We’d agreed to meet the boys at 9am in reception and to my amazement, considering all the alcohol, they were all there!
After a quick natter we off into the wide world of Southampton. The boys dropped Nikki and me off at Asda where we collected a few bits for the day, water, snacks, breakfast goodies and one final addition to our outfits….
We then headed back to the hotel to eat and rest before the afternoon’s excitement
We all met in reception at 11.45 for a 12pm mass exodus for Winchester, we must have been quite a sight in our outfits, but I got the impression the staff were used to a lot of stag and hen dos so really we were nothing special.
TM charges £10 per car unless you have 4+ people in it so everyone was divided up between the cars, we ended up with 5 of us in Al’s little Fiat 500 – v cosy!
Sat Nav lady was out again and we set off in high excitement mixed with slight nervousness. Our task was to spot the signs for Tough Mudder which were promised as we turned off the motorway. It was decided Nikki should be taking photos of the signs, but kept missing them so Mhairi came up with the technique that she’d say now and Nikki would take a picture. It was slightly more successful, but to be honest, not much!
It did pass the time though and soon enough we were in a 2 minute queue for the car park, got our space, met the others and heading for registration and to hand in our Death Waivers…….. The general gist of those was ‘if I die it’s my own fault, I was warned……’
We pinned our numbers on, had our numbers written on us, applied sun tan lotion as it was a beautiful warm sunny day, tucked into my peanut butter and jam sarnies and before we knew it was nearly time to start.
The boys had decided that although James couldn’t do TM with us in person he should be there with us in spirit and so an inflatable skeleton had been bought, a team shirt customised and a discarded running number pinned to his vest.
A guy walked past and asked if we’d pose for a team photo which we were more than happy to do.
Just as he was finishing a man appeared in the near distance with his arm in plaster and a sling – a massive cheer went up, it was James!! I’d never met him before, but it was so lovely to see him and I was glad he was there to see us off and to see the mascot the boys had made.
Sadly we then had to say goodbye as it was time for our wave’s warm up. TM is a very American event, a lot of hoo rah’s and team talk – it’s a bit cheesy, but so infectious and creates a brilliant atmosphere which continued throughout the event.
TM is not timed, there are no chips, you run the course, no one gets left behind, we were there in teams or as individuals but from this point on there was only us, one big team that was there to get each other through the course.
We had a fun warm up, jumping around, screaming at each other, arms around each other, becoming that one team.
Then we moved toward the start proper – it had been masked by tents until we walked around and discovered that to get to the start we had to climb over a 6ft wall!
We then had another ‘chat’ someone taking part was dressed as a priest and was asked to bless us all, which he duly did, then we had to take our TM pledge
and finally we were away! In total there were 16 of us, 17 when you counted skeleton James and Nikki and I had discussed the likelihood of us all staying together and were quite happy with the idea that the boys would probably want to go ahead leaving us slightly slower ones behind. As it turned out we stayed together for the entire course – we separated while running but regrouped before every obstacle – it was lovely and we couldn’t have had a more team spiritedly minded group