Okay, I will be honest, I really don't know what a tough mudder is. I have not done any research on this, but none the less I whole heartedly believe I that I was thrown into a twisted version of one.
The 12 Hours of Mesa Verde weekend started like we expected. We arrived and rode the course. It was wet and tacky. It sprinkled on us a little bit but the course really handled the moisture well. We had checked the weather the night before we went to bed. It looked like the worse of the weather was over and the next day was going to be pure delight on a fast, fast course.
The pre-race meeting confirmed our expectations. The directors said the course should be great. Weather looked promising. Everything was a go.
Chris headed out. I did my thing getting ready, but it started to snow and get cold. I made some last minute attire changes dressing more warmly than I previously planned. Chris came in second place just behind the leader. He is so fast at these things. I went out hopeful.
I took some time to get a feel for the course as it was really wet. Chris and I discussed riding smart, so I did not want to blow it my messing up myself or my bike due to a slick trail. I knew I was riding slow. I finally took off my glasses and could see again. I sped up a bit. Things were going ok. I was wet, but not really cold. I got through Tuffy Rim which should be the end of the hard stuff. Now it was time for the fun.
Fun did NOT happen. The fun sections turned to muddy, clay messes. I spent the last three to four miles on and off my now 35-40 pound bike. I had to stop and clean it multiple times; the mud just stuck and nothing was moving. I pushed my bike up hills. I pushed it down hills. The mud would accumulate around my bottom bracket and push my chain off the chain ring. It was an absolute mess. I was a mess. The mud made everything cold.
My longest lap ever at MV had no redeeming value until it was over. They essentially called the race during my lap. They reassessed a couple of hours later but decided the trail could not take the moisture they had unexpectedly received. I guess we were lucky as our 12 hours of MV turned into 3 hours, but other teams only made it a little over an hour. And many individuals never even raced their bikes.
So if a Tough Mudder is slugging around in the mud going through obstacles (i.e. carrying a bike up and down slick trails), yes I have done one. I think I would like it better if I was prepared.
Of note, I have nothing but respect for the directors of the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde. They made logical and wise decisions in the heat of the battle. Kudos for sure.