Oasis Sloths Tough Mudder Story
Oasis Land Development take on ‘Tough Mudder’, Yorkshire – the hardest Tough Mudder course in the UK to raise money for Claire House Children’s Hospital and the NSPCC.
Oasis Sloths Tough Mudder Story.
After 6 weeks of intense training Oasis took on Tough Mudder Yorkshire this past weekend and we smashed it! It was absolutely brilliant and we are officially Mudders! Hoo-Rah! We have taken on what is supposed to be not only the ‘world’s toughest event’, we were also told the Yorkshire event was the toughest Tough Mudder event ever held in the UK; 11.5 Miles long. We swam through ice, got zapped with live electric wires, we got very, very muddy, got extremely wet, jumped 25ft into 25ft deep water, we beat personal fears, but we got to the finish and got our orange head-bands, pints of strongbow and absolute “bragging rights”. Hoooooo-rrrraaaah!
Here is an Oasis team members Tough Mudder Story ………
I got up at the break of dawn on Saturday morning and headed straight to Oasis Land Developments head office for the pre-event breakfast. A carefully researched breakfast to maximise energy, the team tucked into toast, cereal, fruits, eggs, yogurt, and all ate as much as we could before we got on the coach feeling pumped and ready for anything, and maybe a little nervous!
One hour and a half later, we arrived at Tough Mudder, Skipton Yorkshire! With a mixture of excitement and nerves Oasis, aka “Oasis Sloths” team members headed to the Tough Mudder Registration tent, handed in our death waivers and that was it, we were through, no going back now! We marked our numbers on our heads with permanent markers, got our faces painted with the Tough Mudder logo in the face painting tent, dropped our bags off, checked out some of the obstacles and then we were off. Literally, over the wooden wall, through the start line and up the first (mini) hill.
So this is it, we had officially begun Tough Mudder, after a mile jog up and down another hill (we had never imagined there would be so many hills, we virtually climbed a mountain throughout the course!), the Oasis Sloth group steamed ahead of other team members into our own fitness levels, in a group of 4 out of 16 we hit the first obstacle – ‘Glory Blades’. People where everywhere throwing themselves over two 8ft wooden walls that were angled towards us, it was almost impossible to get over the wall own your own, but Tough Mudder style everyone was willing to give you a leg-up. Up and over one, up and over the second and a few good bruises later we were off again. Obstacle one – done.
Off around a couple of bends and a few inclines, obstacle two sat in the distance looking menacing. Having read the course layout, we knew what was coming, and as expected it was as bad as we thought ‘Arctic Enema’. This is the one obstacle we had all been dreading for the past 4 months. We’d watched loads of YouTube videos of people getting in – freezing cold, getting pulled out, having panic attacks etc! Before we knew it we were at the front of a small line of people, in groups of 3 There was a truck full of ice which was topping the skips up constantly, then, the Tough Mudder guy said to us ‘jump in, get under and get out’. And that’s what we did! We didn’t even think about it! We jumped in, dunked in the ice under the board and got out, taking a deep breath when breaking the surface, it was FREEZING COLD, literally! Shocked, cold and wet we were on a high, we’d done it. But we had to keep warm, so we were quickly off again…
After another mile or so running (still up-hill), we hit ‘Dirty Ballerina’. This obstacle was straight forward, a good run-up and jump over 4ft wide muddy pits. Easy! Another mile later, and a very steep climb, we hit ‘Boa Constrictor’, this consisted of two pipes, one pipe sloping down and you had to slide through the inside of the pipe into muddy water filled with rocks, then climb into another pipe and climb up the 2nd pipe, except this pipe was inclined so you had to pull yourself through, very awkward. With an Oasis Sloth at the end of the pipe waiting to get a grip to pull me out! This obstacle was easy if you were petite but for big guys it looked like quite a squeeze!
After a steep climb uphill, we hit the first water station – happy times, especially when they handed you half a banana! Then it was straight into ‘Hero Carry’ – grab a fellow Mudder, carry them a 100 yards, switch over. Repeat.
Just before the 5 mile mark, we hit another looming obstacle – ‘Electric Eel’. This obstacle was a lined water pit with live electric wires hanging overhead; the wires were blowing in the wind! Argh! Crawling on our hands & knees, everyone tried to dodge the wires as they were blown towards you. Zapped, argh! Some of us made it through shock-free, others were not so lucky! Not long after we hit ‘Hero Walls’ – 12ft walls, once over, we were back running though the very hilly muddy Yorkshire moorland.
‘Island Hopping’ hit us next. In this obstacle you have to leap frog from pad to pad across a muddy pit of deep water. In the past this obstacle was reserved for only the World’s Toughest Mudders event, but it now appears in lots of Tough Mudder courses – lucky us! Some of us made it all the way across, with different tactics such as running across, others balanced and hopped from one to the next, others slipped straight off into the murky water and had to swim to the other side! Feeling wet and cold, and only half way through the course we set off running again heading towards a massive hill in the distance! All being said we were still having the best time ever and smiled all the way.
Half way up yet another hill, we hit ‘Cage Crawl’, another famous Tough Mudder obstacle, which a number of the team was dreading! This obstacle is a confined space filled with water, you have to crawl into a cage which is filled with water, float on your back with just your face out of the water and using your fingers pull yourself across 60 foot of cage with only 6 inches of breathing room. The water was very cold and with people infront and behind you, it was a cold and lonely minute pulling yourself through.
On the course map that we had looked at days before, it showed a course hazard (which wasn’t an obstacle) up next. This turned out to be a steep mountain climb. It started raining at this point but were where that muddy & wet it didn’t matter but we were all freezing at this point. We had climbed so high; this was the highest point of the course and you could see for miles. Next thing we knew, the sun came out and a massive rainbow appeared! Kind of ironic as the heat warmers that are handed out when you finish the event are gold, and it looked like the rainbow finished at the finish line so it was sort of “the gold at the end of the rainbow”
Heading back down the hill, we started to warm-up a bit in the sun. Then it was time for ‘Trench Warfare’, we thought these would be dark muddy tranches but they weren’t that bad, we were in and out in seconds, not great for a team member who is claustrophobic but true Mudder style he powered through. More running, this time through a woodland with masses of mud everywhere, then it was back out into the open air to ‘Hold Your Wood’. You had to pick up a heavy log, carry it around in a loop, then drop it down and continue. Then something every kids dreams of, a real life mudslide, we hit a very muddy slope and there was no choice but to slide down it in every way possible. Mudders were on their bums, stomachs, headfirst, backwards, forwards – it was a giant mudslide!
A lot more running and then we hit ‘Kiss of Mud’. This obstacle was so, well, muddy. We had to get on our hands & knees and pull through thick, deep mud with barbed-wire just 8 inches from the ground. It was slimy, thick, wet mud and once we were out, we were covered from head to toe in thick mud, it was back to more running…
Then we came to the ‘Underwater Tunnels’. This is one obstacle for strong swimmers; with signs advising if you can’t swim don’t attempt it. Looking at it, it doesn’t look that much, a pond which is 18ft deep, muddy and about 20ft by 20ft, there are 3 barrels in the water which you have to submerge under, we all thought ok, we can just list the barrels, oh no they are bolted to water height level, no option other than to go under. It was tough and cold, I had my first panic attack as you cant comprehend the width of the barrels, the water is thick with mud so you cant open your eyes and you cant feel the floor, it was one of the scariest things to date I have done, well that and walk the plank, if it wasn’t for my fellow Mudder’s encouraging me I wouldn’t have completed this obstacle.
During the last few miles there were so many people on the side line of the track suffering with cramp it was like a scene from a movie, everyone was helping fellow Mudder’s stretch off and offering help it really was one big team.
Another famous Tough Mudder obstacle was up next, ‘Walk the Plank’! A 25 ft jump into freezing water below. It was a true test of your fear of heights and a lot of people looked frozen at the top in fear, a number of people from our group got down once at the top as it was so high, when we asked how deep the water was that we landed in, the Tough Mudder warden replied “it’s as deep as it is high”. We got into a line of 6 then the lady shouted, 1, 2 and jump, my body leaned towards the edge but didn’t move, panic kicked in, it was so high, the lady said, “don’t worry try on the next go”, 1, 2 and jump – before I had chance to think id thrown myself off and I’d hit the water, it took that long to reach the surface I put my hand up and after what felt like minutes, I felt my hand break through the surface, made it, what a test that was, scary times. People’s only choice was to face your fear and just go for it, or turn round and get down!
Knowing we were close to the finish, the group was all buzzing, with smiles from ear to ear we knew we had done well and we where miles a head of our targeted finish, so we kept on pushing through. Then we hit the ‘Mud Mile’ and saw the 10-mile sign –Only 1.5 miles left. Mud mile was mental, as soon as your feet hit the mile your leg was lost in the mud, up to your knees most of us lost a shoe then fought with the mud to get it back, up and over mud hills we waded through the thick knee deep mud.
‘Funky Monkey’ was up next – monkey bars across a giant water pit. The bars were kindly greased with oil making it even harder than normal! The bars were spaced 1.5 ft apart and the first half was on an incline, making it virtually impossible! Some of the guys made it all the way across but most Mudders were in the water wading their way across this obstacle. Extreme upper body strength is a must to complete this obstacle.
The second to last obstacle was ‘Everest’. We’d been watching people attempt this before we started. Mudders lined at the top ready to pull up the weaker Mudders! Some people attempted it several times, fell and had to go again. One of the sloths made it to the top and held their hand out over the end for me, taking a deep breath I ran as fast as I could up the slope, I caught their hand. Hanging on by the tips of my fingers and one arm, a 3rd person then grabbed my arm and pulled me up, that was it. I think I know why they call it Everest, the achievement knowing you have almost completed the world’s toughest event you literally feel on top of the world.
A short run to go, the worst was yet to come! ‘Electroshock Therapy’, this is Tough Mudders’ most famous obstacle and is always saved for last on every Tough Mudder course. You have to sprint through a field of live wires – carrying 10,000 volts of electricity combined! With mud and hay bales to watch out for, there was nothing to do but run as fast as you can through it, if you slipped or got zapped you are a goner, the aim is to try & stay on your feet and run like hell. We all stood looking at the obstacle then each other, we knew what to do, looking again at each other we said, lets smash it, and off we went running through live wires, we all made it with minor stings.
That’s it, we got awarded with our orange head bands, t-shirts and a cold ice pint, what a day we loved every minute, endured not only physical tests but mental tests.
We are now collecting in our well-earned sponsor money for our 2 children’s charities and look forward to our next charity event.