The chicks in the office and I decided we'd do it a few months ago - and then struggled to find recruits :( Everyone started off, keen as mustard, and everyone gradually developed a good excuse (you all know who you are!!)
Before any of us felt sufficiently prepared, the day was here. We'd enlisted the charming and chivalrous Nige, a talented director and producer we've worked with on many projects over the years, and my rowing friend, Janet. (I think she's still my friend... Nige suggested I may have used coercion and I suggested he may have been right. Rach from the office had money on that Janet would NOT be my friend after the event - it was gruelling.)
The start was hilarious. The Rocky theme song rocked on and we were all asked to get down on one knee, then told if that hurt, we should leave now. We then took the Mudder pledge, to help each other and just make it to the end.
We were also reminded that they would have a cold beer waiting for us at the other end and knowing we'd be exhausted, they'd even open it for us. Yay.
Off we ran. Only 18kms to go....
The first of the 23 obstacles was The Kiss of Mud, crawling combat-style through a long mud pit, force to stay low with the barbed wire barrier. The next was several deep mud pits where we spotted the first casualty of the day; a guy with a safety pin from his bib that had literally skewered his finger like a shish kabob - eww. We also found an asthma pump in a zip-lock bag - eek!
There were walls to scale, nets to scramble under, tunnels to crawl through, team mates to piggy back, waterways to navigate, monkey bars to swing from and more.
In truth, I'm a tad claustrophobic so wasn't sure I'd be able to handle The Birth Canal - a long crawl in mud under a sling of water that's heavy and in some places, pressingly low. I talked to the guy in the Canal on my left so I didn't have to look ahead and to distract myself, and just when panic was about to get the better of me, a random competitor reached in from the end, yelled at me to grab his hand and hauled me out in the nick of time.
It really was that kind of camaraderie that made the experience so enjoyable. Not just among our own team but everyone in our wave. We held hands with strangers as we picked our way blindly through pitted mud trenches, accepted leg ups out of deep holes and were dragged up walls by burly blokes. And of course we returned as many favours as we could.
The most alarming challenge was the Arctic Enema (it's on the video). A slide into a deep pool of iced water and ice blocks that literally takes your breath away, only to discover there doesn't seem to be an obvious way out. A volunteer explains that you need to swim under a wall to escape. So if the first dunking hadn't given you a good dose of brain freeze, the second most certainly did!
We also discovered the very weird sensation of running when you're drenched down to your undies with mud....
At the finish, my shoes (actually, my friend Sal's old shoes - she'd donated them for the occasion), socks and T all went straight in the bin.
So are we back to do it again next year? Quite possibly! Message me if you'd like to join us!!
(Thanks to Nige for the video, Gab and Rach for the commitment and laughs and Janet for still being my friend - I think!)