Early in February this year I decided to sign up for the Tough Mudder in Whistler with a group of Meagan’s friends. For those not familiar with the event, it’s a long distance run designed by British SAS where you run, climb, crawl, jump and slide through several obstacles, and of course, mud. I’ve never been a massive fan of long distance runs but with the added fun of the obstacles and being set amongst the stunning mountains of Whistler’s Olympic park, it seemed like a good way to try and knock out 18 km.
Training began in early Spring with regular trail runs and an interval training class at the gym. I’ll admit it provided great motivation having an event to train for, something that I haven’t experienced in a few years since moving overseas and saying goodbye to team sports. I felt fitter by the week and in no time the weekend had arrived and I was feeling in good shape.
With Whistler being a 12 hour drive from Fernie, Meagan and I decided to make a road trip out of it and camped out at Golden for a night before driving through some amazing scenery on the Transcanada highway to our hotel in Whistler, a little treat for the weekend 🙂 We met up for a carbo loaded dinner with the rest of our group and got some shut eye before the event the next morning.
After completing the registration, a couple of nervous toilet breaks and a somewhat limp hype up speech, we set off around 10.30 am along with a huge group of other mudders. The adrenalin was high and I was keen to get into a stride however it was a little disappointing that we hit a bottleneck after only 500m, this led to our first km taking about 14 minutes. It would be like this for the first 5 km, as to my surprise many people were walking.
Our group of 10 did really well to try and keep together, with the quicker of us waiting at the next obstacles so we could re-group. The obstacles themselves are the most fun part of the race and it was great to share the experience as a team, especially as some like Everest required a helping hand. We had a bit of fun getting messy in the mud and I guess the only downer of the occasion was the weather, it was cold with monsoonal rain, however in a way it did up the gnarly factor.
We ended up finishing the race in just over 4 hours shivering and huddled together with our complimentary drink. We didn’t stick around and drove home for a little hot tub session and dinner/drinks on the town. As we drove back we saw fresh snow on the mountain tops, it was cold indeed! The next day Meagan and I had to get moving back towards Fernie and enjoyed some nice little pit stops before camping in Revelstoke for the night.
Overall it was a great experience and I’d definitely be keen to do it again. The legs were sore for a few days after but next time I’d be keen to push it a bit more, maybe going with a smaller group. I was however surprised by how many people seemed unprepared for the event. Don’t get me wrong, it was great to see all sorts of people out there and giving it a go however I always had the impression that Tough Mudders were quite hardcore. However, and I say this without exaggeration, every time I was running between each obstacle about 80% of people would be walking. Maybe the more serious people go in the morning, in any case end criticism.