Monday, 08 August 2022

Experiencing sadomasochism for headband and a pint

TAKING part in Tough Mudder is like joining a cult that preaches mass sadomasochism.

TAKING part in Tough Mudder is like joining a cult that preaches mass sadomasochism.

When you become a “mudder” you utter an oath and run round the course before being rewarded with a fluorescent orange headband.

After chanting the oath with my six team-mates and hundreds of others, we set off on the hilliest, muddiest 10.8 miles on offer this side of London.

The first obstacle of note was Sony's Arctic Enema 2.0, a slide under a chain link fence into ice-cold water followed by a 15m swim to escape.

When I hit the water, which was full of ice cubes, I felt as though I had been instantly robbed of both my breath and my manhood.

I frantically paddled to the other end of the tank where a screaming man pulled me out and commanded that I do the same for the next person. Camaraderie and helping each other is a big part of the Tough Mudder culture — sadomasochism is safe in numbers.

Further along the course, a set of scaffold monkey bars over water known as Funky Monkey 2.0 was closed (much to my disappointment — honest!) because of a thunderstorm which had made it a safety hazard.

The organisers were only happy for you to be electrocuted on their terms, it seemed.

After scaling two 10ft walls and crawling through more mud, I got to Everest 2.0, where my team-mates and I shivered as we queued for 20 minutes. I scaled the slippery, muddy half-pipe after grabbing two forearms and was then hauled to the top by a joyous middle-aged man who yanked me up by the legs.

Then, after taking my turn helping others to reach the top, I scaled one last hill before sprinting through Tough Mudder’s legitimate electrocution obstacle called Electroshock Therapy.

After receiving the compulsory spine-straightening shocks, you go through the finish and are given your headband.

A day of being covered in mud and repeatedly soaked while running almost 11 miles is something most people would want to be paid for rather than shelling out for the privilege, as mudders do.

But those obstacles are fun, you are part of a 20,000-strong team and, best of all, they give you a pint when you have finished!

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