Runners Tell All: Tough Mudder Recap


"Runner's Tell All" is a monthly linkup for runners of all ages, skill levels, and experience hosted by Sunshine to the Square Inch and The Lady Okie. Each month we'll have a different topic, and you can find all the topics listed here. We are accepting two sponsorship spots for each month, who will receive a sidebar ad on both blogs as well as entry links in the giveaway. 100% of your sponsorship money will go directly toward running-related giveaways. Find more information on sponsorship here. We have 2 spots available for November!

Welcome to Runners Tell All! I can't believe we're nearing the end of this linkup. Only two more! Beka and I have had so much fun this year chatting about all things running, and I'm going to miss this next year. Make sure and link up with us for the final prompts!

This month we're talking about most memorable running moments. All my running moments are memorable to me for different reasons, but most recently I ran a Tough Mudder in Dallas, and it was quite a memorable day. In case you don't know, a Tough Mudder is an obstacle course mud run that is 10-12 miles long depending on the course. The runs aren't timed. It's not about speed or exact distance: it's just about finishing.

This has been on my bucket list for a few years now, but they're super expensive. I paid $90, and that was the cheapest price! However, after running in one, I would definitely say my money is put to good use, and TM donates to the Wounded Warrior Project, so it's a good cause too.

I volunteered my brother to run with me because he's a good one to do something like this with. We ran the Dirty 30 together in 2012 and had a blast. He is one of those annoying boys who is super athletic even though he doesn't technically actually work out on a regular basis.

We left for the race early Sunday morning for the hour-long drive, and once we were on the road Daniel realized he forgot his sunglasses. Luckily for him, I keep a backup pair in the car for emergencies such as this. Foxy.

No one came with us to watch because my mom was much too nervous about the thought of us swimming through mud pits to handle actually being there, and no one else was available. That was fine with us. Nothing wrong with a little brother/sister bonding time.

That said, we don't have any spectator pics. All the pictures below of the obstacles and us on the course are courtesy of Tough Mudder. I was super surprised and excited to find out that all our race pictures were free! Courtesy of Under Armour, apparently. I love that brand.

Let's talk obstacles.

I've done the Dirty 30 (recap and pictures here), the Warrior Dash, and now the Tough Mudder. These were by far the best obstacles, most amount of mud, and basically just awesome. There were walls to climb over using rope ladders, hills to run up and down, underground trenches to crawl through, and other fun stuff. PLUS, the 10 miles pretty much looked like this the whole time:
^^^For real. This is an actual picture from our race. Hills for days.

Three obstacles stand out in my mind: 1) Arctic Enema, 2) Muddy Mile, 3) Electroshock Therapy.
^^^ Arctic Enema

Basically it's a giant square box filled with water and tons and tons and tons of ice. The water is seriously so cold. I can't even describe to you how cold it is. You jump in, swim to the middle, duck under the wooden wall that's in the middle of the water, and then climb out the other side. But the water is so cold that it kind of paralyzes you for a second and makes you disoriented. If you think about it, that really can't be safe, but we survived so I guess it's all right.
^^^ This one's the Funky Monkey. It's monkey bars that tilt up and then down. Daniel thought he could be all cool and triple-skip the bars... and he totally fell into the water. Ha! What a loser, right? I, on the other hand, completed the obstacle. Boom.
^^^ My hair totally got stuck on the barbed wire, and it took me a minute or so to untangle myself. Embarrassing. (That's my brother on the left with the pink wristband waiting to give me a hand up.)
^^^I found this picture searching hashtags on Twitter. Some guy took this with his GoPro. How random is that?

So, the Muddy Mile was nuts. As you can see in the picture above, it was just a huge trench area where you climbed in and out of mud pits. When my mom saw this picture, she was like, "Oh my gosh it looks just as horrible as I thought it would be." Sorry, Mom! 

There was no way to get up and over the trenches without a boost, and everyone was helping everyone else. Once I got a boost up to the top of one, I turned around and grabbed the hand of someone behind me to pull them up. I didn't see anyone who wasn't being helpful, and it was fun to feel like you were on a team with the other runners. A lot of spectators were watching this one. 
^^^ Electroshock Therapy

So.... this one hurt. Kind of a lot. It's the last obstacle before the finish, and there's a huge crowd of people watching. You have to run through an area filled with hanging live wires that will shock you if they touch you, which they most definitely did. 

If I were to do another Tough Mudder, I would legitimately be scared of this obstacle. But since this was my first, I was dumb enough to not know what to expect. Ouch. Those things will shock you, and you'll fall to the ground like a limp noodle. It's hilarious when it's happening to someone else.... when it's you, not so much.

When you're watching people run through it, you can hear the "pop" of the wires when they shock someone. Crazy!

Based on the time it's taken me to do 5k obstacle courses, I estimated it would take 2-3 hours to finish the Tough Mudder. If we finished in 2 hours, we were booking it. We ended up finishing in around 2 hours and 30 minutes, so not bad at all.

Overall Tough Mudder thoughts: 

The run is extremely organized from check-in to bag check to starting corrals and post-race beers. You can tell the directors know what they're doing. The obstacles were hard but fun and really varied. There were different kinds of obstacles, which I liked, and the obstacles were also ranging degrees of easy and difficult. There was only one obstacle I couldn't complete.

The finisher's shirts were dri-fit Under Armour brand, so they're really nice. The pictures are free, which if you know anything about races, that's a big deal. They had lots of showers and changing areas for runners to clean up after the race, and they provided energy beans and water at various points along the course and had lots of photographers out. I honestly don't have any complaints, and I felt like my $90 was well spent.

Have I convinced you to do one yet? Anyone else out there done a TM?

P.S. Last week I was featured on OtherMix blog with a little running Q&A. Check it out here if you want!

*On last month's giveaway, I asked you guys if you're right or left handed. Here were the results: only TWO people are left handed. So holler to the lefties! I am left handed too, and we are a rare but awesome breed.

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Runners Tell All Linkup Rules

  1. You MUST leave a comment on the person’s blog who linked up directly before you. This is not a linkup for the sake of linking up. This is a linkup to build community and spread the love and encouragement to your fellow runners! Don't be lame.
  2. Do not share links to unrelated running posts or to your blog’s homepage, or we will have to delete your link. (I've done it before too, so I'm not joking.)
  3. Please link back to either Beka or Amanda in your post so others can come here and join in! Or grab the button below and add it to your post. 
  4. Have fun!

The Girl who Loved to Write said...

What a cool experience to have with your brother. Those wires legitimately sound terrifying!

Miss Nutralicious said...

Confession: I'm on your mom's side when it comes to the Tough Mudder. I guess I'm a wimp, but all of these obstacles make me nervous. However, it sounds like it was very organized and you did get a lot for 90 bucks. Plus, I think it's awesome that you did the whole thing with your brother.

Great (free) pictures!

Meagan said...

I would love to do a Tough Mudder some day! They look like so much fun. My husband was signed up to do one in Frederick, MD a few years ago but he never got to do it. It was a disaster! It's a long story, but if you're interested Google "Tough Mudder Frederick MD" and you'll find articles on what happened.

I did get the opportunity to do a Spartan Race with my sister and her boyfriend this summer. Very similar event. It was a blast and I loved the challenge of the obstacles and the trail running in between. But my sister and I were very beat up afterwards - we had scrapes all down our legs and arms, because the mud was rocky.

I love that last picture of you and your brother! It looks like y'all had a blast :)

Anonymous said...

I'm tempted to run a Tough Mudder now just for the pictures! Well, almost . . . the photography is superb! I especially like the one of you running through the hills. I'd never heard someone name and explain the specific obstacles before, so I appreciate you doing that. Congrats on finishing this crazy race!

Debbie said...

I can understand why you would pick your Tough Mudder to be your most memorable running experience! I've never do one, and don't have a mud race on my bucket list, but if the opportunity presented itself I probably would. I loved your pictures, especially the one with the muddy water droplets splashing up as you crawled through the Electroshock Therapy obstacle!

As always, thanks for the link up!

Kate said...

Dude, those pictures turned out AWESOME. I can't believe they were free!

You have NOT convinced my to do a Tough Mudder though. I think it would be easier if I knew I had someone to complete it WITH me, but I'd be solo. Not happening. Plus, my upper body strength is that of a video game obsessed 7 year old.

Still, you're a freakin' rockstar, and I can totally understand why you were so sore after that race. What a beast!

Tracy said...

These pictures are AMAZING! I can't believe they were free. Seriously, those alone would cost you $90 so I definitely think you got your money's worth for your race fee. I'm still not sure a mud run is something I'd ever want to do but you make it look and and fun!

Charlotte's Frame said...

Tough girl! Looks very impressive the run! :]
Thanks again for wanting to join the interview series! :D

Emily said...

I did the TM in Ohio this year. It was crazy muddy because it was the week after it rained for 5 days straight! I love the pictures from yours!

Victoria said...

I know EVERYONE is doing these things now, but I can't even wrap my mind around actually doing some of the things that it requires!

You are amazing!

Katie said...

these pictures are soooo cool!! i've always wanted to do a race like that!! in eed to find someone to do it with me!

Jenn @ Optimization Actually said...

Oh my goodness. I know these are fun (for crazy, in shape people), but I don't even want to do the regular mud run anymore. The thing that ruined it for me? The ice. Well, and going into a tunnel while in the ice water. I felt like I couldn't breathe and while I wouldn't call it a "panic attack" it was probably in that ballpark. I have lung issues anyway ("exercise induced respiratory ailment" which is basically asthma) but I've rarely experienced anything like that.

All that said, respect for you crazy runners who actually enjoy this sort of thing!

Anonymous said...

That looks like so much fun! I'm glad to hear it was well worth the money too. I might just have to look into one of those soon :)

Rach said...

Oh my goodness, that whole run looks terrifying, haha! I'm pretty sure I wouldn't make it through the Arctic Enema or electric shock thing! Yikes! Kudos to you for sticking it out! Glad you had fun! :)

Brittany said...

You're a total rock star. I can't even imagine trying to do this. Electric shock therapy? No, thanks. I couldn't even run through all of those hills! Awesome pictures, though!

Unknown said...

You are such a boss! You totally killed it! My brother did a Tough Mudder. He said the arctic plunge was the worst and totally paralyzing. You rock! Also, love all the pictures!

Kayla MKOY said...

This looks amazing!!!! Other than being freaking shocked by wires! OW! Those are the sweetest race pics ever!!!

Sarah said...

You are a brave soul! As much as I love running, I HATE getting dirty.

Kerry @ Till Then Smile Often said...

Aside from the electroshock that looks like a lot of fun! I would totally do one though I would probably no complete as many of the obstacles.

Al@PolkaDotsandPaisley said...

I may have totally stretched the topic on this one to make it work for me. Oh well. I think you're crazy for running a Tough Mudder but I'm glad you had a good time. The thought of paying to get shocked just doesn't seem like my thing.

Sarah @ Sometimes Photojenik said...

Alright just a couple things... First off- free pictures- so awesome! Secondly I've always been afraid of doing a TM because of the shock obstacle course... Your opinion definitely didn't help lol. What happens if you can't do an obstacle? Also... Your brother looks like your twin almost... Especially in the sunglasses that I'm sure he was dying to keep :p I'm way impressed with you and loved all the pictures that made you look totally BA! And that's so cool everyone was helping each other through those mud trenches- that's what it's all about. Maybe I'll get brave enough to do one, if anything for the cool pictures and dri fit t shirt haha

Beka @ Sunshine to the Square Inch said...

1. I'm glad you put my tank top to good use!
2. I'm glad they provide showers at the end. I was wondering about that with so much mud.
3. Free Pictures! Amazing! It's ridiculous how much those normally cost.
4. Can you skip an obstacle? Like I think I'd skip the shocking one.

I think a tough mudder would be fun but I'm a bit skeptical just because someone died at one. I have talked to a friend that completed it and she explained what happened and how they have changed and made it safer.

I'm glad you got to check this off your bucket list. Super fun!

Bethany Carson said...

Oh wow! Enjoyed the photos...that really looks like something else! I'm not sure I'd like to get that muddy (or could endure that long) but it looks fun. Glad you survived! *grin*

Andrea H. said...

Super fun that the photos were free! Looks super messy, but glad you and your brother enjoyed it!! I've never been to interested in these types of races, but everyone seems to love them!

Allison said...

These pictures are so intense! I love them! You actually did convince me to do a Tough Mudder. I'll add it to my handy-dandy race bucket list!

The electric shock obstacle seriously does sound scary though. Like who came up with that? And confession: linking up for this totally slipped my mind this month . . .I'll be tarday to the party tomorrow though!

Kiki said...

Oh man, I give you MAJOR props for running a Tough Mudder! I've seen those around and definitely could not do that (especially the last part with the shocks, let alone the fact that it's a long run with tons of other obstacles, too!). :)

Unknown said...

These pictures are AWESOME! And free? Wow!
I was as terrified as your mother while watching them though (and reading the obstacles' descriptions). That electric shock one? Yeah, NOPE. I will never be as brave as you, Amanda. No Tough Mudder for me. Yet. :)

The Lady Okie said...

Yes! You can definitely skip any obstacles you don't want to complete or can't complete. Also, someone did die at one, which is really sad. But then again, people die running races all the time too.

Caroline @ In Due Time said...

so fun! I totally want to do this!!! I agree - pretty rare to find a race with free pictures and a good dri-fit shirt!!! Glad to hear it was organized!

Ali said...

Oh my goodness. You've definitely convinced me NOT to do a Tough Mudder! It looks like you had tons of fun, and I love that your brother was there with you. But this is so not my thing! I don't like getting dirty. I barely like sweating! Also, you look like you killed the monkey bar thing - must be all that hard work doing pull-ups!

Robyn B said...

oh my gosh that looks awesome! you are a beast!

Meg Tuttle said...

this post is fun and encouraging... I had a baby 8 weeks ago and it has been SO TOUGH getting back into running.

Anonymous said...

The electric shock part - terrifying. I'm so glad that you and your brother had fun and you rocked it!! 2.5 hours? That's great!


Cece @Mahogany Drive said...

WOW! Amazing. You are so awesome to have completed that. Unfortunately, I do know about the shock part of it. I watched a TV show about 3 people training to run it and saw them go through it. It's probably a good thing you didn't know. I would totally consider going for it but I simply can't handle the shock part. I know they want it to be tough and all but I really don't think they should have that!! I mean, can't it be dangerous? Anyway-awesome accomplishment!!!

Holly said...

Ok, this just looks nuts!!! I'm loving the pictures, tho. And I'm not sure if you've convinced me to do a tough mudder just yet ;) I love that you did this with your brother--what a great bonding experience!!

Dawn said...

I love the photos! It really captures the intensity of the race. I'm not sure I can handle the Arctic Enema. I live by the Arctic Ocean, and have skipped the Polar Plunge because I don't like cold water! Maybe one day...

Unknown said...

Free pictures! That's the best!

A tough mudder is definitely on my bucket list, but I just don't know about the electric part. If it drops you when you first go, how do you get all the way through the obstacle?

The Lady Okie said...

Well, good question. You just get back up! haha. And... kind of crawl your way through. I didn't see anyone just give up in the middle of it. It's not super long, so you can make it. Or, if you really don't want to do it, there's an option to walk around it.