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Toronto Spring Tough Mudder 2013 - Race Recap

Slow, slow crawl. I make it through without being shocked. It’s either a miracle, or the obstacle is not yet activated. I don’t ask questions, and keep running.6. CLIFFHANGER A hill of slippery mud. Not too bad, but this will be brutal in about an hour or so. Just give it few thousand people. Yay for running early. 7. FIREWALKER

Task? Jump over a trench of fire. A nice surprise is that there is actually a drop on the other side into... you guessed it, water. I wonder how much of an ankle twister this is...8. HOLD YOUR WOOD With a name like that, what’s not to like? The “heavy” logs mentioned on the Tough Mudder website are actually really dry and really light. I run with mine. 9. DIRTY BALLERINA Do not underestimate this obstacle. Jumping over 4 feet mud pits sounds easy enough. However, the key is not to stop, and after five or six of them, you realize that you are absolutely and totaly gassed. Holy moly. I actually need a breath. Bonus - watching other Mudders jump, I realize that they really do look like dirty ballerinas. Big, strong, muscled ballerinas. Awesome. 10. TRENCH WARFARE Crawling through a narrow, dark trench - any claustrophobic’s dream. Last year I broke down crying after completing this one. This year I ask a fellow Mudder to talk me through it. We crawl, and he talks. I can also see a bit of light on the sides. Done. Easy. 11. WALK THE PLANK We jumping from a 15+ foot drop into the water. This obstacle tends to get crowded later in the day as well, however, you have multiple professional divers standing on guard. 12. MUD MILE Instead of slushy mud, this one consists of hills. Up and over. Into the water. Up and over. Into the water. The edges are really crumbly, and there are no foot tracks yet. 13. GREASED LIGHTNING  We are running through snow at this point. I feel totally badass. Ahead - downhill covered in plastic, with running water. This will be slippery. “Should I go head first or feet first?”, I think to myself, stepping on the plastic. “SWOOSH!”, is the sound as I slip and land on my behind. The decision is made for me, and I’m rapidly accelerating towards the bottom, praying that I do not hit anything. “SPLASH!”, the water at the bottom is somewhat unexpected and seems to be even colder than in Arctic Enema. I climb out, cursing. 14. BERLIN WALLS Man. I forgot how tall these are. Need all the help I can get. 15. UNDERWATER TUNNELS Seriously? More water? I waddle through, and pull myself under the bobbing barrels. At least the water is warm.. My legs are starting to cramp up. I rarely cramp up during an event, but the temperature makes a huge difference. “How are you doing?”, calls out one of the EMS workers. “You know... keeping dry”, I mumble. 16. BALLS TO THE WALL Wall rope climb. Easy peasy. 17. WOUNDED WARRIOR CARRY Where are petite women and scrawny guys when you need them? This ends up being one of the tougher obstacles for me, as I carry an 180-lb guy on my back. Thank God for squats. 18. SMOKE CHUTE This one has first appeared as a mystery obstacle at Tri-State Tough Mudder 2012. Climb the ladder, face the narrow chute. Go down feet first. Hope that you don’t hit your head on the way down. Water is waiting for you below.


Another new one for me - we have to crawl into a water-filled trench and swim on our backs with only few inches of breathing room. Essentially, you are moving through a narrow cage filled with water. Given my claustrophobia, this is not my favorite obstacle, but I manage to get through, humming “Eye of the Tiger” to myself.20. BOA CONSTRICTOR Crawling through a tight pipe never creates the same issue as other tight spaces for me, because I can usually see the other side. However, pulling yourself along is a challenge this far into the event. I try not to bend my limbs too much, fearing another cramp. 19. EVEREST Probably the most hated obstacle of the Tough Mudder (apart from Electroshock Therapy).

Couple of guys make it to the top and wait for me, lying on their stomachs. It takes all three of them to drag me over the edge, as I start cramping up at the top. Whew. Now to return the favour... A fellow Mudder sprints up Everest with all his might, and slides down. Once... Twice... “Listen to me!”, I shout from the top. “Do NOT run fast. You need to jog up at a leisurely pace, and reach out.” He nods and follows instructions, and we easily pull him up. He smiles appreciatively. “So THAT’s the secret!”, says another guy. “We gotta listen to the veteran here”. He refers to the three Tough Mudder headbands that I made into armbands.20. ELECTROSHOCK THERAPY Don’t think. Run through. Quickly! “And... we have... the first lady to cross the finish line!!! Represent!”. That’s a first! Spectators cheer. I walk through a bunch of friendly pats on the back, and wide smiles. It’s an awesome feeling. While the initial plan was to attempt three laps, I realized that this was not happening as soon as the wave start times were posted - the last wave started at 12.30pm. Two laps then? After completing two laps back to back at the Toronto Tough Mudder last year, it hardly had the same novelty appeal. It was cold, and was only getting colder. And this was by far the wettest event I have ever done. Splash, dip. Dip, dip, splash. Drip, drip, swim. I couldn't bring myself to do the second lap. Very content with being the first female to finish, I was thinking a warm sweater. Or three. And food. ASAP. Maybe in September... :) See a detailed map of the course here.

Videos of most of the obstacles recorded by one of the fellow Mudders can be found here and here. Signing off, Solo

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