This was one great race!!! From the correspondence to the organization to the volunteers to the obstacles, I have nothing bad to be said about Tough Mudder! And yes, it is TOUGH, but it is really, really FUN!!!
My girlfriend and I conquered the Warrior Dash last year and this year, we got some new recruits (all accomplished runners) and decided to attempt a longer distance plus more obstacles and we were not disappointed!
We were quite worried about the weather as the end of September can be quite cold and miserable but we had an absolutely perfect day (and it is for this reason I would pick Tough Mudder Toronto 2 vs. Toronto 1, run in the springtime; it is more predictable).
The four of us girls carefully planned our Mudder uniforms (it is more UNcommon to NOT have matching costumes at Tough Mudder and the whackier the better!!!). I will say to make sure your attire is suitable for running and you don’t mind it getting ripped or dirty to the point of never-being-clean again. We all wore matching bright pink “Superman” shirts in a breathable performance material, black shorts, knee high socks and trail shoes. Fitted work gloves are an absolute MUST HAVE! (We probably would not have made it through all the obstacles had we not had our gloves, plus it made it less nervous about getting down and dirty!!!). Another suggestion would also be to leave your jewelry and headwear at home- you don’t want to be constantly concerned that you will loose your rings or earrings! I wore a buff on my head but lost it at the first water plunge!
This was the MOST organized race I have ever done (it even beat out Boston and Disney!!!). They bus you from the parking lot to the start line 20min away which was a bit annoying but literally pain free as you never had to wait for a bus!
Race kit pick up and body marking (permanent marker on your forehead!) was a breeze as was bag drop.
From there, we meandered up to the start line where we had to climb over an 8ft wall to get into the corral. There was a boot-camp race marshall there giving us instructions military style and we were off after belting out Oh Canada. Thankfully, we choose the first wave of Day 2 which was perfect as the course was never too busy (I heard that on the Saturday people were waiting up to 5-10min to even start an obstacle) but it was also already broken in (good and muddy!).
We planned to run as much as we could but take it easy on the uphills. This is where I believe we had a HUGE advantage over other teams: we were runners by trade (by the way- you can do this race individually in that you do not need a teammate but it is far more fun with others and you WILL need to rely on others for help at some points in the day). Luckily, we were 4 “helpless” athletic girls whom the boys “loved” to help!!! Climbing the ski hill hills were the worst part of the day. We saw people crawling up, they were so steep. Sidestepping seemed to be the way to go UP and criss-crossing was a great way DOWN to save your knees.
The obstacles were amazing, about 25 in all covering over 18km up and down Mount St. Louis/ Moonstone Ski Hill. We were most afraid of the electric shocks- the first one wasn’t so bad. I likened it to a “tens” machine that physiotherapists often use to treat injuries. The second was much more powerful and affected some of us much more than others. I got zapped so bad that I feel like my heart was sent off rhythm for a few minutes. I am not looking forward to going through that again (even though you can bet I will be back for more, so it couldn’t have been that bad!). The cold plunge took your breath away (make sure you leap across the pool so that you only have to submerge yourself one time) but was a much needed “bath” at that point. In fact, the obstacles were set up so that you got disgustingly muddy or full of hay in one and then wet and washed off in the next. The MUD MILE was an absolute hoot! My favourite part of the day!!! Who wouldn’t love to carry out their childhood fantasy of frolicking in the mud!!! Carrying an extra 10lbs or so of mud also reminded us to stay in shape!!! I could explain more about the obstacles but it is something that you really do need to experience first hand and surprises are fantastic!!!
There are tons of photogs on the course to capture your crazy adventures and a beer waiting for you at the finishline as well as cool Tough Mudder swag.
Another great part of this race is the post race showers and bubble bath! I kid you not, I think this was the best part of some of the guys’ day in the communal shower! Picture 25 cold water spray hoses hanging from above on a wooden deck and you trying to get the mud out of every (and I mean every) crevice on your body. Then there was the suds area, full of soapy bubbles to get you clean! SO MUCH FUN!!!
This event is very spectator friendly but I am sure every one of those spectators was jealous they weren’t IN on the action!!! The course was very well marked and had amusing signs throughout and the volunteers were absolutely amazing! Aid stations were plentiful and had lots of food and water available.
My best advice would be to have fun with it! We did well time-wise and worked hard but it is what YOU make of it! We weren’t ever worried about injury-ing ourselves (any more so than a typical race anyway; we all felt very safe and accounted for). We had so much fun, tons of smiles and memories to last a lifetime! We will definitely be back next year!