I have successfully finished the Philadelphia Tough Mudder 2013! Not only did I finish, I completed every obstacle! My only problem was the distance / terrain – it was just way too rough and my knees failed me very early on which lead me to wind up walking more than half the course in incredible pain.
But I completed the course!!
I will say, honestly, I don’t think I ever would want to do it again. Maybe in a couple of years to see how much better I can do. Looking back, having finished/completed the course, there’s just no reason other than for a better completion time.
However, it does feel like a great accomplishment and I am extremely proud of myself that I signed up and finished and did as well as I feel I did. The hardest part of the course truly is the distance/running/terrain. There was pretty much never any flat terrain – it was always on a slant, a hard surface filled with rocks and rubble, constantly up and down very steep hills. The obstacles themselves were very varied but for the most part pretty easy. A lot were just mind over matter: jumping into 30 degree ice water, jumping off a 15 feet high ledge into brown water, crawling through a pitch black underground tunnel, crawling down a dark tube into water that you had to fully submerge into to come out the other side (scariest one for me), etc. Some of the obstacles very much required teamwork: the large wooden walls, Everest (think running up a large skate park half-pipe), and some required plain old strength: monkey bars, wall climbs, log carries, rope climb, etc.
The camaraderie of the whole event was very refreshing! Even if you ran this thing alone, you never really would feel alone, especially at the obstacles.
Its hard to forget why they host these runs to begin with – to help support the Wounded Warrior program. During the start of our event, a team of people were running for a fallen police officer. We started with a very moving moment of silence, followed by an even more moving Bagpipe session, and closed out with the national anthem. That was all more than enough to get you fired up for the event!
It took us 4 hours and 20 minutes to finish, and that was most certainly on account of my walking most of the event (although I won’t be too hard on myself as by halfway half of my team was pretty much walking as well because of pain). There were numerous times during the event where people needed medical attention, and a few times people were carted away because they simply couldn’t finish.
I can honestly say that there would have been no way in hell I would have been able to finish the course, and certainly not pass every obstacle, if it wasn’t for my doing Crossfit for the past 9 months!