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Disclosure: Momma To Go is a Tough Mudder Affiliate. As always, opinions are all my own.
Last spring, I received a Facebook notification that someone tagged me in a post, asking me to join their Tough Mudder team. Despite having no idea what Tough Mudder was, I instantly replied, HELL NO. I’m not really tough and I don’t love mud. Fast-forward a few weeks, when working out with some of those signed up for the race, the trainer complimented me and said “Harmony, you are so strong.”
That really resonated with me. And for some reason connected me back to the Tough Mudder invite.
I went home and signed up.
And honestly, it was one of the best things I HAVE EVER DONE. So I am excited to share my Tough Mudder Long Island experience with you, to give readers my best Tough Mudder Tips, and to encourage you to check out this awesome event!
Tough Mudder Long Island
I signed up and had no idea what this race even was. In fact, it’s not really a race, it’s more of a challenge or event. There is no timing, no chips, and no winners.
PRO-TIP: Click HERE to sign up for your local Tough Mudder 2018 (affiliate link). Sign up before March 15 to take 25% off your race!
Tough Mudder is in fact two different courses that challenge you to work with your team. You can sign up with a team, or you will be assigned a team. The course I signed up for, the Tough Mudder Half, is 13 obstacles spaced out over 5 miles (you can walk, run or jog). The full Tough Mudder is 26 obstacles spread over 13 miles.
In my experience, you can do, or not do whatever obstacles you wanted to or could. It was easy to bypass an obstacle and the atmosphere was supportive and non-judgmental.
I am proud to say that I completed all thirteen Tough Mudder obstacles!
The thirteen obstacles were all a little different – there were several wall climbs (either with or without ropes). There were mud pits to wade or swim through. The first obstacle, which gets you good and indoctrinated with the mud, was an army crawl under real barbed wire through a rocky pit.
The hardest Tough Mudder obstacle for me was Mt. Everest, which I have now seen on American Ninja Warrior. It took me three tries to get up there, which seemed to be the average. I’m glad I stuck with it, though. I felt so accomplished when I made it to the top.
My favorite obstacle was the Block Ness Monster, where you swim through deep mud, grab onto a rotating block, which hurls you into the air and rotates you into the next mud pit! It was challenging and I felt really badass doing it!
Tough Mudder Long Island Half
The Tough Mudder Long Island took place at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration on a Sunday in July. Thankfully it was cloudy and overcast the day of the race! I try to always keep an elevated fitness level and my “training” felt more like preparing for a five-mile race. I was concerned about going the distance. Our group agreed to keep the running easy, but by the end we were going at a decent pace, just to keep moving and get done!
The course took about 4 hours to complete. A week prior to race-day you are emailed a start time. We arrived an hour earlier than our designated time, and made it in to the stand-by corral. We were able to start a little earlier, which was awesome since we were ready to race!
You really do go at your own group’s pace. For many of the obstacles there was a bit of a queue to enter, providing a much-needed break. Water was provided throughout the course and there was a food/banana stop at about the half way mark.
The Tough Mudder Long Island Half ended with a nice long downhill run to the finish. Our group finished together and lots of photos were taken! We all received headbands and our Tough Mudder t-shirts. After getting cleaned up and changed, we hit the beer garden for some post race, much deserved, relaxation!
Tough Mudder Tips
- Next time, I would train to have better upper body strength by doing more strength training work and classes. This would have been especially helpful on the rope climbs!
- We had team shirts, which helped to keep our group together. I definitely recommend doing this.
- The best shoes for Tough Mudder are old sneakers. I wore a super old pair that I threw away after the race.
- As for other attire, I wore my least favorite pair of workout shorts and least favorite sports bra. I can’t believe some ladies were wading through the mud in their Lululemon pants! But I would HIGHLY recommend wearing Capris or full pants. My legs got so cut up from wearing shorts.
- After the race, everything I wore was able to be cleaned in the washing machine. Nothing was ruined.
- To the race I packed a drawstring bag with flip-flops, a change of clothes (Including clean undergarments), deodorant, plastic bags and a small towel. After the race, you will need to hose yourself off and change into dry clothes. Some of my teammates brought shower gel and shampoo, but I saved the shower for home.
- Pack a kind bar or other small snack for after the race. At the Long Island Tough Mudder, racers were given a ticket for a post-race beer, but all of the food was for purchase. The lines to buy food were really long!
- When you enter the race area (after check in) there is a bag drop for $10 per bag. Since we had a team, we buddied up, split the cost and put one person’s bag into another’s. At the Long Island Tough Mudder, the bag drop area was not secure. You go in, drop your own bag on a table or under it, and then after racing, go in to retrieve it. With that said, DO NOT BRING VALUABLES or lots of cash to the Tough Mudder!
- Which brings me to my last Tough Mudder tip, you do need some cash for the bag check, and food or beverage purchases.
And the most important Tough Mudder Tip of all … have fun! Go out there and enjoy the challenge, the obstacles, your team, the incredible camaraderie and of course, a post-race beer!
Have you raced Tough Mudder? Other obstacle races? What are your best Tough Mudder Tips?
Tough Mudder 2018
The Tough Mudder is coming back this year and I’ve already signed up! The 2018 Tough Mudder Long Island will be held again at the Bethpage Village Restoration on July 21 and 22, 2018.
See the below schedule of events for Tough Mudder Long Island:
You can check out the nationwide schedule of Tough Mudder events here. And be sure to click the link below to save 25% OFF YOUR ENTRY FEE! BUT SIGN UP NOW, THE DISCOUNT IS ONLY GOOD THROUGH MARCH 15, 2018.
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Photo on Best Running Photo credit: merfam on Best Running / CC BY
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