Tough Mudder Las Vegas 2015 | Race Recap

Here I am, a little over a week after Tough Mudder and the scars are healing, bruises are starting to fade, and my face has already peeled from being sunburned.  I guess you could say, recovery is going great :)

Tough Mudder was my first OCR (obstacle course race) in 2013 and it will always have a special place in my muddy heart! There was no Team Tough Cookies this year and neither Jason nor my sister could come to cheer me on because they both had to work that day. I jokingly told Jason, you know you've done too many races when no one comes to cheer you on :( But, it seriously turned out to be a great race and I had a blast!  I teamed up with Britt, who I met at boot camp. This was her first Tough Mudder and she was really excited about it and had trained hard for it.  Come Saturday morning, we were ready to take on the course and just have a good time.  When we got to the race, we met up with my pal, Eve, and she ended up running the course with us too! Our other friend, Kelly, was there supporting another team but she cheered us on too and took photos for us along the course, which was a really nice surprise.  

Here we are ready to get started!  

Here we are ready to get started!  

Tough Mudder promised there would be mud in Las Vegas and they did not disappoint.  There was tons of mud!  It was that creamy, soft mud that looks like pudding or frosting!  At least, that's what it LOOKS like, but don't be fooled because once you're all up in it, it does NOT smell or taste like chocolate frosting at all!  Take my word for it ;)

It took us about 3 hours to complete the 10 miles and 20 obstacles.  We were in the 3rd group to go out so the course wasn't crowded and we didn't have any real bottlenecking at the obstacles which was great!  My teammates and I were determined to try every obstacle and we all gave it our best.  I failed at only 2 obstacles, the Funky Monkey and King of Swingers.  Honestly, those are 2 I didn't really try.  I knew I wouldn't make it far on the monkey bars, I mean, someone had to give me a boost up just to reach the first bar!  I felt bad for not trying and seriously was ready to do my 30 penalty burpees, then remembered this was Tough Mudder not Spartan Race, so I moved on.  For King of the Swingers, I actually did climb up to the platform but I just couldn't get over my fear of heights this time.  There was no one there to push me over the edge, so once Britt jumped I just climbed back down in shame :(  Maybe next year....

Most of the obstacles had been redesigned and were a lot harder than previous years.  It took me 3 or 4 tries to run up Everest 2.0 with its higher, curved edge, but I was not going to give up!  It felt so awesome when I ran up and finally made it on my last try!  I think having to slide into Arctic Enema 2.0 made it easier to just get it done and over with but it felt colder to me than the previous years.  Maybe they had recently added more ice? I don't know, but it took me a long time to get my toes to move again...YIKES!  

So, as a Legionnaire, meaning I've done another Tough Mudder before, I didn't have to do Electroshock Therapy again.  But, like I said, this was Britt's first Tough Mudder and I didn't want her to have to go through that alone.  So, I sucked it up and we went through it together.  It was just as awful as I remembered from 2 years ago.  The pain is real.  I'd say it is maybe similar to being shocked with an electric socket or like when you rub your feet on carpet then have to touch a metal door knob, but times 1000!  The shock goes through your entire body and just knocks you down and paralyzes you for a few seconds.  It doesn't last long, but just seeing those wires hanging in front of you and knowing what's coming really did paralyze me out of fear!  

But, the feeling of accomplishment after you conquer those obstacles is indescribable and it makes you forget the pain or at least makes the pain worth it in the end!  Tough Mudder is all about team work.  Their obstacles are designed to be tackled together and I'm so grateful to my teammates, Britt & Eve, for their help getting though some of those obstacles.  Thanks for the boosts up those Berlin Walls, the pushes over that crazy mystery obstacle with it's revolving cubes, and thanks for all the encouragement throughout the course!  I'm so proud to have you ladies as teammates and friends. Ya'll rock! XO

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Have you ran a Tough Mudder before or another obstacle course race?  Love it? Hate it? Tell me all about it in the comments below!  I love to hear other people's stories! XO 

World's Toughest Mudder 2014

There are athletes and then there are tough mudders.  These men and women supreme.  This year World's Toughest Mudder was held in Lake Las Vegas and I had the privilege of being part of my friend, Eve's PIT crew.  She was part of the first ever all women's team to participate in World's Toughest Mudder! Yea, I was stoked to be a part of that team, even if I wasn't running it!    A few other folks and friends I knew from Camp Rhino were also participating in the event and I got to support and be there for them too!  It was such an amazing experience to be there among such badasses!  It really takes a different kind of person to participate in this 24 hour event.  Most of these people have been training and participating in Tough Mudder events all year to make it to this point.  To be at World's Toughest Mudder 2014.  

Would you jump?

Would you jump?

If you don't know, World's Toughest Mudder is a 24 hour obstacle challenge with double the obstacles per mile of any other Tough Mudder event.  This year, each 5 mile lap consisted of 23 obstacles with an elevation gain of 800 ft per lap!  Participants entered either in teams or individually and have 24 hours to complete as many laps of the course as possible.  If a mudder fails to complete an obstacle, they have to complete a penalty option.  I gotta say, I love the names of some of these obstacles, such as sewage outlet, ladder to hell, birth canal, and tight fit!  Of all the obstacles, the most terrifying for me would be the The Cliff, a 36 foot drop into the lake.  Yea, I'd most definitely be doing the penalty option for that one ;)

I spent my morning helping where I could with setting up the PIT/ Camp area.  It's amazing how much effort and time is spent into getting ready for something like this!  And not to mention how much stuff is needed!  From food, clothes, wetsuits, water, vaseline (don't ask!) medication, etc..  

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It was so exciting to watch them take off.  You could feel the buzz and the energy from the runners.  It almost made me want to put down my camera and go running with them..ALMOST! I stuck around until they got back from their first lap, but I had to go and work (shoot a wedding) for a few hours before coming back that evening. 

Only in Vegas do you see a limo at WTM! 

Only in Vegas do you see a limo at WTM! 

When I got back the team was in the middle of their fourth lap.  While I waited for them to come through, I got to help out another friend gather a few things from his tent before heading out to run another lap.  When my friend's team came back they were freezing cold but in good spirits and most of them went back out for another lap.  This is around the time it got ugly!  And by ugly, I mean windy.  Being out in the desert with 30+ mile per hour winds brings on some nasty dust storms and dropped the temperature down to nearly freezing after midnight!  We struggled to keep the canopy tent from blowing away, but once we brought it down it was a bit better.  Battling that wind/dust storm and cold during the night was truly another challenge to the course and I am so proud of these women for braving it out there all night.  Some ran, some rested, but nonetheless they all stuck it out and were there for each other.  That's what being a team is all about. 

The day after WTM we had family over for dinner (yup, I was totally sleep deprived!) and my nephew asked why? Why do they do it? Why do people sign up for this?  Good question.  Why do they do it?  {Stay tuned for a few interviews coming up in the next couple of weeks where I ask some of these athletes that same question.}  They aren't necessarily in it to win it.  No, the ladies on this team and all other Tough Mudders have their own personal reasons for participating in World's Toughest Mudder.  Yeah some do it for the prize money, the recognition, the sponsorship, the fame, but most...most do it for reasons way beyond that.  I think they do it because they want to see how far they can push themselves both mentally and physically.  Because they want to challenge themselves.  They do it to show how far they've come.  Because it's who they are.  Because coming out of something like this changes a person.  Because if you can do this, you can do anything.  They do it because they can.  

How about you?  Would you ever run a World's Toughest Mudder?  I'm not sure I have it in me for 24 hrs but I'm already registered for my 3rd Tough Mudder in 2015! You should join me :)