Not going to lie, going into the Tough Mudder after the Spartan I wasn’t exactly beyond pumped. The forecast was showing not only rain again 😫 but THUNDERSTORMS. Their website didn’t really have full details about weather, just stating it was a rain or shine event unless it was more inclimate weather (not what they’d actually do in that case). After looking at the obstacles the Tough Mudder looked far more like a team race, where the obstacles weren’t just hard, but impossible as just a single person. I’m all for teamwork, but that honestly didn’t spark my interest as much as the Spartan obstacles where although I couldn’t personally do them all on my own, they were doable by a single person. But I had already signed up, paid, and I was at least going to give the race a try!
My boyfriends legs were still recovering from the poison ivy he got from the Spartan (😅 yikes is he allergic) so he was out. Luckily, I have too many crazy friends so I was able to recruit another of my old roommates (one is how I got into this whole Spartan/Tough Mudder mess to begin with 😜) to take his spot the night before!
The three of us who had originally planned to race lived close together and carpooled there. You had to pay for general parking, but it’s literally across the road from the fancy parking, which is literally right in front of the course. We didn’t realize how close it was until the return shuttle ride. We honestly could have easily just walked 😅 I thought it was really neat that they put your parking pass in the same QR code as your race registration so you wouldn’t forget it! The parking lot was your standard “field turned into parking lot for the day” and they made parking a quick and easy process.
Technically we didn’t try to switch the registration until the day of the race, at which point the website no longer supported registration switching. We decided to just go to the race and see if they could help us. They asked to see the email saying my boyfriend sent a transfer request to my roommate, and then just signed her up quick. It was really nice they were so chill about it.
One of the only places I felt this race was lacking was in identification. They only gave you a normal bib to stick on the front of your shirt, which generally isn’t going to be very visible in a mud race. They did have markers out (that looked like sharpies), but no instructions. They ended up being easy enough to clean off so I would recommend writing your number on your forehead (like how Spartans use a headband) to be able to find your pictures easily as possible.
The atmosphere of this race is AMAZING! When the starting line hype guy was giving a speech about being one giant team I kind of thought, “yea right sure 🙄”, but he wasn’t lying at all. At any point during any obstacle if you even looked like you were having trouble you would be asked, not by the staff, but by multiple other participants if you needed any help. It wasn’t uncommon to see the more skilled groups quickly complete an obstacle and then just hangout there for a bit helping or giving tips to random people from other groups. You ended up making friends with random people as they helped you with an obstacle and then you helped them with another later.
The running part of the course was far closer to what I expected of a mudder. It was still a bit more woodsy and scenic (fine by me!) but far less advanced trails than the Spartan, so you could enjoy more of the view without the constant worry of falling on your face. I wasn’t worried for my non-trail runner friends like I was during the Spartan so that was nice.
Inverted Wall – I was able to get over it all by myself. And I did it so quick everyone kind of missed it 😂 and was just like, “how/when did you do that??”
Warped Wall – This was one of my favorites because it was INSANE how amped everyone got. People were going nuts cheering and we honestly just sat happy to watch and cheer for like 10 minutes before we even got in line to go ourselves. I also got it on my first try (with help from people at the top).
The Blockness Monster – This one was super unique and I’ve never seen or heard of anything like it. It was also insanely fun/cool! You had to all work together to use your weight to turn the blocks. I also didn’t realize how deep the water in the middle was but enjoyed the surprise of having to swim!
We only did the half but were able to see some of the other obstacles that were included in the full. One was a combo of doorknobs and ledges, which was really cool to see some of the more advanced things we practice in ninja warrior class on the course.
They don’t give out medals, but sweatbands instead which I thought were really cute. The shirts are also really nice technical t-shirts!
I think it’s safe to say everyone in my group wants to run another Tough Mudder and wants to complete a full (10 mile) now.