Since moving back home last year I reconnected with a friend who loves running. So we decided to plan a race together, and that race was a Tough Mudder. I was so excited to finally commit to a race and for it to be an obstacle course race (OCR). I had never run an OCR before so it was a new avenue of running to me.
He had already run the Western NY race and enjoyed it enough to want to run the race again. The race was hosted in the quaint town of Andover, NY which was 2 hours from my house. We decided it would be best to find a place to stay in the area so that we wouldn't have to do that drive twice in one day.
The Tough Mudder website did have a list of suggested lodging however I was able to find a Bed & Breakfast less than 5 minutes from the race. The B&B owner had recommended several restaurants in the nearby town only 15 minutes away so everything was pretty convenient.
Race morning we got the event early since we still had to park and walk to the race start. There was plenty of parking, which we paid for in advance to save $10. However it was almost half a mile's walk to the race start from the parking area.
At the race start they had all the booths for merchandise and other things you would expect at an expo. We knew we would have time after the race to explore so we went right to our corral to get started. The MC for the race was very motivational and shared a great story which really got us excited for the run. Our corral started promptly at 10:30 am.
As an overall summary, the course was all trail with some parts being muddier than others due to rain the night before and added effect for the course. We were far from the first wave so the course was well traveled already. I luckily had on my On Running Cloudventure Trail Shoes which still gave me great traction even on the muddy ground.
At this location the full runners ran two lap on the course, with alternate routes on lap two with different obstacles. On lap 1 we had obstacles like Kiss of Mud, Mud Mile, Hero Walls, and Hero Carry to name a few. The one that stuck out the most was the quagmire. This obstacle was a trug through a very thick mud pool, think cake batter thickness. One girl slipped and fell and went all the way under and then couldn't open her eye due to the thick mud.
Lap two had many more memorable obstacles, that tested you more than the first lap. We started with electroshock therapy which was running through a mess of live electrical wires. Other fun obstacles were Funky Monkey and Kong which were both climbing challenges. The Arctic Enema was a very challenging obstacle, we had to swim under walls in a tank of ice water. I couldn't believe how quickly we froze to the bone.
The hardest part about lap 2 was that the trails had been destroyed at this point from all the runners on their first lap, and the runners ahead of us on their second lap. So it was slow moving since we were trying to keep our footing.
I definitely loved this race, and plan to do more in the future, I was bit by the OCR bug.
The pros of this race would have to be the course itself. It was on ATV grounds so it was very spread out. Lots of distance between the obstacles gave us time to run off the sore muscles.
Since the race was two lap, the aid stations were in the same spot, so we knew when we would be approaching one for water and fuel.
Lastly the overall camaraderie among the runners was something that you don't normally see in a typical running race. Everyone was willing to lend a hand to help at obstacles which made it much more rewarding when you helped others back.
There were a few things that I would note about the race that I wasn't thrilled about. I didn't see that many photographers throughout the course. When searching through the pictures after the race, I saw that there were pictures from specific obstacles but when we had run those obstacles there wasn't anyone taking pictures. I feel like I really missed out on this because it would have been nice to have more memories captured. More consistent photo locations would have been nice.
I also wasn't a big fan of the parking situation. After running the full mudder we were pretty worn out, so for us to have to walk another half mile to the car was annoying to say the least.
Even though these two things weren't the coolest, that doesn't sway me from wanting to get another Tough Mudder under my belt. Apparently there is a special headband that you can get from running 3 Mudders in one year. I want that so bad for next year!
Have you run an OCR before? Do you have any favorites?