Tough Mudder: the Redemption

I’m not dead. I’m sure none of you were all that worried. Blog got abandoned because of:

a) busy at a work

b) busy at home

c) plain old bloggers’ block. I had things to post about but just didn’t have the oomph to write them.


So more than a week after the event, here is my Tough Mudder – Poconos PA recap.


I had SOOOO much fun. This Tough Mudder absolutely and totally made up for 2012’s fiasco of a Mudder.

First things first, parking was all on-site at the Pocono Raceway. There would be none of that bullshit parking 45 minutes away and being at the mercy of shitty shuttle buses. Even so, I was paranoid that I’d end up parking somewhere between New Jersey and oblivion, so I splurged for my carpool and bought the Premium Parking Pass for $20 extra. (General Parking was $10)

This is where we parked:

See the pretty orange star? That's where our car was.

See the pretty orange star? That’s where our car was.

Freaking. Awesome. A quick walk through the tunnel and we were there.

Registration went quickly and bag check, though I didn’t use it, was also quick and painless as far as I could tell from the teammates that did. The team consisted of me and Jay, Phil (who we ran the Vermont Beast with last year,) his girlfriend Lana (who consoled me when I DNFd the aforementioned Beast,) and Jordan (Jay’s rock climbing buddy because lord knows I won’t dangle from a harness 250 feet in the air above rocky death rocks.)

Team Misfits!

We had a 9:40 start time, but I’m pretty sure we may have inadvertently started in the first wave at 9:20. Oops.

Here are the obstacles that popped up in the following 11.6 miles of switchbacks over the raceway and surrounding areas:

Kiss of Mud – Tough Mudder’s barbed wire crawl.  I’m pretty confident that they took the water from Arctic Enema to make that mud. It was frigid and all of our hands were numb and useless by the time we got out of the crawl.

Dirty Ballerina – We had to leap over trenches. My stubby little non-ballet dancer legs made it over some. I jumped into a lot of those trenches though.

Aren’t I so darned graceful?

Glory Blades – These are those backward slanting walls that I despise love ever so much. Team work got my big butt over and back down.

Bale Bonds – Hay bales. No biggie.

Rubbernecking – Carrying a tire for a good chunk of distance. Lana and I wore them around our waists like vulcanized tutus. We were totes adorbz as the young folks might say.

Pole Dancer – Whoever designed this obstacle never suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome or other arm/wrist related ailments. My first skipped obstacle of the day.

Jay arm-walking his way across the bars.

Warrior Carry – We had an odd number of teammates, but everyone had to carry someone and/or be carried, so I took one for the team and allowed Jay and Jordan to carry me together. It was tough work being carried like the Princess of Sheba, but you do what you have to. Unfortunately, we did not get a picture of this with our camera, and I sure as hell refuse to buy the overpriced photos from the photographer who didn’t even get the shot of me waving like the Queen of England. The photo he did get may have looked something like this:

Berlin Walls – Friggin’ high ass walls. Even on Jay’s shoulders with full permission to step on his head, I couldn’t get over these damned things.

Arctic Enema – Although this year’s was half the distance of 2012’s and there was only 1 wall to go under, I swear to all things unholy that it was at least 10 degrees colder. Even the camera was too cold to function.

Lana, Phil, and me emerging from the ice bath.

Tired Yet? – Running through the tires, apparently in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Lumberjacked – Climbing over logs.

Prairie Dog – Sliding down a tube into mucky water. Or not so much sliding, but scooting down on my butt because there was enough of an incline.

Jordan as a prairie dog

Log Jammin’ – Climbing over AND under logs. Zero points for creativity, guys.

Devil’s Beard – Stretchy cargo nets on the ground. I think it was supposed to get tighter as you went through? I dunno. It was kind of a waste.

Balls to the Wall – Climbing up a wall while climbing a rope. I attempted, then skipped.Mud Mile – Not nearly as long as 2012, but definitely fun. And cold.

Human Pyramid – I sincerely wish that we got photos of this, but we didn’t. There’s a really big, slightly slanted wall. You and your teammates and random strangers have to use your bodies as human ladders to get up the darned thing. I climbed up Jay and Jordan (sorry for the big old X-Talon nubs to the shoulder blade, man) and then dudes at the top hauled my butt up to the top. Once at the top, I turned around, latched on to someone’s feet while he lowered himself down the wall to grab the next person. We more or less made a ladder of people to climb and then pulled the human ladder back up. It was awesome (and awkward.)

Twinkle Toes – A simple balance beam. I can do those. I CAN’T do those while some jackass is JUMPING UP AND DOWN like a petulant toddler on the platform. I may have yelled at him/her like I was ordering a mafia hit. Walk the Plank – Been there. Done that. Did not really feel the need to do it again and have to warm back up. Have I mentioned that the water was cold? Skipped it.

Funky Monkey – Monkey bars. Been there. Can’t do that. Skipped it.

Haha Ditch – Um… seriously just a big old trench.

Everest – The signature Tough Mudder obstacle. A greased up half pipe. I didn’t make it last time because I couldn’t run to get up there. This time I ran and Jay and Random Stranger #76 grabbed on to my arms. I almost slipped and #76 almost let go, but Jay held on and yanked me up the wall. Hard. My arm thwacked against the edge of the wall. It started bruising immediately. So worth it.


This was 5 days after the Mudder.

Then came the Legionnaires’ Loop, just for veteran Mudders. We had 4 extra obstacles: giant tire carry/drag/roll, a mystery electroshock thing that we walked around cuz it looked dumb, some short walls, and then Vesuvius- a super-steep water slide that shot you through flames. Sounds neat, right? Long line and I didn’t really feel like having a flaming wedgie for the finish line photos. Skipped it.

Then we met back up with our newbie teammates for a nice little stroll through Electroshock Therapy. Yay Lana for overcoming your fears and kicking its ASS Spartan Chick style! Yay for me faceplanting into the mud at the very end of the wires!

My eyes were probably the only face-bit not filled with mud.

We all got orange headbands. As part of the new Mudder Legion program, Phil and I got a green headband for completing our second Mudder and Jay got a pretty blue one for completing his third. We finished in just about 3 1/2 hours which made us all very happy and gave us plenty of time to enjoy the festivities that we missed out on previously. OK so mostly we just drank beer and ate food, but after a fun- and mud-filled morning like that, that’s all we wanted.