‘Grace’s Team’ – Grace, Emily, Steph, Chris & Emma.
Having been involved in team sports most of my life, I felt rather excited for challenge no.4 as I got to take on this EPIC adventure with four of my closest friends and family!
We set off early heading for Belvior Castle, Granham and arrived at 09:15am. Today’s Tough Mudder was a 10-12mile mud and obstacle course designed to drag us out of our comfort zone by testing our physical strength, stamina, and mental grit. Not having done one of these events before, I had no expectation; instead, as a team we supported one another and embraced the experience together, it ending up to be one of the best challenges to date.
Before we headed off, we were given a warm up and a 10 minute safety briefing. Once that was over and done with, we were off! The first obstacle we were faced with was called ‘Skidmarked’. These were wooden walls, which we had to climb over, not as high as the Berlin Walls, but they were at a 45 degree angle. We were over them in a flash, comfortably sailing over the top, we were up and ready, moving to our next obstacle.
Next came the ‘Arctic Enema 2.0’. We had to slide into a pool filled with iced water, and then if that wasn’t enough, dive underneath a wooden beam. Even though this obstacle takes only a few seconds to complete, my lungs felt like they were about to burst and my body went into shock. We soon dried off whilst we ran to our next challenge – The ‘Block Ness Monster’ – we had to push, pull, and roll our way through 60ft of slick, rotating barriers. With a great piece of effort from the team we rocked and rolled through one of Mudder Nation’s highest-rated obstacles.
We had a great number of supporters with us who were fantastic. They cheered us on at each obstacle and kept up our energy and hydration at peak performance throughout the day. Our next biggest challenge was ‘Everest 2.0’ – I had to gather all of my strength, start sprinting, and run up a steep and slippery halfpipe. First attempt I was dropped but I had the determination to get up and go again – I ran at Everest and this time I defeated it!
At this stage, we had completed two thirds of the course (9miles). Starting to feel tired, we pressed on. We swam through swamps, carried a long and heavy log around a lake and then made our way to the ‘Mud Mile’. This was Steph’s worst nightmare! For a mile we climbed over mud walls, swam in mud pits and was covered head to toe in mud! With the sun blazing hot, the mud began to dry and peel off before we reached ‘Hero Walls’. Standing at a 9’ 6”, wall, Chris gave us a leg up and with upper body strength, we pulled ourselves over the wall. Coming over the top, meant we had to place our foot on a 2inch ledge to securely make it down the other side.
Running into the final mile of our course, we were stopped by the ‘Pyramid Scheme’. It needed a bit of plotting, but unlike its namesake, this obstacle required teamwork. We started with a strong base (Chris) and scrambled, climbed, and pushed our way up a slippery incline with the help of each other.
We could finally see the finish line but there was one more obstacle in our way – the ‘Electroshock Therapy’. For me, this was the worst challenge. Chris told us a tale along the way declaring that when he did this obstacle last year, a lady fell over whilst running through and was continuously shocked. He warned us not to do that and to just keep running. So what did I do – as we ran together we hit the first straw bale and I tripped over! Shock after shock pulsed through my body. These are not just little pinches but full electrical currents shocking my whole body – It bloody hurt! Chris being the hero of the day, came back for me, screaming for me to get up and get out! So that’s what I did, with his help I get up and I sprinted over the finish line!