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We ran the Tough Mudder for Harrison...and it was 'Tough' and extremely 'Muddy'!!'

We ran the Tough Mudder for Harrison...and it was 'Tough' and extremely 'Muddy'!!'

So we did it!!!! And since so many have asked to know more, here’s a little bit about how it all went…….

So we (Harrison's Mum and Dad) ran the Tough Mudder London West on Sunday 27 April 2014 raising money towards the challenging £5,000 target we set for the year.

Quite frankly and with having now completed it, to call it 'Tough' is an absolute understatement but we wanted to do something which was as equally challenging and testing for us, as every day clearly is for Harrison – and knowing that a Tough Mudder is ‘probably one the hardest and most challenging events on the planet’ as they quote, it didn't disappoint. Even now days on we're both still aching and have the bruises to show for it!

We actually decided to enter back in August 2013 assuming a course that included water and ice related obstacles wouldn’t be too bad in the warmth of April. How wrong could we be? The weather in the build up hadn’t been good and the forecast for the day was much the same. We woke up to torrential rain and it certainly wasn’t warm! But then challenging was what we wanted, so I suppose the wetter and colder the better!?

We were fortunate to not have the kids the night beforehand with some friends kindly looking after them both (a rare occurrence I can tell you, thank you so much Sam and Rich) so we both got a decent night sleep for once. We got up nice and early for the 2-hour drive in order to give time to register but what we saw as we approached was nothing short of a mud bath. We managed to park up, register, got ready to run and with the adrenalin kicking in, I had just enough time to get my hair sprayed red (I've no idea why either but it seemed the thing to do at the time with the madness of the event and there were people offering to do it – Jo didn’t!).

With literally thousands entering, (on Saturday as well as Sunday) participants were booked into waves setting off every 20 minutes - our start time was 11.20. Lots of music, shouting and smoke prompted our wave to start...and then that was it, no turning back!

What we then came up against was simply the most amount of mud we've ever seen in our life, really, words cannot explain the amount or depth of it! Ironically one of the obstacles was called the 'Mile of Mud'. Well we'd love to know where it was on the course as its fair to say there was actually 12 miles of mud!

The first obstacle was jumping over some large haystacks, easy...but then that was the end of ‘easy’...the next having us crawling through the mud with barbed wire inches above us...and this was where the first injury occurred with Jo getting a 5" long cut on her back from catching on one of the barbs.... but she only noticed at the end with the adrenalin disguising whatever pain she should have felt.

Next was 'Artic Enema', a storage crate (as in those used on ships) full of ice cubes and water up to our chests. It had a row of tyres submerged across it at the middle that you then had to swim under. I went first but with the shock of the cold as I submerged my head, I inhaled under water swallowing loads of the dirty muddy cold water. It wasn’t nice at all and god knows what I swallowed but we went onto the next.... now feeling incredibly cold.

We then continued to run through the mud, mile after mile of it, with the rest of the obstacles ahead of us.

As well as obstacles having us crawling through muddy water with electric wires dangling inches above giving you 10.000 volts of electric shock, there were various strength related obstacles such as 12 ft. walls to rope climb up, over and down, 10ft walls to climb over and down (without a rope) and one carrying a heavy log around a muddy uphill 100 metre loop. There was then the monkey bars and then the rings, which both being over water were inevitably spaced far enough apart to make them almost impossible to do so you guessed it, we both ended up in the water up to our chest.

Other water related obstacles included the claustrophobic 'Cage Crawl' where we had to pull ourselves through water on our backs with our heads in the water, but with a metal cage inches above from our face. Jo did so well to overcome her fear of having her head in the water...although she didn't manage 'Walk the Plank', a jump off into very deep water from a platform 12 ft. up and then a frantic swim to safety. It looked nothing from the side although even I had 2nd thoughts when at the top.... but there was no going back so just jumped into the cold water and it was brilliant!

Whilst the event wasn’t about what time you do it in and whilst most were walking though the mud from obstacle to obstacle, we had both said beforehand how determined we were to run as much of it as we could. We're proud to say that we did just that, catching runners up that had started in various waves before us.... although this and the cold water took its toll, certainly on my muscles in my legs. At the mile 8 mark I started to get cramp throughout my legs. This was definitely where my thoughts led back to why we were doing it, Harrison and his problems, so we both ploughed on for the final 4 miles.

The final few obstacles came and went, more miles of mud were run and slipped through, up and down. We then finally reached 'Everest', a massive slicked-up quarter-pipe ramp, which bearing in mind was at the very end, we still had to find the strength and energy to try and run and pull ourselves up (fortunately with the help of others already at the top dragging us up).

Due to the queue and with many people taking lots of attempts to get up the Everest obstacle we had to wait about 10 minutes for our turn. Being so wet meant we just got colder and colder and by the time we actually finished Jo’s teeth and body were shaking uncontrollably, so much so she could hardly hold the pint of ginger beer we were given upon finishing. But this wasn’t before ‘Electroshock Therapy’ for some final electric shocks…..and then we were finished, cold and exhausted!!

So to reflect…. We’d climbed Everest, completed all the obstacles, receieved electric shocks and ran all the way in relentless mud, up and down hills, getting colder and colder along the course. It hurt, a lot, but was loads of fun...and we are now both in the possession of the prized orange ‘Tough Mudder’ headband to prove it.

We have the photos too, so please take a look here in the gallery and you can also have a laugh at us caked in mud.

But more importantly it was so worth it. We have personally raised over £1,500 so far and along with contributions from other fund raising, we are now approaching the £2.5k mark. So we are remarkably half way towards out £5K target, which is amazing.

But we've therefore still got a long way to go so this is the grovelling bit…where if you've waited or just haven't got around to it yet, we'll be so grateful for any support and further contribution you can make towards our target. You can ask us for details to transfer money directly into the Trust Fund (which doesn’t take a cut of your donation) or donate via PayPal through this site at http://www.harrisonstrustfund.co.uk/donate.php (but which does take a cut!)

Thank you so much for reading and supporting us, its meant so much and if you’re asking yourself if we’ll do another Tough Mudder….you’ll just have to watch this space!

Thank you Jon and Jo xx