Tough Muddered


In October 2013, I foolishly agreed to sign up for ‘probably the toughest obstacle race in the world’.

Tough Mudder. A 12-mile slog across a wooded, hilly, rocky and particularly muddy estate. For many this would be challenging enough, however it isn’t called ‘Tough’ for nothing. The course it is littered with 25 challenging obstacles requiring participants to climb, swim, jump, carry and crawl.

As the event wasn’t until the end of April, this gave me almost 6 months to thoroughly train and prepare myself for what was coming. Countless cold and wet lunch time runs with a few of the mm* team, many evenings spent in the gym and a few pull-ups later and before you know it I was at the start line.

The moment of truth

So here I was, at 7:30am on a cold wet morning in the middle of Culden Faw estate with over 500 other ‘mudders’ staring at the steep hill climb that began our epic adventure. I was part of a team of four and between us we had a mix of anxiety, nerves and adrenalin. As we set off, nothing could stop us. After 3 miles we had already encountered barbed wire, ice water and a 9 foot wall. However we forged on, not holding anything back.

Through sheer determination, team spirit, and courage, we reached the final two obstacles… Everest and Electroshock Therapy. The first was a steep quarter-pipe ramp, greased with oil and mud. After countless attempts, we each got over the hurdle and onto the final challenge: over 50 electrical wires hanging down to run through – what a way to finish! Your body immediately froze at every shock, but nerveless we pushed on through to the FINISH banner in under 3 hours (well within our target time of 4 hours)!


The feeling of crossing that line is one I will remember forever, and I’m not too sure how best to put it in writing. Basically I was buzzing. I was so grateful for having such a strong-willed and fit team to help me through the tough obstacles, and I don’t think I could have achieved it on my own.

A good cause

Tough Mudder 2014 initially only represented a challenge for my mental and physical strength, but along the way I managed to raise over £150 for Help for Heroes, thanks to some very generous sponsors. Having now seen and heard where this money will go, I feel that it is something that really hits home, and I hope to challenge myself in this way many more times in the future.

To anyone mad enough to want to try this: I couldn’t recommend it more highly. You will get all the highs and lows, along with a great feeling of satisfaction and teamwork. So get out there and give it a go!

By Richard Dukes

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