In part 3, we pick up right where I left off in Part 2, after just conquering Everest!
Swamp Stomp/Log Bog Jog
After leaving Everest behind, we headed into the forest again for a short run before coming across some pretty serious mud pits. Swamp Stomp wasn't necessarily one giant swamp to traverse through, it was more like a series of mud obstacles. Some mud pits were shallow enough to get through easily, but there were a couple of pits that had you up to your armpits, wading through mud.
I would like to point out that these were not filled with muddy water, but thick, sloppy, mud! As one Mudder in front of me remarked, "You could take a diarrhea in here and nobody would notice..."
After exiting the forest, now that I was covered in mud, I came to my absolute least favorite obstacle at Tough Mudder; Electric Eel. I had commented after completing Tough Mudder Toronto at how much I hated Electric Eel when compared to Electroshock Therapy. I find that at least with Electroshock Therapy, you can run faster to get out of the "live" field as quick as you can. With Electric Eel, you have to crawl through a field of live wires, so moving through it quickly doesn't exactly work.
To be honest, I am not too sure what Tough Mudder was aiming to accomplish with this obstacle. It was essentially Berlin Walls 1, but the walls themselves were tilted on about a 20 degree angle towards you. I guess they figured that if the walls themselves were slanted, then they would be harder to get leverage to get yourself up and over, but I really did not see many people struggling with this one at all. Considering the skill level and athleticism of the field of participants, everyone seemed to be clearing this one with little to no problem at all.
If, for some reason, someone could not clear this obstacle, they had a penalty Arctic Enema on hand as well.
After Hangin Brain and a very short run, I came up to Island Hoppin. I remember seeing this obstacle in the 2011 WTM video, so I knew what to expect with this one. There are a series of floating platforms that you must jump from one to the next to make your way across. The water here was shallow, so we were informed that if we fell off any of the platforms, we must get back on and continue from there, there was no option to swim to the end of the obstacle.
After Island Hoppin and then a quick jaunt around the lake, it was time to go swimming. Pirate's Booty had us start out with a swim that was about 200m (in my estimation). At the end of the swim, I then had to scale about a 30 foot high cargo net. The lake was very cold, so by the time I was climbing the cargo net, my hands and feet were pretty much numb. It made for an interesting climb to say the least!
After I was up and over the cargo net, there was another very short run before getting back in the water. This time the swim across the lake was about half the distance as compared to Pirate's Booty, but it was probably worse due to the fact that we had go completely under 3 separate barrels to reach the other side. If I wasn't cold before, I certainly was now!
Balls to the Wall
After exiting the water, it was time to head on over to Balls to the Wall. This is a new obstacle, or least new to me. You basically have to use a rope and only 2 ledges to climb up and over a wooden wall. The picture below shows the backside of the obstacle.
This is where things started to get interesting for me. I am not sure why or how it started, but trying to jump my feet up to the first ledge on Balls to the Wall caused my calves to both seize up on me like nobody's business. I have a feeling I was dehydrated from being a bit overheated in my wetsuit, so I really started to struggle at this point. I collected myself and was able to get up and over the wall, but was definitely starting to hurt!
Right after Balls to the Wall came Drag King. Here, there were pairs of tires tied together. You needed to grab a rope and drag the tires about 200m in one direction, then turn around and drag them all the way back. Due to the heat being generated in my wetsuit, I hated this obstacle far more than I probably should've.
Competitors were trying many different techniques at this point just to get those damn tires down and then back up the track.
Once I got those damn tires back up the track, I headed on a short run over to Mud Mile. A perfect time to get muddy and wet again! Mud Mile at World's Toughest Mudder was definitely taken up a notch compared to what I experienced at Tough Mudder Toronto. There must have been 15 mounds and valleys to climb up, over, and through. Not only that, but each trench had muddy water that came up to chest level.
It was cold, it was muddy, it was difficult to get through...but I have to admit that it was pretty awesome!
Berlin Walls 2
Upon exiting Mud Mile, there was a very short run before coming up to Berlin Walls 2. At the Tough Mudder Toronto event, I struggled to get over the second set of walls simply due to the fact that they were placed so close to the end of the course. I struggled, but made it. Afterwards, I had no doubt in my mind that they were probably the toughest obstacle on the course.
World's Toughest Mudder was no exception. After experiencing some pretty bad calf cramping at Balls to the Wall, I attempted to have a fellow Mudder give me a boost. I managed to get up and grab the top of the wall but just could not muster any jump to get myself up, my calves were toast! I was then forced to take the penalty obstacle - Arctic Enema. Upon exiting the Arctic Enema, I came to the realization that this really was no worse than swimming through a New Jersey lake in November anyways, so ended up opting for this penalty obstacle my second lap as well.
Last but certainly not least (because Tough Mudder always like to leave this bad-boy for the end) was Electroshock Therapy. Not much else to be said about this one that hasn't already been said before.
Quote of the day:
"If we never felt like a failure, perhaps we have failed to define the meaning of success."
~ Anton Suharyanto
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