Friday, 27 November 2015

Tough Mudder 21 - South West

Up nice and early with a bit of a thirst, drinking honey Jack Daniels the night before taking part in Tough Mudder isn't something I would recommend, I'm glad I decided to stop when I did, or I might not have been able to get two laps done.
Paul & Sharon had a cooking tent and were making bacon and egg sandwiches, which I declined at first but decided I would partake. Some proper food before an event is always a good idea, after the sandwich I then thought the cereal I'd brought would be a good idea, which it wasn't as it left me with a ball of food in my stomach, which wasn't too uncomfortable but still not pleasant.
I'd decided to do two laps, as Cirencester had a reputation for being reasonably flat, so I ended up running with John, Chris, Sharon, Paul, Chloe, Neil and Dan. We met up with Martyn and Paul inside the entrance and headed for the warm up area.
Once suitably warmed up and the safety talk done we headed off. It was supposed to be a day featuring heavy downpours and thunderstorms but was really warm as we were running, normally I'll be quite warm when first starting off and be glad when reaching Arctic Enema but this was different, Chloé had friends spectating and taking photos, so I ended up leaving the compression top with them just before I slid into the water which was no different to wearing it.
The day just kept getting hotter which meant a lot of the muddier obstacles weren't that muddy but swings and roundabouts. Hero walls were dangerously slippery, as they can sometimes be. As I'd ditched the pound land cycling gloves I thought I would try using at the start line I had no gloves on, which combined with the dry day meant for the first time this year I made it all the way across, the bars were uncomfortable on the hands but I was so elated to finally make it across.  As I'd decided to donate my adidas trail shoes, which had developed large holes in the top mesh, I was wearing some old running shoes which made liberator a bit hairy on the climb up, with the foothold lats being a bit slippery, I don't enjoy heights at the best of times but the idea of falling from a high obstacle isn't pleasant. As I only had my friends of the filth vest top on, my nipples were starting to rub a little so I stopped at a medic to get something to help, which resulted in an elastoplast covered with medical tape, which really helped. We were making great time approaching skidmarked when we were caught up with by Stuart and Emily, who were in the wave just after us, Stuart went on ahead to meet up with the afternoon group.
They had changed king of swingers for walk the plank, which was a combination of lots of stone in the ground and the cost of water being a lot more expensive. I used to like the physically demanding climb up to the platform for walk the plank so the ladder doesn't have the same physicality of the old version.
Everyone who went for Everest made it up first time which meant I couldn't be the only one not to, so I went for it and I was up, which was great, we had to leave Martyn and Paul behind as I needed to get back for a 12 o'clock start, I skipped electroshock, which I should do at least once this year. The others were getting their headbands for being legionnaires but I decided to wait until the end of the second lap for mine. I hurried back to the tent to make a phone call home and get some food into me.
It turns out I didn't need the food as I was still quite full from the breakfast I'd had, so I made the call and then hurried back to the main arena, I met Chris who was up for another lap and he headed back to dump his finish lap swag, I missed the 12:20 start wave so waited for the 12:40 wave when Stuart came running up with Lexy, Eli and Thomás, seems there had been a bit of miscommunication and Stuart was waiting and had been looking for me, Chris turned up and we waited in the warm up area again. Whilst everyone was jumping up and down, Stuart, Chris and I were doing stretches and generally relaxing before running, Bobby recognised us from the morning waves and asked how many events we were on for adding in "two laps people, on their 2nd lap" which is always nice to get that side eye, are you serious from the first timers.
No Gil for this event but I think it was Charlie who was doing the start line talk is pretty good, we headed off and it was even warmer than the morning but as it was midday, this isn't surprising.  As I has a serious issue with the second lap at the Midlands event I expected it to be an issue this time but it wasn't, which I was pleasantly surprised at. We were making good time until we hit mud mile which was so much muddier than the morning and due to the heat Stuart developed cramp in his right calf and thigh muscles which I've never had and it looked uncomfortable, I'd have said painful but Stuart is a bit of a machine and has a high tolerance for pain. He said to leave him and he would catch up which turned out to be at the end of mud mile.
We headed on, running and walking the course, hero walls being even more slippery. I was expecting to fall into the water at funky monkey but I actually managed to get all the way over again with a look of total fear on my face as I clambered down the second part, the first time I made it across my pectorals felt like they'd been stretched out, this time it felt like someone had pulled my shoulders from the sockets, luckily that feeling didn't last. Eli was so close to getting across that she has a foot in the platform and ended up in the water, which still counts as making it across in my book.
John caught us up as we were approaching liberator, then as we were waiting at liberator my shoulders felt very warm and I realised that I'd burned again and that I should have worn the sun cream I'd brought with me, such a beginner mistake. We continued on and got through the finish to a well deserved rest and many hugs and photos.
Approximately 3 hours 10 minutes for the first lap and 4 hours for the second, with an incredibly warm 26° day helping me on funky monkey.