Behind the Scenes Look: Tough Mudder

I didn't include many photos in my book so I figured I'd start posting some here from the various scenes I described. Starting with Tough Mudder.

Most of these are from one of the guys I did Mudder with, but some I pulled from the TM website and don't own the rights to. (So if I'm suddenly absent, the Mudder people likely came after me and I'm being forced somewhere to  run up Everest repeatedly as punishment for posting these.) Speaking of Everest - let's start with that:
 

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That was what was staring at me near the end of our four-hour "challenge." Except picture more rain falling and a guy's tooth laying off to the left...(you'll have to read the book to fully understand that. Or just a leave a comment below and I can be probably be convinced to post more details there). 

But let's start at the beginning. Here I am, all clean and naive, making some sort of awkward Grrr face with no makeup on because even my inner Southern Belle knew that'd be futile. Very soon after this, I would be soaking wet in freezing water, my race number (on my forehead so the Mudder folks could "identify my body later if need be") would be totally washed off and replaced by mud, and those tissues peaking out of the top of my shirt would become a brown mass of nothing useful-

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Below is the whole group I started with right after we made it through the first obstacle. This was taken when all of us were still together (we would later get separated and I'm not sure I saw everyone again, but don't worry - everyone came out alive. I'm pretty sure.)  
 

Here is that obstacle we had just endured: "The Arctic Enema." 

This guy's face accurately captured how it felt and the board in front of him is what we had to swim under (AKA the point I note in the book where I basically blacked out from hypothermia and the inability to breathe).

Here are the human-size bendy straws I mentioned:

And what I didn't mention in the book is that when you came out of the straws, you had to swim in muddy water while trying not to snag your face on barbed wire, like so:

Here I am (orange shirted one on the right) descending a massive stack of hay bales in one of the least flattering photos ever taken of me:

And below is what the stack looked like from afar (in other words, it was huge. Which explains my look of slight terror above. Although, actually that look might just be exhaustion from not being able to blow my nose on anything but a banana peel that day):

Next, we have my crude depiction of the obstacle where we had to jump over mud and where some of us weren't so graceful:

Here we are running around farmland in between obstacles because we are really bad at deciding what to do on a Saturday:

And here I am swimming through electric wires. Just like my parents always dreamed I would eventually do:

I'm not sure why I'm on my knees other than I was tired of crawling on my face at that point. I think that's my teammate dying to the right. (She didn't actually die. Everyone knows you can't die from electrocution! Wait....)

Next is a shot of two of my teammates (in orange, in the middle) probably regretting their life choices while getting ready to jump off "Walk the Plank."

Here are a couple photos from the Mudder website that really capture what it felt like on top of Walk the Plank:

And here are a couple Mudder pics from the Mud Mile that I describe in the book:

"This race is where vanity goes to die." -Confessions of an Unlikely Runner.

And here is the photo I made the mistake of viewing before I did Mudder - which made me question my decision-making skills:

That was the obstacle that ended up being turned off in our Mudder because of the massive thunderstorm we were already dealing with. 

Here is the photo in my book of us caressing those electric wires after we were told they had been shut off. 
"Even though I feel cheated out of some of my experience in the Tough Mudder, and even though the mud was trying to pull my shirt into a kaftan that was clinging to me inappropriately, I do kind of love that photo. (I am the one on the left with the giraffe limbs)." - Confessions of an Unlikely Runner.

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And finally -- here we are after we finished. The things people will do for a free headband..... 

...And here is the parking lot/shoe graveyard where everyone's cars got stuck in our favorite thing - mud:

And that was the last Tough Mudder "obstacle" we dealt with before I finally got back home. ....only to discover I had no electricity due to the tornado that had rolled through. Naturally.

 

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