It's been just over a week since Tough Mudder on Mt Snow and I feel like I'm still processing. Part of me wants to go back right now. Mudder was my second OCR (obstacle course race), but a much different experience than my first (last fall we did the Spartan Beast on Killington in VT, my friend and teammate Jen wrote a great post about that here)
This year Tough Mudder New England was 10-ish miles on Mt Snow, snaking all over the mountain with 16(ish?) obstacles to overcome along the way, +3 new obstacles for the Mudder Legion only (those who have completed at least one Mudder prior to showing up to this year's event).
Glory Blades - a series of slanted 8 foot walls, strong teammates definitely come in handy at this one - it definitely helps to get a hand to get over these.
Devils Beard - a long heavy fishing net that you have to walk under. Another great place to have a big team, although when you are short your contribution is minimal.
Mudder Section - a walk through the mud, some downhill and some really slippery, but not an incredibly difficult challenge.
Arctic Enema - When I thought about Mudder, when I planned and trained and maybe even stressed a little, this was one of the two obstacles that truly scared me. A plunge into muddy ice water, no option but to completely submerse yourself to get under the wooded wall/board in the middle. I don't swim, not well anyway, water stresses me out, and I am not one to typically enjoy being cold, at all. I was a bundle of nerves approaching - having to wait 15 minutes or so before we could even jump didn't help matters. This was both a low and a high point for me. Despite my fears I jumped in, my head went under, but I was not able to get under that board I came up short, the cold stole my breath, and I panicked. I heard my teammates yell at the staff to get me out, and they plucked me from the water. It felt like an eternity, watching Jimmy Ray's GoPro video it was really mere seconds, but now I understand how in panic someone can drown in water that is not over their heads (no I was no where near drowning, I was standing up, the water about chest level, but the panic and cold made me irrational). I was ashamed, embarrassed and defeated as I walked around the obstacle, and then I was reminded why my team kicked ass - as I was congratulated for trying and hugged and encouraged by my teammates ("Funny story, you went in"), I was no less shaky, but proud of my effort and happy to have such amazing people to run with.