Last weekend I participated in my third Tough Mudder challenge. Previously I reported on what I wore on my first and then subsequently, for the Stampede and then earlier this year, my second Tough Mudder. I see the Tough Mudder challenges as more than just an Endurance Sport event, but as a training and testing opportunity for me. Training myself to overcome obstacles, and go the distance, but also in anticipating the hardships my team-mates will face, and either preventing or mitigating them.
The Tough Mudder Pledge is a good starting point for this:
- As A Tough Mudder, I Pledge That ....
- I Understand That 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.
My team mates did not feel up to running the length of the course, which is fine, I hate running, but I can, and I have been training to do so. However, the discipline of NOT running, of not leaving a team-mate behind for personal glory, was what it was all about.
Here's the course for this time: MelbourneSpring2013-CourseMap
There were all the old favourites, as well as some new ones.
One set of Berlin Walls was replaced for forwards sloped walls, giving no purchase to climb over. There was a "Warrior Carry" where team mates had to carry each other for a distance. A couple of different "over and under" climbs and my favourite, the Cage Crawl, where you had to navigate a long caged-in, water filled trench.
I took my iPhone along, in its SLXtreme waterproof case which unfortunately suffered a non-spectacular failure, with one of the hinge-caps breaking off, causing it to leak. This took my phone offline for a couple of days (rice in a take-away-tub, by a heater recovered it) but I managed to track half of our progress with it here: 11.84 km run with @RunKeeper.
That was a bit sad, but that's the way these things go. I also trialed a couple of other pieces of kit: I fitted my Contour GPS to my shoulder via the Picatinny adapter and fixed it to an ITS Picatinny-MOLLE adapter which in turn I mounted to my trusty First Spear OAGR vest.
I kitted out with my Z-E-R-T patch and call-sign tab, as well as another off-market Platatac prototype admin pouch, which I kept a laminated copy of the course map, and a spare cyalume stick in case my team-mates needed some encouragement in dark places, when all other lights go out.
Lastly I wore my GoST Paleo Barefoot PRONATIV's along with their Lining Socks, which, after a 2km walk from parking to the event, 18km of course, and another 2km back to the car, were amazing.
This time I decided to collect loot, and picked up two discarded hydration packs, one I gave to a team-mate, the other I slung, as well as several "technical shirts" and a bunch of gloves. We'll see if any are salvageable.
I had a really good event, it was lots of fun, cold, wet, dirty fun. I feel that again I have proven to myself that I can not only achieve this kind of goal myself, but can also aid others in doing so too. Orange Headband ahoy!