*Editor's Note: Our friend Paul Shippey (second on right above) spent the weekend getting muddy in Beaver Creek, Colorado and filed this report. As you may recall last year he took on the gruelling Gore-tex TransRockies seven day run in the Colorado Mountains. You can read all about that epic adventure run HERE and you can watch the video from day one below.
It’s been 28 years since I last participated in boot camp. Back then in 1983 I was a new recruit in the South African army and had no choice but to suffer through it. This past Sunday, at the tender of age 46, I voluntarily participated in Tough Mudder Colorado - a modern day, special-forces designed obstacle course.
Hard to believe I volunteered to run 10 miles over a mountain, and tackle obstacles ranging from :- crawling on your belly through 34 degree watery mud pits, clambering over 12ft walls, carrying logs for half-a mile and then subjecting oneself to multiple 10,000 volt shocks within sight of the finish. Oh, and add to this crazy 20-obstacle concoction, 4,250ft of vertical ascent up topping out at an energy-sapping 11,500ft.
Time does not matter! In fact the race organizers almost frown upon those pursuing a time. Unless you are one of the five percent of the field trying to qualify for the Tough Mudder 24-hr grand finale in December - to determine the world’s toughest mudder.
So the solo, elitist style athletes are frowned upon, and no times are posted at the end of the event. It’s all about camaraderie and helping fellow Tough Mudders negotiate the ‘hell’ that lies before them up and down the gnarly ski slopes of the Beaver Creek resort.
I can honestly say that I have not had this much fun in race in as long as I can remember. I was grinning from mud-caked ear to ear the entire event along with my four friends who informally teamed up to tackle the beast. It was a blast from start to finish.
So, if you need a break from the stiff competitive atmosphere of triathlon or marathon running and want to join some buddies in a unique suffer fest, this is the event for you. It will give you a taste of what it’s like to tackle a special-forces course along with the camaraderie and spirit needed to be a warrior. You may lose some skin along the way, but I guarantee you will have FUN!