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,
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
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 wall.is probably
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
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
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
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
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
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
Our team had a great time and plan on
going back next year.
Elsewhere on this site you will find
demonstrations we have performed as one part of our
These are presented by unpaid volunteers for groups that have ranged
from preschoolers to senior citizens.
Some groups can afford to pay for the materials we use but we also do
some of our Science Fun programs for free.
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