They poured into Northstar California Resort by the thousands, high on adrenaline and camaraderie, willing to experience an Arctic Enema and Electroshock Therapy in the name of becoming a Tough Mudder.
Some 15,000 people participated in the two day Tahoe Tough Mudder Summer event, while countless viewers contributed to the spectacle. In the end there were no winners or losers. Just legions of muddy finishers enjoying their hard earned rewards- a beer, T-shirt, headband, CLIF Bar, and above all a beaming sense of accomplishment.
Originally conceived by British Special Forces, the popular Tough Mudder events are designed to test all-around stamina, strength, mental fortitude, and ability to work as a team. Courses measure between 10 and 12 miles, and send entrants through a series of obstacles – some more unpleasant than others.
The Northstar event was roughly 10 miles and feature 19 obstacles sprinkled throughout the resort, from mid-mountain to the top. Weaves of several hundred Mudders, packed like sardines in can, went off every 20 minutes, each following a series of war cries led by a motivational man with a microphone.
First up was the Glory Blades obstacle, followed by the Kiss of Mud and Arctic Enema – a chilly plunge and swim in an icy pool. After tackling four more obstacles on their ascent to the top of the mountain, Mudders faced the daunting Electric Eel – a shallow pool of water and mud with live wires of up to 10,000 volts dangling just above. More than a few women cried. Some Mudders, disoriented and wobbly-kneed, required a minute to regain their bearings.
On they pressed, down the mountain to the Berlin Walls, Kiss of Mud 2, Boa Constrictor, Funky Monkey, Mud Mile, and Hold Your Wood. From there it was on to Walk the Plank, Cage Crawl, Warrior Carry, and Everist. With the finish line and free beer tantalizingly close, the Mudders were tasked with one final test -Electroshock Therapy. Similar to the Electric Eel, Mudders must run through a shallow muddy pool of water with live wires dangling, to reach the other side that is 50 ft away.
Despite their struggles, most Mudders wore giant smile of satisfaction as they exchanges high fives and sipped their “free” beers in the finish corral. All were caked in filth. When asked if they would do it again, the most common answer was an emphatic “Yes.”
Source: Tahoe Daily Tribune Magazine