Friday, 8th May 2015
Walter Lilly took part in this year's Mudder Challenge on 2 May 2015
D-day dawned. It was overcast with the threat of rain, so not an auspicious start to a challenging day. We took it in our stride as we set off in the car donning leggings (men included), skins and big warm jumpers for the trip. Getting out of the car at Henley proved to be our first challenge as the temperature had dropped a touch since leaving the house – although that may have been in our imagination!
After a warm-up led by a rather ebullient personality on the stage who demanded much vigorous punching of the air and loud manly chants, we set off at a leisurely pace, feeling very positive about the next few hours. That positive feeling rapidly subsided as we approached the second obstacle which was aptly named Arctic Enema – it involved sliding down a ramp into a pool of ice, swimming through the ice, going under again to avoid some tyres and out the other side. I cannot begin to explain the shock one feels when submerged in ice on a relatively cold spring day in England! We were to be unceremoniously dumped in cold, muddy water a further two times; however, this did have the effect of cleaning off most of the mud from our person.
My second favourite obstacle had to be Sewer Rat where one crawls through a pipe and clambers out the other end into a rather large, deep and muddy bog. Ben had clearly decided that his T-shirt was still too clean and promptly dove backwards off the end of the pipe, fully submerging himself in the mud – it was even in his ears.
My personal favourites were the obstacles involving clambering over high fences, barriers, slides etc. At each of these obstacles, two of the lads swiftly hoicked me over the top which involved minimal effort on my part and gave me a much needed rest! At another obstacle we had to form a human pyramid and clamber up on people’s shoulders and over the top. One had to be very careful not to stand on a head or put a knee in a stomach!
The obstacles were tough, but it was generally agreed that running up and down hills for 11 miles was the hardest obstacle of all – after a particularly long and arduous hill climb, certain members of the group maintained that no amount of training would have helped us run up that hill (all lies of course, we were just unprepared for the pain of hill running and were simply justifying the walking pace that some of us adopted at this point).
Tough Mudder is physically and mentally challenging but awesome fun – especially if you do it with a big group of people who can motivate you when you are close to giving up and, of course, give you that all important hand up when you need it most.
Many thanks to our sponsors who helped us raise £4,575 for The Teenage Cancer Trust (https://www.justgiving.com/WLToughMudder). We appreciated the donations as they support an excellent cause – and kept us motivated during the training.
Team: Alex Clark, Ben Ladyman, Charlie Roberts, Erica Denman, James Boulton, Melissa St. Fort, Rupert Kenyon, Shaun Frampton, Stuart Yates, Tom Battley and Tom Morgan.
Report by Erica Denman.