Team Arnott agreed to do Tough Mudder over 6 months ago. Under the influence of alcohol. It was for our favourite charity “The Joshua Wilson Brain Tumour” Charity and it would mean we had to ‘get fit’!
As the day got closer Gill did employ a personal trainer at Lifestyle Fitness in Whitefield. Jasmin was more than happy to help get stamina and fitness levels up and went out of her way to watch the Tough Mudder videos on-line. It’s a shame that Gill’s dedication was not quite as committed as per personal trainer!
As the morning arrived Gill prepared by shaving her legs! A chance of a hospital visit with hairy legs was not an option! Eric had a shower! So, on a sunny September morning at 7 a.m. we set off for Cheshire to meet Paul and Adam Smith from 1 Power in Bury. Great guys much younger and fitter than us! Where did they finish? We’ve still yet to find out. We did catch up at an early wall challenge and they stopped to help us over. So thank you guys.
The layout of the TM village, registration, warm-up and the initial ‘power-talk’ is all run with complete professionalism. Thousands of people (some who camped over-night ~ did they do it Saturday & Sunday?) and those who arrived fresh faced and confident (like us) from their snug beds.
So we set off! Up a small hill and there was a small wall to climb (easy-peasy) only it wasn’t the start! This led you into another area for the power-talk!
28 obstacles, some of which did completely phase us, and others we quite liked (a lie)! The monkey bars. With no upper body strength we ended up in chest height muddy water after bar two. The piggy back share! A 100 metre path with deep mud and a swap spot half way. Bless Eric he did manage to carry me almost half-way. I did get Eric on my back but as we sank deeper into the mud and my back screamed in agony we followed a few others and walked the rest of the way.
The people who take part help get you round. Helping to lift you up and over high walls, encourage you with banter as you energy levels drop and you falter round the course. Even the group of lads with Barry (a pink blow up flamingo) did make us laugh. No sorry! That was Eric threatening to find Barry a new nest (where the sun definitely didn’t shine)!
At about half way they have a sign saying “you missed the 5km fun run”. Arghhhhh
So the worst parts for me … ‘Arctic Enema’, the ice water. Brain freeze that was so painful, and seemed to last forever! Then the peg wall. Unfortunately this came at around 9 miles and my calf cramp and cut hand meant I had to walk round it. I tried but a 5 metre fall was not on my wish-list. It only made me more determined to get over the Everest Wall at the end (and I did).
For Eric the worst part was me! He stayed with me the whole way. Helped, dragged, pushed and pulled when and where he could. He was patient, kind and above all encouraging.
Would we do it again? NO absolutely not. Never. Not a chance! We completed in just over 4 hours. Exact times difficult as they don’t encourage people to go for course times. They encourage people to help and watch out for each other, and on the whole they do.
Did I mention we’ve booked for Tough Mudder 2016! Yes we have. Tickets to prove it. The question is just how dumb and stupid are #TeamArnott …
With love and a massive heartfelt thank you to everyone who sponsored us. It really does mean the world.
Gill & Eric