How I Met Your Mudder is a series of interviews with folks who have done the Tough Mudder races before (Old Mudder) as well as aspiring Mudders-in-Training (MIT). The whole idea is to share their experiences and inspire/encourage those might be in two minds about trying out this race. Just do it!
Kelvyn is a sports enthusiast and competitive race fanatic. He has done two Tough Mudder races, one in Germany and the other in Australia. A dragon boater and avid gym-goer, even he was caught off guard by what he had to go through in Tough Mudder.
Describe Tough Mudder in 3 words.
Insane, Exhilarating, Life-reinforcing
Tell us about your first Tough Mudder experience.
It was rough! 2 hours 30 minutes, 18 km, 19 obstacles! I wasn’t the weakest link, I was the last link that they were dragging along the whole time. Nothing I did in Singapore was close to what I had to go through. Elements of submerging yourself underwater and crawling using your fingers, running through electric wires connected to a car battery, wading through a river, crawling thorugh 2km of mud. I thought, where did all these mud come from!
What really surprised me was the true camaraderie everyone had! We all said hi along the way, encouraged and pushed everyone on. Helping each other was not a by-the-way thing, but an intentional one. People were not here to win at their best timing, but to make sure more people could finish the race! This is the world’s least completed race! I guess this was what the founder had envisioned the race to be: putting us through a test and bringing humanity together through this experience!
What made you crazy enough to attempt it?
I was actually in my second year of Urbanathlon. I wanted something more challenging and decided to go Germany for their Urbanathlon. My German friends then invited me to do Tough Mudder instead. When I checked out the race online, I was shocked. I doubted it was possible at my fitness level then. Then I thought heck! I'll just train for it and agreed to it!
Did you ever think you can’t possibly complete it?
Not before the race, not during the race, cramps from the halfway mark, not with a bunch of German soccer players, not when I saw the steep mud hill, not when I saw the 4 meter jump, no until I saw the end point pass the electric wires!
Which is your favourite obstacle?
The obstacles are always different in the Tough Mudder races that I have been to. But I think the most fun was the Legionnaire obstacle which required me to climb I think 8 meters up, and slide vertically downwards a water slide… literally VERTICAL! At the end it went horizontal, shot me through a ring of fire, projected me through the air horizontally and I landed into a muddy pool a good 8 meters away! It was just breath-taking.
Which is the scariest obstacle?
The scariest is still the jump for me, in Walk the Plank. I have a small fear of heights. This I did not complete in my first race. I was determined to overcome this obstacle in my 2nd race. I just squatted down and pushed off. I landed legs straight in and went all the way down the man-made water landing. The time that I was underwater felt like a good one minute, but when I played back to watch the video off my camera, it was barely 3 seconds. Hoo-rah!
How long did it take to clean all the mud off you?
They provided high pressure jets for all participants to hose themselves down after they cross the finishing line. Good enough to feel clean but I scrubbed myself down with lots of soap when I got back to the room!