished the hill. As far as the obstacles, I had two that were hard. “Everest” was hard because fellow mudders had to push and pull you up and over a wall. We waited 45 minutes in line before we got our turn. My niece was dropped and hit her side on a board on the way down. I’m a bit afraid of heights so walking the plank and jumping off into the water was a mental challenge. I can say, however, I did it then and that means I can do it again. The easiest obstacle was the rope climb, which surprised me. I was up that rope in no time at all. I want to mention that the obstacle that was the most fun was the “Chernobyl Jacuzzi.”
Oh, please explain that one. What was it? “The Chernobyl Jacuzzi was an ice bath. Seems odd to say it was fun but, come on, how often do you jump into a bath of ice, go under a divider, and come up pushing through even more ice?”
Fun? I will have to take your word on that. “It’s amazing what we are willing to do. I really enjoyed this event and it made me realize I’m stronger than I thought I was even if I could barely walk after I was done.”
You should be very proud of yourself. Good luck with training for future mud runs.
Training for Tough Mudder can be fun as well as challenging – and beneficial. The NorCal Tough Mudder comes to Squaw Valley again, September 8th and 9th, 2012.
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