Rough Terrain Rescue, Tough Mudder 2018

The team went to the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, KY to provide safety assistance for the 2018 Tough Mudder.
It was fun watching the participants make their way through the obstacles with only an occasional medical assist required.
Here is our team, though one member seems to be hiding.
For our two day effort we netted more than $4000 which will be used for fuel and equipment we need for our responses.

We all camped together at General Butler State Resort Park not far from the site of the event.

Participants in a Tough Mudder have to deal with a rugged course and up to 27 obstacles.
With names like Kong, Devils Beard, and Electroshock Therapy along the way.
Because we were all water rescue trained most of us were assigned to ones that involved water and therefore mud.
And because we had assignments for the whole day none of us got to see/photograph all the obstacles.

Two of our team had Shawshanked.
Participants had to crawl under barbed wire then through a culvert pipe, and then drop 5 feet into icy water.
Here are a couple of pictures without participants.

I grabbed pictures of a couple as we made our way to our assigned location.
On this one you make your way up one side, hand over hand and then down the other to complete Funky Monkey.

This inclined probably Skidmarked.

This is the Mud Mile which looks like it doesn't quite live up to the mile part of its name but certainly nails the mud part.

The idea for Kong was to traverse a gap by swinging on the ring you can see in the picture and roll barrels hanging from rings attached to them.

This obstacle is called Berlin Walls.
Ten feet high so teamwork is in order.

The swim across the lake was probably appreciated by most of the folks.

Here is a map of the 10 mile, 5 mile, and 5K meter courses with a list of the problems encountered.

Next to our location was Killa Gorilla, about 3 miles from the beginning.
Run up the hill, then down and repeat, then up the hill one more time.
Most weren't running as they crested the hill for the last time though a few were.
The course then took them past our location only to return 5 miles later.

Some of the participants were in costumes and I got a few pictures of them as they came past.
Wonder women were in three separate groups.
The final one also included Captain Americas and another guy who apparently didn't get the memo.

One guy had a guide dog.

I only saw one of the Muddy Bandits.
I don't know if  some had been captured or had split up to evade pursuers.

Ballerinas in their tutus.

Cornell Sanders and some of his chickens.
You will see them again later.

Our assignment was Quagmire.
It was about 8 miles into the course so not all the participants got to try it.
The ones that did merely had to climb up on a dirt pile, slide into a water filled pit, make their way across, climb out onto the mound on the other side, and  finally get down off that dirt pile.
It doesn't seem too hard at least until the dirt gets wet and as was pointed out "becomes slicker then dog snot."

Here they are going in.
Silliness was in order for some.

Here is a video of a complete transit by a team.

Across the pit..
A medical team came in scrubs.
They probably will need a lot of scrubbing afterwards.

Someone noticed that there was enough sediment mixed into the water that even people who normally couldn't float had no trouble doing so.
Almost as high as in the Great Salt Lake in Utah.
It was a good way to relax when you were 80% of the way through the course.

One point of a Tough Mudder is to do things you haven't done before.
Listen to what one of these participants says about 35 seconds into the video.

Most found it a unique experience.

Then they had to get out (the exit isn't slippery yet for this guy).

Once it got wet, teamwork was essential.

Teams may only have a few members.

And have to use a teammate for a rope.

Or a swarm may be attacking the mud wall at the same time.
In every case they worked together to beat the obstacles.
By late in the day some hand and foot holds had developed making it a little easier to get out.

Here is one of the participants was visually impaired but undeterred by Quagmire.

As the day passed there was a real possibility of the participants being overcome by the heat.
The organizers had set up a system of flags that were intended to remind the participants that they may be at risk, so they should slow down, take it easy, and stay hydrated.
They start at green. then yellow, orange, red and black.
Here we were at yellow but we reached red at a temperature of over 93 degrees and high humidity.
At that point we were not only flying the red flag but also verbally warning each group of the risk as they came through.
Everyone was glad that we never went to black since that would have meant that the course would have to be shut down.

Even after they thought their problems were behind them, Quagmire it still had a few surprises.
They still had to get down from the exit mound.
Here I have collected a video of just a few of the slips and slides.

Just past our station the trail went down a fairly steep hill.
In the course of the day it got progressively muddier until it looked like an otter slide.
The only significant injury we had to deal with was when a woman either badly sprained or broke their ankle when she hit the bottom too fast.
We called for medical help, they arrived, evaluated her injury, wrapped her ankle, and she limped off supported by her team mates.

There were several people who had the skin of the palms of their hands ripped and asked for bandages.
We had to tell them that we weren't permitted to treat them but we could have them taken to the medical tent if they wanted.
 All of them opted to continue the last two miles to the finish.
Some had leg cramps or were exhausted but nearly all of them rested or stretched or both and were able to continue.
Very late on Sunday one woman decided to get taken for treatment. 
When we finished we found her being checked out, given plenty of water/Gatoraid and bananas to replenish her potassium.
I asked if she minded if I took her picture. 
She gave her OK so here she is with a big thumbs up.

Rosie is apparently found at most/all Tough Mudder events.
She was not far back off the trail but only a very few of the participants noticed her.
Late on Sunday her friend, who was also the event photographer, came by to pick her up and carry her back to headquarters.

Our team had a great time and plan on going back next year.

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