Well in August 2007 I was challenged to do the Tough Guy by somemen that I worked with at the World Triathlon Championships as a massage therapist……so I googled www.toughguy.co.uk, looked at the website and thought it was utter madness and No would be my answer. However, a few months on and I seemed to have entered the race (not that I am competitive …..) and found myself heading to Staffordshire on Sunday! Doing the Tough Guy for me was about the challenge, as well as becoming part of my series of ‘things’ I am doing to raise £30k in my 30th year and help many young, ill and less privaleged people improve their quality of life – to donate please visit www.justgiving.co.uk/kimingleby or give me a call to find out more on 07720 845849!
So words cannot really explain this event…….even looking at the website does not do it justice. Only 1 out of 5 apparently finish the event, and there is a full A & E centre set up on site – with about 18 ambulances……utter madness and totally insane are words that spring to mind!
I will try and explain it…….
I left Bristol, with the sun shine and a frost on the windscreen – dressed in my surfing layers, running clothes and a swimhat and rock climbing gloves I set off…….arriving at Mr Mouse’s Marine Farm in Staffordshie some two hours later to be tagged and marked with my number on my forehead, along with a red cross to inform emergency services that I was a girl! One would think this may be obvious but this would appear not after a few obstacles….
Competitors – Verity (another mad girl) and I- set off on a 15km cross country run, climbing up and down ‘hills’ ten times, where ropes are required to pull yourself up – followed by diving over hay bales, jumping in 10ft ditches and crawling under nets – this is a ‘warm up’ to the obstacle course….of 20 challenges! I felt well and truly warmed up, and had seen at least three broken legs during this little jog….
The obsactle course can only be described as total madness – and it is difficult to quantify or explain what we did! You had to jump off a 10ft high plank into water – where the ice cream head ache was intense, swim through underwater tunnels and crawl through water ditches, having run through bales of hay on fire (I kid you not – take a look at the website for proof!).. I swear some people were literally on fire but there was so much water – it was only temporary!! We also climbed up around 10, 40ft rope, vertical wooden walls and ladder a frames – with no saftey nets and very wet and muddy bodies this was certainly a challenge…….and a slight feeling of vertigo was not an option or you found yourself on the floor with a broken ankle – as I witnessed…… along with this we crawled, or rather slid under a stretch of barbed wire ‘netting’ and some electric live fencing – strong enough to stun a cow – so definately gave you a wake up call….! And that is a summary of the madness…
On finishing – the insanity continued as you were ‘hearded’ into a barn, where the majority of people appeared to strip and shower, proceeding to roll around in the straw to dry off and then, pop some clothes on and head out to the pub! There is no declared winner, as the ‘racing’ atmosphere was causing too many people to suffer from hypothermic shock at the end – so it is considered a challenge to avoid this happening – I did see at least 30 people being taken away in the ambulances with hypothermia even so…..
A normal Sunday one could say……….or not! I think Verity and I were relieved to complete with no injuries and I am pleased to say we are both recovering well. I have never been quite so tired in all my life, but I completed the challenge, and have helped increase my fundraising total to help some very worthwhile charities including The Princes Trust and Penny Brohn Cancer Care!
I do not think I would recommend it, unless you seriously train for it or are a little crazy – but if you fancy a challenge, then there is the Summer Tough Guy – The Nettle Warrior on 27th July and as they say never say never…….. I will update you on these thoughts after my trek to Argentina for the Princes Trust – for more info visit www.justgiving.co.uk/kimingleby
I will also upload more photos on the Enerigsed Gallery over the nexy few weeks!