Thursday, June 23, 2011

Warrior Dash, Tough Mudder and Why I May Not Live Through the Year

My wife, myself and some of our friends ran the Warrior Dash this past Saturday, and Wednesday was the first day I didn’t limp up the stairwell at work while fighting back tears. I spent the first half of this week walking in such an awkward manner that I was waiting for someone in my department to throw a frozen bag of peas on my desk and ask how my vasectomy went.

If you don't know what Warrior Dash is, good for you. Stop reading this blog post now and send me an e-mail thanking me for saving you about $200, your pride and full use of your legs for one additional week this year. For those of you with a mild disregard for your life, Warrior Dash is a 3.4 mile run through a hilly, muddy cow pasture littered with about 12 obstacles: climbing walls, cargo nets, guys wearing Speedo shorts two sizes too small, fire pits, mud pits and Marky Mark lookalikes walking the course because they forgot that getting oxygen to all those muscles is an obstacle in and of itself. When we finished, we limped over to the beer tent and then went down to watch everyone else who wished they were dead wade through the mud pit and cross the finish line, including a guy dressed like the Dirt Cheap Chicken. In spite of the pain, it was a pretty fun weekend. But being manly men, we have to keep going one step further until we’re up to our eyeballs in quicksand before we think about tapping the brakes.
Copyright 2014, Travis Ross (Simple Man's Survival Guide)
How to Train for Tough Mudder
In the days leading up to the race, my buddies mentioned that if things went well at Warrior Dash we should look into doing Tough Mudder, which is essentially Warrior Dash on speed. For those of you with a total disregard for your life, Tough Mudder is a 12-mile mud course with about 25 obstacles that was supposedly dreamed up by members of the British Special Forces. The obstacles are a bit more intense than Warrior Dash, and the final obstacle is a 20-yard jaunt through dangling electrical wires charged with 10,000 volts. I don't know exactly how to quantify that much electricity going through your body, but I don't think it would tickle, and if you have a pacemaker or a metal plate in your head and Tough Mudder is on your bucket list, I'd make it the last thing you do. Because nothing says "Congratulations, you've almost made it through an already-evil, 12 mile run that you paid to take part in" like making someone sit in an electric chair 10 feet before the finish line. I'm guessing the photos of people convulsing their way across the finish line aren't hot sellers. I could see my wife 20 years from now showing our daughter that picture saying, "...and the doctors think this is one of the contributing factors that led to the development of Daddy Dumb Things' stuttering problem, and why he randomly wets himself every time he uses the letter 'b.'" Were shock collars too expensive? You could have everyone wear one and then draw random numbers to see who gets zapped every couple of minutes. Take it to the next level and give BINGO cards out to spectators. Not only could B3 give someone the diagonal BINGO they were looking for, it could also bring the prick who picked on him in high school crumpling to his knees. Try telling me that's not a wee bit satisfying and wouldn't sell spectator tickets. And I’m sorry, but the only way the Brits had a hand in this is if they were in a bar with a bunch of drunk Americans and told the Americans that this is what their training course looked like in the interest of seeing if they were stupid enough to do it. With hundreds of thousands of people running the Tough Mudder this year, we know who won that one. The highlight videos on the website that are supposed to motivate you to sign up show an unconscious guy being carried off on a stretcher, another guy screaming in pain as his buddies carry him off the course and another guy laying in the fetal position looking like he’s being prepped for a neck brace. If I wanted to ensure I could not have any more children, I’d just have the vasectomy; it’s probably cheaper and I don't have to run 12 miles to make it happen.

And how do you train for something like Tough Mudder? I figure I could attach a remote control leg to the front of a treadmill and program it to kick randomly. Then I'd douse myself in water, hook some jumper cables up to my car and then hook the other end of the jumper cables to my nipples. I'd start running and after a few minutes I'd have my wife start the car. If I live through more than five seconds of that without convulsing on the floor in a pile of my own excrement, I'll have to deal with the random shots to the nuts coming from the robotic leg directly in front of me. I figure after I build myself up to handle about two hours of that at a time, I think I'll be ready for the Tough Mudder.

Because I'm an idiot, I've already committed to doing Tough Mudder in November in Indiana with some friends. Our wives, however, are likely out for the race, but you can probably find them at the finish line with cameras, shirts that say "I'm with stupid" and bags of frozen peas.


  1. HAha! Its definitely a painful fun. But really, I wouldn't love living without some excitement and spice in life through obstacle races like this.

  2. I ache just reading this. My fiance wants to do the Warrior Dash, I'll have to shoot him a link to your recap.

    My mom has a friend who is a recovering alcholic who merely turned her addiction away from alcohol and toward running. She does those insane 100 mile runs now!

    Ever read Ultra Marathon Man by Dean Karnazes? It's fascinating. If you like to read, you should check it out.

  3. Hats off to you mate. I mean that. I feel your pain reading this even though I'm over the Ocean here in Blighty. You write really well and I love reading your posts. Keep going mate. Cheers.

    Ian-Luke, London, UK

  4. And oi you... not all us Brits are drunk, tho we are sometimes nicer when we are....

  5. Ran the half-marathon Tough Mudder last year and the Spartan Race this year. Both challenging in their own ways. What's life without a little bit of pain so that you can enjoy sitting in your air conditioned home afterwards, typing out a blog on a sleep MacBook.... right? :)

  6. This is the unforgetable painful ever happend but as a warrior you are facing too much like that, expected.