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Mud, sweat but no tears as Bundy group tackles Tough Mudder

TOUGH TIME: The look of pain on one cometitor's face as he gets shocked by live wires while crawling through the Electric Eel obstacle in the 21km Tough Mudder in Melbourne. Photo: contributed
TOUGH TIME: The look of pain on one cometitor's face as he gets shocked by live wires while crawling through the Electric Eel obstacle in the 21km Tough Mudder in Melbourne. Photo: contributed contributed

SOME of you may remember reading about my torturous journey through the 18km obstacle course, known as Tough Mudder, on the Sunshine Coast last year.

The fear of losing my bowels, drowning in mud and smashing my bones on quarter pipes might jog your memory.

Not having learned my last lesson I, along with 11 others with the same amount of madness in their brains, decided to this year up the ante and take on the 21km Tough Mudder on Phillip Island in Melbourne.

Ambitious? Yes. Prepared? Not quite.

Nevertheless, our team of Bundy Mudders set off to Melbourne two weeks ago today to tackle one of the world's toughest and most gruelling obstacle courses, designed by the British Armed Forces.

While Phillip Island's beauty was sometimes enough to stop you in your tracks, that was where the niceties of our five-hour journey ended.

When people say Melbourne can experience four seasons in one day, that's definitely no joke.

And of course this fabulous place decided to put on it's coldest performance the very day we each had to dive into a zero-degree ice bath and continue running, soaked to the bone, with the harsh wind coming off the sea and ripping through our saturated singlets.

It was at that moment I wholeheartedly regretted those last few "pre-race drinks" the night before.

You ask any of my team members and they will give you their individual "mudder memory" from that day.

One might tell you of taking an electric shock to the eye, or spraining her ankle about three obstacles in, or smacking his head on an embankment of mud or, rather spectacularly, smashing her chin after a failed attempt to sprint up a quarter pipe.

It's a real shame "tongue-wagging laws" prevent the naming of names.

But Joey, Ash, Scotty and Leesa, I sincerely hope you've all recovered.

My "mudder memory" wasn't exactly a sensational stack but I tell you, it was probably just as ungracious.

Its name was "Balls to the Wall".

"This monster of an obstacle will have you scaling a wall 3.5m in the air using only a muddy rope and what's left of your strength" is the description of the obstacle from Tough Mudder itself.

Now that's all well and good but the only trouble was, I had zero strength left at this stage.

But the adrenalin in the air, the encouragement of your fellow team mates and those of strangers surrounding you, is enough to give you the impetus to give it a crack.

I'll take the opportunity now to thank every man that day who had muscles to give my rear end the almighty push it needed to make it just halfway up the rope.

Because that's where I kind of stalled - I had no strength to pull my bodyweight to the top of the wall and thoughts of falling and breaking my neck soon had me screaming "put me down".

But just when I thought the safety of the ground was just seconds away, up came one of my team mates like Tarzan himself, on the same muddy rope, and he somehow managed to push me to the top, which I gripped like a terrified monkey with my heart beating out of my chest.

So there I clung, rather unceremoniously like a muddy walrus, with my backside facing the hundreds of other mudders behind me.

But before I knew it, I was back on safe ground on the other side - I'd made it.

It's hard to put that kind of feeling of accomplishment into words but it certainly illustrates the power of camaraderie - something each and every one of us felt that day somewhere among the electric shocks, ice baths and mud crawls.

The number of bruises we all ended up with has nothing on the number of laughs and celebratory hugs we shared that day.

If there was ever a day to earn a beer or 10, Saturday, March 22 was it.

Topics:  tough mudder



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