So how to describe this event? Those who have done a Tough Mudder, imagine continuing doing one for 24hrs. Where the obstacles keep you constantly wet. In NJ in December and sub freezing temps. In near freezing water.
This is what I undertook this weekend and completed 20miles over 11 grueling hours with 80 obstacles in a hypothermic state. Many friends did much more, some the same, and some a little less but even a half lap was something to be proud of and I believe that success was strongly related to clothing choice and adequate nutrition – something I screwed up for the first lap.
For that first lap I wore short compression shorts and a loose long sleeve top. The first obstacle got this entirely wet immediately, and the wind chill immediately put me in a cold state. Wet obstacle after wet obstacle dropped my body temp further and further.
This became more a race against core temp for me and probably most than against the clock or other athletes.
2/3 of the way through the first lap I was uncontrollably shivering and easily stage 1 hypothermic and ready to quit. I warmed in a medical tent with dozens of other athletes at which time transport arrived for those ready to quit. I stayed and thanks go to my friend Paul DiMarino for giving me the final push to at least finish the lap. The urge to quit was HUGE.
I got to the end – including 4 times in the icy lake with full submersion – warmed, ate, dried and donned my shorty wake boarding wetsuit and set off with Paul for a mentally better second lap. Electroshock Therapy shocked both ass cheeks at once with 10kV – not recommended. I got wet and stayed wet but mustered the strength to delay the worst by making Funky Monkey despite the failing upper body strength. I made the rope crawl – a first for me. I got to the end in better shape than my first lap and was ready to dry, warm up the core and eventually tackle a third but my lap partner was injured and couldn’t continue and I was NOT going to risk everything and go it alone.
If I was more prepared (many that did more than 1 lap had a shorty wetsuit under a long sleeved) and better fed who knows. All I know is I am proud of what I did do. I conquered something most wouldn’t dream of and live to tell the tale. I’d do this again, and crucially it taught me a lot.
Huge thanks too to my Goruck and Spartan friends that provided laughter, support and company for this brutal journey.