Monday, 1 July 2013

Tough Mudder South London

Well here I am again, with two Tough Mudders under my belt, I was pretty excited for this one, plus I still have a few scars from the last one. So up at 3:30 again, because it was another one where I was travelling on a London.train. No unpleasant drunks at the station this time though a few rowdy lads, having coffees, waiting for a train. Time passed as it usually does on long train journeys but I soon found myself at kings cross needing to get a tube across to waterloo station.

As I got down the stairs a young woman approached me as I was wearing my first tough mudder t-shirt and asked if I was going to the event, as she was unsure of which line she needed to get through to waterloo station, we found the right one and headed over there chatting on the way and with a long wait to find out which platform for the Winchester train, we eventually boarded, stopping at clapham junction quite a few people in brightly coloured running shirts boarded. The taxi situation was worse than the last event and it took a long wait to get one over to the site, we swapped stories of what we'd heard and if we'd done it before.

We arrived at the car park and walked to the main site my companion was suddenly wishing that she'd entered after all, seeing all the people and festival atmosphere, we said our good byes as she went off to register as a volunteer and I picked up my number. I got myself changed and then looked around for somewhere to fill up my water bottle as it was a really hot day, so luckily I'd remembered to pack some sun cream, though I didn't think I'd need it for my head.

The starting area was so packed that people were sitting on the wall you climb over to get to the starting area and after tying my shoe laces extra tight, we set off at a nice pace and ended up running up and down the hill just after the start line, which was a strange change and people were walking almost straight away, still once we'd climbed and descended a few times, we wound our way to the first obstacle the kiss of mud, I managed to get only one cut this time, which I was a little sad about. A short run and then we hit the Glory Blades, which were tougher than expected mainly due to the heat and left me a little tired.

We soon happened on the Walk the plank, which I thought would be nice and cool but it was really cold and took my breath away, luckily I didn't get a mouth full over water, unlike a few others did based on their conversations. Another up and down the hills run and we hit the water station which was nice as I got to fill up my water bottle, we then hit the Log Jammin' which was a bit slippery so I had to take extra care getting over the logs. We then came upon the Dirty Ballerina and I paused on each bit of ground as I didn't think I would make it across each one at a jog, though there were a few who did.

I seemed to have a good pace as I was managing to pass a few people but then there was a bottle neck at the Human Gecko, which took a good ten minutes to get over, with a few cheers as people dropped into the water. A long a dusty track lead us nicely to the infamous Arctic Enema, the water was nicely bracing after the heat, I've now given myself over to the knowledge that it will be cold but to simply just duck under the water and feel for the other side, so I don't crack my head like someone did during the event in May. After very quickly exiting the water, everyone seemed to have the same shocked look on their faces, as we headed on.

We ended up back near the main area for the event and had Kiss of Mud to do again, this time we were crawling under tanks, which was a little different, and then straight into Boa Constrictor, which was easy to slide down but as usual the crawl back up the other side was difficult due to the pipe being slippery and a confined, though I had some help out of the pipe from another competitor, I ran on to the funky monkey. I dried my hands as best I could on the long grass on the way up to the obstacle and hoped that I would do better than previous attempts but alas, I still managed only one rung before heading for the water, hopefully I'll get this one even if it means building my own version and practising.

There was another long run before we hit the Mud Mile, which wasn't particularly muddy due to the heat, more of a few larges piles of easily climbable dirt, which still got tiny stones in my shoes. Then a quick run onto, Hold your wood, which was pretty easy and I managed to even pass a couple of other competitors, it seems to get easier with each event I take part in.

A short run lead onto Fire Walker, which due to the heat of the day, meant the water level was too low to safely jump over the fire into the pool but I walked round the back and jumped into the pool, just to say that I'd done every obstacle.A long and winding run lead on to Island Hopping which I was determined I would make across, though again, I sadly fell after the first pad, I really enjoy this one but wish I could keep my balance. Then straight into Trench Warfare, which had a load of small stones, which were really painful on the knees but the roof was high enough to get through without crawling.

Another short run and we hit Electric Eel, I got down low and managed to get almost all the way across without being zapped, until near the end, when I caught a shock that pushed me to the ground and managed to send a huge pain through my jaw, which accompanied the one from slamming my chest to the ground, I think I'd have preferred the few smaller snaps that I got from the London North event.A long run lead onto the Hero Walls, which were an absolute dream this time, I barely stopped to get over, though sadly, I managed to hit a button on my watch which cancelled the stop watch, though I made note of the time I started so it wasn't all bad, just slightly annoying.

Then we hit the Hero Carry, which I partnered up with a guy who did a sort of fireman's lift but his shoulder was really digging into the top of my left leg, so I got him to put me down, I then carried him for a bit and we walked and chatted for a bit, he mentioned that his brother had taken part in the May event and that he'd signed up whilst drunk on new years eve and had only decided the night before to take part, it was also his first run in eighteen months and that he'd broken his knee when taking part in the London marathon, I thought he was a bit bit made doing this kind of event as his first but wished him all the best before running on.

We had a lovely run through a heavily wooded area past a lovely pool, someone quipped "that should be an obstacle", to which I replied "yeah, you beat it if you don't die from poisoning" we exited the woods and headed onwards, in the distance we could see the finish area, the path took us in a long winding curve until we hit Everest, I had to take a short pause to catch my breath and get my strength up, so I could get up and over and I managed it in one attempt, without too much trouble getting over the top, I waited to help other people but they all seemed to be managed to get up and over really easily, I put it down to the surface being dry and the course not being that muddy.

I short run where we climbed over the Boa Constructor and could shout down to those in the pool of water below and it was onto Electroshock Therapy, I knew what was coming and went through with a few people and got knocked to my knee at the last part, so didn't end up face planting in the mud. I noticed my course time was around two hours and thirty minutes, which was a good two hours better than my first attempt and an hour and a quarter better than my second, so I was really pleased.

I got changed and headed for the taxis to the station, where one driver wanted to charge £50 for the journey back as he wanted to include the dead miles from the station to the event parking area, which isn't how it works matey, luckily, I got in with three young lads and we split a £20 fare, which was much more reasonable. I had a huge amount of time before my train so I got a comfortable seat and tried not to fall asleep, though thanks to the platform idiot, I almost missed my train as he had me on the wrong platform, once I'd ran through the tunnel I made it onto the train and had a long a tiring journey home, where I looked forward to the next event.