Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Captain Holly Takes on Tough Mudder, Again!

Need a band-aid for your boo boo?
Back in May, Captain Holly toughed out a chilly, hypothermia enducing Tough Mudder event at Mount Snow. He enjoyed it so much he decided to tackle it again - in the high heat of July. Haulin' labbit a$$ back to Mount Snow, he brought his medic skills to the slopes, ensuring his fellow mudders would make it through the 10-12"ish" miles and 25 military obstacles without any broken bones or excessive blood loss (minor blood loss is acceptable. HTFU!).

Just look at these Mudder n00bs with no idea what they're in for as they pass the start gates and pass the reminder that they've signed a "Death Waiver". Hoo-rah! Captain Holly's been through this course before. Although a few obstacles change (obviously the ice and snow events can't happen in July, and the fire may be tamed because it's been dry in Vermont) he knows what it takes to finish, so he'll stop at a few obstacles to watch over his Mudders.

Most tunnels at Tough Mudder won't have this much light. KEEP MOVING.
A lot of obstacles naturally require strength and stamina. Running up and down ski resort terrain is no easy feat. Then you throw in the 9' - 12' walls, the heavy cargo nets to crawl under, cold bodies of water to cross over while your body dangles across a wire or monkey bars (that fiendishly have rungs that are randomly greased with butter) and you've got a tough physical challenge. But some challenges are mental. Like endless miles of mud and the sick, trigger happy teenagers blasting the snow machines at you, or small, dark, confined tunnels. It's in these small, dark spaces that labbits feel comfortable, but that big 220 lb muscle bound hulk might feel claustrophobic and a wee afraid of the dark. Who knows what lurks in the tunnels? Captain Holly's advice is to keep moving.

You never know what's in those tunnels. Move, or face labbit wrath!
Many tunnels won't let you see much at all. There's mud, cold water, twists and turns, and you can't see out the other side. Then there's this nastiness:

It's a new obstacle, called "Dark Lightning". Note the High Voltage signs. Captain Holly won't give too much away, that would take the fun out of it. But be prepared for electric wires. Tough Mudders LOVES electric wires. All you hear from outside this obstacle is the sound of thunder, and the screams of those inside. Tough Mudder likes to mess with your mind...your mind, body, and spirit.

And so, Captain Holly encourages all sorts of childish shenanigans to keep those spirits high. Check out this Mudder, who thinks his teammate needs a rude welcoming outside the underground obstacle he's just completed. The emerging Mudder kept his head down and focused on getting clear of the person behind him, so lucky for him, he avoided the prank.

Here's a typical Tough Mudder obstacle: you've been running uphill. You've just been hosed down by cold water (which is kinda nice in July, actually) and now you're heavy and wet and you've still gotta slog uphill, but you've got to do it through two fields of tired. This obstacle is called, "Tired Yet?" hyuk, hyuk, groan.

Cargo nets. Classic Tough Mudder. Up and over, then get down on the ground, and hold that spider's web taut for the next Mudder. That's how you do.

Captain Holly makes sure his Mudder-mates don't get all bunched up in the barb wire. (Have you noticed how all these photos of Holly are of his left side? He must favor his left side.)

Remember, there's no quit in here! Help that Mudder in the green shorts up this half pipe! That's the spirit of Tough Mudder.

Captain Holly had a fantastic time at Tough Mudder New England #2. He encourages everyone who's done a Tough Mudder to return and cheer on the next round of Mudders. Better yet, cheer them on while you're volunteering. These events don't happen without the help of many volunteers. So show up, help out, and cheer on! HOO RAH!

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