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NEXT!

I first came across the Tough Mudder Event Series as most people do, online, probably via an ad on facebook….I went to the site, watched the motivational videos, thought for about two seconds “that might be fun!” …and then I filed it away in my memory under “things I will probably never do”

Then I watched the Walking Dead, discovered the “Run For Your Lives” advertised on their ‘extra content’ online… my whole view of the world changed...and Muddy J was concieved… ( for those keeping score at home, he gestated for a bit and was finally birthed @ the Austin Jail Break)

I have spent the better part of this year training for this event…trying to be like my hero, Andy Thom.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again: Training is everything, and everything is training!

I guess you’re probably itching to read an actual review now…huh? Here goes….

I packed my race bag and loaded up Zooey, my trusty 350z Roadster, the night before… I laid out what I would be wearing, and Mrs MuddyJ and I went to bed a bit early. I woke up at 0525, five minutes before I had set my alarm to go off. (I suppose I was a little excited) I got out of bed, got dressed and kissed Mrs MuddyJ goodbye for the day. We had decided that this would be too large an event for her to bring the Thing’s Three along as they would probably get bored while I was running and drive her to insanity… so she planned a day out with them instead.

I got on the road by  0545. Though this event was billed as “Austin” it was, in actuality, about an hour from Austin… making it two hours away from San Antonio…A longgggggggg drive at such an early hour!

The drive up was mostly uneventful. I got a huge cup of black coffee at a gas station along the way, about 2/3rds of the way there… the cashier inquired of me (in a thick southern drawl), “You headed out to that MUDDER thang too sweetheart?”

“Yes, Yes I am”

“We getting a lot of y’all coming through here this morning…”

It then struck me….this event was going to be HUGE!

I continued along the route my GPS directed me…and with just a few miles to go (according to Gwenyth, my Ivona GPS voice) I wound up cresting a hill and slowing abruptly…a very long line of cars was getting set to park…

There were several sheriff’s deputies directing traffic, so it was moving along at a nice pace for a while, when suddenly, everything just stopped. I had plenty of time to check in, get my bib, get marked etc.. a direct result of my lead foot and 300+ HP roadster good travel planning. I have to admit, I was a bit annoyed when I was told to go straight and sat, while a few cars behind me, people were turning into the lot I had just been directed past….I sat for a few minutes longer, growing increasingly annoyed as I watched car after car from the line of traffic BEHIND ME not only park, but get out and start heading towards the shuttle pick-up point…

After what seemed to be an eternity, the line I was STUCK in FINALLY started moving…we made a left from the highway onto a pasture-like field, paid a parking attendant and followed the attendants directions to parking spots…much like lemmings… the car in front of me, and the car behind me became the car parked to my right and my left in short order…

We all exited our cars at the same time, exchanging a few “what the hell was that about” and ” I saw people park and get on the shuttle dude”….sufficed to say, we were all slightly annoyed by the parking line traffic….it wasn’t enough to ruin your day, just something you could grumble about to someone who went through it with you and forget about….

We all went about getting our bags out, our grousing about the line having faded in the excitement of our impending arrival at the event…

Have you ever heard the statement “good things come to those who wait”?

The wind shifted slightly and my ears picked up something I shouldn’t yet be hearing...at least not this clearly, or loudly….yet…

“……WHEN I SAY TOUGH, YOU SAY MUDDER…”

“TOUGH”

MUDDER

“TOUGH”

MUDDER…..

A veritable chorus of amped-up-semi-pyschotic Mudders about to hit the course was sounding off at the starting line… there was no mistaking it…but I should not be able to hear that this well from miles away….then I realized, I was parked about 150 yards from the packet pickup entrance! Waiting in line to park had left me within crawling distance of the entrance to the Tough Mudder! Things were looking up!

I walked up to packet pick-up, easily spotting the area I needed to be in. It was well-marked and well-staffed, by employees who seemed genuinely happy to be there! I showed my DD-214 and Photo ID, and was given my bib number and corresponding wrist bands. The girl checking me in noticed my Juaraches and asked if I would be running in them, I said that I would most likely be changing into my KSO’s…and with that, I was off into the fray.

Side note: The Tough Mudder REQUIRES a Valid Military ID or DD-214 at check-in as proof of military service to use their $15 military discount. IF you DO NOT provide either…you don’t just get to pay back the $15 and say “oops, you got me”…. it’s a $60 cash-only fineKUDOS TO YOU BIG MUDDER! I don’t know about every other service member/veteran out there, but it certainly pisses me off when people are faking the funk….thank you for weeding them out!

I took a quick walking survey of the area to figure out where everything was located. a brief orientation led me to find all the landmark areas I needed, port-o-potties, bag check, start line etc….

Picking a spot on the grass, I sat down to get my pre-race stuff done. I changed into my KSO’s, pinned my bib to my right leg (off center of course) doffed my Gruene 10K shirt, and started getting “markered” up. I fired off a text to Mrs MuddyJ to let her know I had arrived and would be turning off my cell, since it would be in my bag in the bag check area. I took off my wedding band, not wanting to risk losing it in a mud-pit, never to be found again.

I did keep out my Samsung water proof and shock -proof camera…since Mrs MuddyJ wasn’t along this time, I was going to have to get my own photos….must I do EVERYTHING? HA! No Problem!

I was slated to run the 0900 wave, and I had to be getting close to my start time, or so I thought. I asked someone nearby and found the time to be only 0815… I had some time to kill…oh well, it’s always easier to KILL time then it is to FIND time. I took advantage of my time by making a pre-race port-o-pottie visit…this is the only thing I found wrong with the event. Yes, port-o-potties are usually pretty nasty about halfway through an event, but 90% of these were already nasty…and the event was just getting started! I can’t (nor do I want to) imagine what they must have looked like later on, or (gasp) even the second day!

A quick shot of the early morning crowd….

Hellish port-o-potties behind me, I walked around a bit more. I have to admit, I was feeling slightly overwhelmed by the sheer size of this event. This was going to be HUGE… there were hundreds of people milling around….I walked around a bit more, visiting the obstacles I could see from the fairway…which also happened to be the two I was most in awe/fear of… Everest and ElectroShock Therapy…

you could make out the peak of EVEREST from far away!

Shock Therapy…..it looks so innocent with no one running through it screaming in agony as electricity courses through their bodies and knocks them to the ground!

After successfully killing the time I needed to kill, I was now faced with my first challenge… making it to the starting line….

into the fray

you had to climb a wall JUST TO GET TO THE STARTING AREA!

After getting my wrist band checked, I was confronted with a 6 foot wall…on the other side, the starting line… The challenge began before we were even starting the race! I walked up confidently, grabbed the top and put a foot to the wall. I jumped and pulled, thinking I would simply make quick work of such a simple task, and MY FREAKING HANDS SLIPPED… I couldn’t get a grip on the top to muscle-up! After my embarrassment subsided, I re-thought my strategy and made it over… the experience taught me a very humbling and VERY NEEDED lesson though… never take anything the Tough Mudder throws at you for granted….

First wall down, and first lesson learned, I listened as the MC bantered about how proud he was of us and gave us all advice… this GUY WAS A GENIUS! He somehow managed to simultaneously pump us up, change all fear of the course into healthy respect for the course, and give us a safety briefing… He bantered on a bit longer, thanking all of us from the military, requesting we all stand,  and asking our fellow Mudders to recognize us with a round of applause…Everyone then stood, and the National Anthem was played over a loudspeaker. ( I have said it before and I will say it again… take your friggin’ head gear off when the anthem plays…no chit-chatting…show some respect…rant complete.

Next came the Tough Mudder Pledge:

  • I UNDERSTAND THAT THE TOUGH MUDDER IS NOT A RACE, BUT A CHALLENGE.
  • I PUT TEAMWORK AND CAMARADERIE BEFORE MY COURSE TIME.
  • I DO NOT WHINE- KIDS WHINE.
  • I HELP MY FELLOW MUDDERS COMPLETE THE COURSE.
  • I OVERCOME ALL FEARS.

With that done, it was just a short 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2……ONE! Off we went…
like many endurance events, the Tough Mudder started more like a lamb than a lion…we trickled out past the starting point ( I took note of the “official” time as I passed 09:06:43) and instead of sprinting, we all broke into an easy trot.

As is often the case for mud/obstacle events…the course is an obstacle itself…there is no easy running, there is no checking out and letting your body work on automatic like you can in a road race…The folks at Big Mudder take this challenge a bit too seriously…. to say this course was easy at any point would be a lie!

this isn’t an obstacle, just the course…..

hills, hills, and more hills…..

Up and around we wound, the hills ever increasing… then, suddenly, we were all arriving at our first obstacle, Kiss of Mud …you know, your standard barbed wire (yes real barbed wire!) strung across the ground at about 16-18 inches tall…and the ground, mud! this wasn’t just any mud though…this was PERFECT mud. It had a slippery consistency that made it difficult to move through, yet managed to coat and stick to everything it touched! Kudos to you again Tough Mudder…I consider myself a bit of a mud expert, and this was GOOD MUD!

1st obstacle, the Kiss of Mud..

I made short work of this, staying low and using my elbows to move my body underneath the barbed wire… I stood back up, covered from chest to feet in mud, and decided to give myself some war paint!

Then, we were all back to more running…and more hills…and then…

going to take on the ARCTIC ENEMA ….

If you have been reading my reviews for a while, you know that I am NOT a fan of being completely submerged in water with ICE CUBES FLOATING IN IT…  Which proved to be unfortunate, as the “Arctic Enema” was next… This version of “how-to induce-hypothermia” was a little more…sadistic… first you crawled UNDER barbed wire, to slide into the icy water. As if sliding into the water wasn’t bad enough, you then had to duck UNDER a partially submerged wall..the wall topped with… you guessed it…barbed wire! I swallowed my (very palpable) fear, and crawled under the wire… I steeled myself against the impending shock as I flipped around and slid in butt first.

No matter how many times you have slid into and icy pool, NOTHING can prepare you for this type of shock….my breath was taken from me the moment my ANKLES hit the water, and by the time I made it to the wall, panic was a very real possibility…I grabbed the bottom of the wall, and pulled myself under…I hit the surface on the other side, moving further from near panic and closer to FULL BLOWN panic with every agonizing step…and then, suddenly, IT WAS OVER! HELL YEAH!!!! I DID IT!!!

I hit the opposite bank running, knowing from past experience that I would warm MUCH quicker if I moved faster!

More running, and I was faced with the “Dirty Ballerina” -a series of mud trenches that you were meant to jump across. Both the take-off point and landing areas were slick with mud, so the four-to-six foot spans may as well have been ten-to-twelve feet…you simply couldn’t get a grip… I paused on the first two spans, clearing them easily and landing on the other side. After that, I just decided it wasn’t worth the wait…into the muck I went, and I was clear of the obstacle much sooner than I though I’d be.

Next (after some more running of course) was the “Cliff Hanger”… an almost 80 degree ascent up a VERY slick and VERY compacted hill… without the help of others, you just were not going to complete this one…I climbed up about 3/4 of the way, started sliding back down, and I flipped my feet so the tops of my toes were digging into the slick surface…  clawed my way up, grabbing an offered hand at the top to complete the challenge….then, in the true spirit of the Tough Mudder, I tapped the guy who helped me on the shoulder and told him to go, I would get the next one… I helped a few more mudders up, and then, feeling as if I had “paid it forward”, I continued on…

somebody made this one a bit steep dude!

the view from the top

 

With four down, and eighteen remaining, my next fear was coming: “Walk the Plank”
As obstacles go, this one is pretty simple…climb up a fairly easy to navigate ladder-like wall, and then jump off of it…

about to jump….

The issue is, jumping off of it is 15-20 feet down… I gut checked myself, closed my eyes, and stepped off into nothing…I hit the water feet-first and opened my eyes… complete darkness…I kicked and swam in the direction I thought was up, and the water got ever so slightly lighter…then I crested the surface, and it was done… I honestly didn’t think I would be able to conquer this one so easily…

I think this water is cherry-flavored….

That’s what I had just jumped off of…

the backside of the walls…

I came upon my new mudder buddy somewhere between here and the next  obstacle… I ran up next to a guy wearing a camel-bak and said ” Hey dude, how long you been in the Army?”

“Is it that obvious? ” he asked.

“It’s all in how you run dude… I used to run like that… your knees will be gone in a few years…”

He chuckled, and a kinship was formed between the soldier, herein after to be reffered to as “The Specialist” and the vet (me!). The first few obstacles we did together were more of us pacing off each other to get to them, and then attempting (and conquering them) on our own..

Next up: Berlin Walls #1 … drawing on my (limited) parkour training and previous experience with conquering BIG FREAKING WALLS (thanks again Spartan Race, yours will forever be the standard by which I judge wall obstacles, Tough Mudder’s are just as good, or bad, depending on your point of view) I ran straight at it, jumped seemingly too late, planted one foot and then another, grabbed the top, and that was that, I was over…

On the other side of the wall though, this dude walks up to me and says “can you help me out bro?”  The Tough Mudder Pledge rang in my head: I HELP MY FELLOW MUDDERS COMPLETE THE COURSE.

“Sure thing dude”, I replied, leaning against the wall and offering my cupped hands… I feel like I should mention…this was no “out-of-shape-doing-it-because-my-friends-all-coerced-me-into-doing-this” guy…he was six foot or so, well-muscled… and …seemingly spent….I started to appreciate the grit it took others to do this event…I, or more appropriately WE,  got him up and over in short order… I backed up, preparing to tic-tac up the wall again, when I spotted a very petite young lady eyeing the wall in apparent dismay….

“I HELP MY FELLOW MUDDERS COMPLETE THE COURSE.”

I asked her if she needed a hand…not out of chivalry, but out of Mudder comraderie. She complained that she was too heavy for me to lift, at which I scoffed, and without further argument, up and over she went… with me quickly following suit…

the backside of the walls…

The Specialist and I met on the backside of the walls, and off we went…back on the hunt…our prey you ask?

“Log Jammin’!” We came up on the next obstacle, an over/under roadblock made of fallen trees…. we both made quick work of this one, and met yet again on the opposite side. Though I had a relatively easy time of this (due to my QM conditioning exercises) I can see how this would wear others out…VERY quickly….

over and under and over and under and….you get the point…. Thank you QM training for helping me make quick work of this…

The opposite side of this obstacle led us to a very welcome sight…an aid station! I hydrated, grabbed a banana half and left it feeling refreshed and ready to take on the next 8 miles!

Next up:“Trench Warfare!Are you claustrophobic? Afraid of the dark? If you answered yes to either of these questions, This is bound to be your favorite! It was basically 15 meters of “just wide and tall enough to crawl” single bucket width trenches…covered for your amusement….YAY!

trenches!

-The Specialist made it out the other side too!

“King of the Mountain” came next….looking very daunting from afar…..The Specialist and I helped each other over, with him bracing my foot to help me climb up it first, then I would turn and pull him up behind me, repeat… and repeat again…and again….thought this wasn’t the most difficult obstacle, it was FREAKING TALL DUDE!

I have done plenty of cargo net obstacles in my life, both during races and as a soldier. I have never had an issue with them in the past.

Respect the Tough Mudder…or else…

“The Spider’s Web”, as the Tough Mudder handed me a heaping helping of cargo net obstacle was very different than other cargo nets I have had the pleasure of climbing.
It was EXTREMELY TAUT at the top, yet very loose and mobile along the base…
Combine that with a few hundred people climbing it at the same time, and it’s like trying to climb a ladder by balancing it in the middle of the room, no where near a wall… (and I am not talking about an A-frame ladder) I got to the top, and I was about to stand and throw my leg over it when the whole net moved…I panic grabbed it and brought myself low to the net again, flipping over it in a decidedly Hobie Call style.

-walking up to the cargo net-The Specialist!

the cargo net, on the backside!

After this we came upon, and made short work of “Kiss of Mud” #2 and we were up and running…

With every obstacle race, I am confronted with something new. The next Tough Mudder obstacle would let me know I was made of sterner stuff than I thought.

“The Boa Constrictor”– I shiver a little reminiscing about this particular obstacle. It was basically a pipe, too small to actually crawl through, so you had to drag yourself DOWN (YES,DOWN) the first of two, which was angled into a mud puddle at the bottom. I entered into it thinking it was no big deal, but as I got further in, and the water got higher, I felt myself near to panic again… I swallowed hard, reached down deep into my MANLINESS RESERVES and traversed the final portion of the tube underwater, there being not enough room to keep my head up and breathe while negotiating the obstacle.

-I took this coming back up the second of the two underwater tunnels….this obstacle actually scared the hell out of me! NO IT ISN’T SNOT
The next running portion consisted of a very narrow trail that would make all but the craziest trail runner slow to a near crawl. with very little room to pass, the Specialist and I plodded along with the crowd, chatting with other mudders around us…Some one nearby asked some other mudders what time they had started…and I got the shock of my life (to be outdone shortly by electroshock therapy) when someone nearby (already sporting an Orange TM headband btw) replied “We started at 8:15”

V for Tough Mudder?

To recap: I started @ 0900, was feeling good right then, had been helping other Mudders complete obstacles…and I had caught up with people who had a 30-45 minute head start on me… that revelation felt GOOD!!!

As soon as we safely could, the Specialist and I took off running, remaining polite by letting others know we were passing them on the narrow trails long before we were upon them- “On your right” or “on your left” People actually cheered and shouted encouragement as we went past them! Mudder Comraderie!

Getting back onto normal trails…then came my next “tough-mudder-thing-I-am-very-afraid-of” the “Electric Eel”.

Low-crawling isn’t an issue for me, it never has been…with that said, low-crawling through a puddle with electrical leads pumping a few hundred (or thousand) volts through me upon contact…not so cool…

I got down and into the obstacle, staying clear of the leads as best I could…I noticed that I didn’t have much purchase to pull myself through effieciently. The bottom of the obstacle was made of plastic sheeting, so I got a bright idea! Instead of pulling myself forward inch by inch at and agonizingly slow crawl…I backed up against the frame, coiling my legs up like a spring… I pushed off AS HARD AS I COULD, and sailed about 3/4ths of the ways across…with that accomplished, it was a simple matter of keeping momentum, and I was finished before I knew it. Lesson Learned: The Tough Mudder can be a THINKING MAN’S Game too…

The Specialist and I met back up on the opposite side of the Electric Eel, and we were off and running again to “Just The Tip”

Just the Tip” was little more (really, I must be jaded) than a transverse wall spanning a six foot drop into a water hazard. I guess it could be tough for anyone wearing regular sneakers, but the extra purchase my Vibram’s afforded me made a huge difference (as they had previously @ the Burnett Spartan Sprint)..Fellow Mudders all around me dropped into the water like stones while I made it across with relative ease, and there were no Twilight were-pack look-a-likes doing burpees on the other side this time!

After playing with “Just the Tip” came “Dark Lightening” This combined the darkness of “Trench Warfare” with the slick-no-way-to-move-well surfaces of the “Electric Eel”…as well as the electricity portion of the Electric EEL as well…. slow and steady won the day, and I made it through the other side relatively unscathed… dark+electricity+wet= get me the hell out of here as quickly as possible!

Next up on the Tough Mudder Block: “The Mud Mile”…a hike through strength-sapping shoe-swallowing mud, that again was PERFECT. I no trouble with the losing my shoes aspect. (Thanks again Five-Fingers!) Truth be told, this was little more than a momentum breaker for me…The Specialist had a little bit rougher of a time in his regular sneakers… on the other side of the Mud Mile, I noticed LOTS of Mudders were emptying the mud from their shoes. I asked the Specialist if he needed to do the same, but he declined, and we were back to running on…

Slogging through the mud mile

more mud mile

The next obstacle was a little too easy to be considered a Tough Mudder obstacle...”The Underwater Tunnels”: Swim across a lake, traversing underneath two floating obstacles along the way…it was a nice and refreshing break!

still smiling…ahhh, refreshing swim…

The Specialist right on my six

The oh-so-refreshing waters of the Underwater Tunnels behind us, The Specialist and I exchanged exuberant high fives and continued to the “Hold Your Wood” portion…a REALLY LONG loop in which you were to carry a log around, and up and down hills…The Specialist and I decided to grab a “team log” and do it together…but found the log to be too light for both of us to carry…so we both grabbed our own team log and headed out at a trot…I guess you could call us show-offs!

After this we came upon another aid station, with the attendants telling us “JUST TWO MORE MILES”

I turned to The Specialist, a very apparent glint in my eye I am certain, and said, “Dude, a PT Test distance and we’re done!” refreshed again by banana and hydration, we took off running…

The next obstacle, “Funky Monkey” actually claimed me as a victim…The person next to me swam UNDERNEATH ME after they fell into the water, and I hung there for longer than I wanted to, so I wouldn’t risk falling on top of them, injuring us both. That time, though it was probably only 20-30 seconds proved to be VERY taxing, and as I tried to get going again, I just didn’t have the grip…oh well…I’ll get you next time Tough Mudder….next time….

We hit The second Berlin Walls and made VERY short work of them with me going up first and reaching back to help the Specialist.

Next….and we were faced with: EVEREST!!!

EVEREST!

There are many obstacles unique to the Tough Mudder Line-up, the only two left Everest and ElectroShock Therapy would be the TOUGHEST….

I though back to a review of a Mudder event written by Andy Thom where he wrote:” I got into a crouched stance and spotted a helpful Mudder on the top deck and pointed at him. He pointed back and it was go time. I ran, jumped up, grabbed the lip and the hand of the helpful Mudder and was up with no problem.”

I though to follow his example, so I spotted Mudder at the top of Everest, we locked eyes and gave the “nod”. I took off at a sprint, with my legs churning a fast as I could get them pumping underneath me. One…two…three…four….five steps and I was nearing the top…by the time I took my sixth and seventh steps, I had already grabbed the lip at the top and was at chest height…and then, sooner then I had started, I was done…Everest Complete.

The Specialist followed suit, repeating my performance…and we just about did a chest bump at the top, we were so (rightfully) proud of ourselves!

The backside of Everest

There was only one left… ELECTROSHOCK THERAPY…

We looked to each other as we ran walked up to it…

as we were walking up…

….”I think we have had a pretty easy time of the electrical obstacles” Said the Specialist before I could stop him…

“You know that means were are about to get severely fucked up now”

“yep, let’s do this”

There were people milling around, I guess trying to pysch themselves up to do this next obstacle…we walked around them, making sure we were not “cutting” in line…another mudder who had started in our wave and had been keeping pace with the Specialist and I stepped up…

“we have been next to each other this whole thing…let’s finish it together”he said….

A nod of affirmation from the Specialist and Myself, and we three lined up abreast…A volunteer asked if we were planning on going together, checked to make sure the path was clear…and it was time….

“GO!” she shouted!

I cleared my mind, trying to envision making it through the obstacle. I was at my fastest possible sprint when I hit the first set of wires and felt a small charge…

“That’s not too ba—–OWWWWW HOLY SHIT..HOLY-MOTHER-EFFIN-SHIT-ON-ASHINGLEIAMSTARTINGTOFEELLIKEIAMGOINGEFFINGTODIEHERE” was pretty much how the rest of it went… the bottom of the obstacle is a mud puddle, so every stride caused a complete circuit, sending enough electricity coursing through my body to lock up every single muscle I had….the only things that kept me going were momentum, and FEAR….

The Tough Mudder website says:
“Sprint through a field of live wires — some carrying as much as 10,000 volts of electric shock. Watch out for hay bales and deep mud, or you will face-plant into some electrifying mud. Some Mudders try to stealthily wind their way through the wires without getting shocked, while others barrel forward to get through as quickly as possible. Either way, you are guaranteed to get zapped with as much as 10,000 volts of electricity and it does NOT tickle. This is typically the last obstacle Mudders must overcome before they cross the finish line.”

I HONESTLY just wanted needed it to be over…and I totally believe the ten-thousand volts portion of that statement.

My third stride saw my legs near buckle, and my fourth was no different…My arms were pumping wildly to keep my balance and propel me forward…I should have thought about protecting more sensitive areas… I was none to happy as to the oh-so-sensitive-nature-of-where on my body the next lead caught me...(yes I caught an electrical lead to the junk)

I got out of the veritable forest of electrical leads, whooping and hollering like a mad man… seriously; Rick Flair would have had NOTHING on me at this point…I turned to make sure The Specialist had made it through, as well as our unnamed third guy. They had. We exchanged high fives with each other…and walked over to the finish to collect our VERY WELL EARNED Orange Head Bands.

After a few minutes wandering around the finishing area, I collected my freebie beer, a banana half, my t-shirt, and my ability to form a coherent thought…

Grabbing my gear from the bag check, I looked over to the shower area and decided that I would stay  bit muddy and simply change into my kilt, which is something I can do out in the open…as I was changing off to the side, I noticed a limping and barefoot Mudder. He had obviously completed this course, the wear evident on his face…

“Dude! did you run this barefoot?”, I asked, hoping he would say no…

“Only the last two miles”, he replied, “I was in the lead and I lost a shoe near the 10 mile mark…if I stopped the guy behind me was sure to catch me, so I kept on going…I thought it was over at 10 miles….I was heartbroken when I learned there were TWO MORE miles left…but I have shoes in my friends car, I just have to wait for him to finish…”

I dug in my race bag and tossed him a pair of my Injinji Socks, saying,”sorry this is all I have dude, hopefully this will help you out until you can get your other shoes”

He looked at the socks and said, “You sure dude?These are really nice socks, I can’t take these.”

“You need them more than I do”, I replied, running the lacing of my tire Huaraches over my ankle and and strapping them to my foot…,”just keep them, pay it forward if you can” And with that, I was done getting changed…

I walked around a bit longer, munching on a few packages of Sport Beans as I meandered about…I stopped at the merchandising tent and bought a Tough Mudder Magnet to stick on Zooey, some “Tough Mudder” lapel pins for the Things Three, and another Tough Mudder T-shirt that reads “Marathons are Boring” (I am considering wearing the last to the San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon next month…)

I mentioned all of the obstacles listed on the Course map, and this course was too long for me to give you a minute by minute account…this review is already HUGE….

With that said, There were more obstacles! Ditches and muddy portions that didn’t make official mention…as well as quite a few pond crossings…. and by ditches I mean deeper than 6 feet!

I wandered a bit longer, giving asked for advice to Mudders who were about to take on the course…and then I was back in Zooey, headed home….

Now to train like crazy for the San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon!

Stay Muddy My Friends!

NEXT!

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