IT has been described as a blend of Ironman and Burningman and is considered one of the world’s toughest obstacle courses but nobody told a hardy gang of Hebridean heroes who waded through mud, ran until their legs ached, traipsed through mud, stood on each other to scale walls, jumped into an ice-filled skip and clambered under electrified netting, writes Eric Mackinnon.
There were two teams of islanders tackling the Tough Mudders course and each did themselves proud as they each completed the leg-sapping, yet soul enriching, 12 to 15 mile course littered with up to 30 obstacles.
Kevin Smith, Roddy Macleod and Norrie Mackenzie combined their efforts to complete the course after being late for the start where they had planned on tackling Tough Mudder with fellow islanders Malcolm Murray and Sean Stephen.
Tough Mudder is no ordinary endurance event and it is more of a challenge than a race and one in which being part of a team is at the very core of its challenges.
“It was really hard butt I’m so delighted we finish it and it is something we would definitely do again,” beamed Kevin Smith.
“We are even considering tacking on the English version of Tough Mudder later this year.”
Murray and Stephen set off at 8:20am with the other three following at 9am with all five completing the course in good time but the early pair especially impressing – so much so that they have qualified for the World Tough Mudder.
“We did it in 3 hours 15 minutes but Sean and Malcolm did in an unbelievably quick 2 hours 5 mins,” continued Smith. “That was in the top five per cent quickest which means they qualify for the world event which I think is taking place in America.”
Over the course it is the team bond and camaraderie which helps the competitors through events which literally chill you to the bone.
“I think the worst event was one they called the arctic enema which was one of the first obstacles where we had to jump into a skip filled with ice cold water. We then had to do the rest of the course soaking wet.
“Another tough one was the electric eel which was crawling under a cargo net with electric wire dangling down in the gaps. There was a woman spraying a power hose on us while clambering under it so the power would be drawn to us which was quite brutal. One of our own team passed out for a few seconds after taking a shock.”
After surviving the dangling curtain of electrical wire there was nothing which could prevent the boys reaching the finish line where they joined their speedy pals Sean and Malcolm who in addition to helping raise £545 for HebSAR in the process are now in line for a crack at the World’s Toughest Mudder.