Tough Mudder descended upon the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH this past weekend. As a native Californian visiting this part of the country for the first time, I’d like to personally thank Mother Nature for doing me a solid. After a couple of days with oppressive heat and humidity leading up to the event, we were greeted on Saturday morning with mild humidity and temps in the mid 70’s.
Both the “full” Tough Mudder, and the new Tough Mudder Half were held on Saturday. The full course measured about 10.5 miles and featured a total of 22 obstacles, while the half was just a tad over 5 miles and had 13 obstacles.
This is the first event I’ve attended in which the Half wasn’t held on a separate day. Waves for the full Mudder started at 8am, while the first wave for the Half didn’t launch until 10am. Both events shared the same route and obstacles until the 5-mile mark. At that point, the course was split, with the Mudder Half participants basically hanging a wide U-turn and heading back to the finish line. Sadly, unlike at previous venues, there was no final obstacle to complete prior to crossing the finish line for them.
Here’s my good, bad, and ugly observations from the weekend:
- Course Layout: Despite a relatively flat/open location, the design team did a great job of utilizing the surrounding landscape whenever possible. They even managed to fit in a nice wooded trail section between miles 8 an 9, which would account for a majority of the course’s elevation (which could not have been much more than 100 feet).
- Obstacle mix: While it’s always nice to see the bigger, most popular obstacles out on a course (King of Swingers, Block Ness Monster, Funky Monkey 2.0) it’s also nice to see a couple pop up that we may not have seen in a while. Hold Your Wood 2.0 made an appearance out in New Hampshire. This obstacle had been absent from any of the west coast events that I’ve done this year. It’s an obstacle that truly embodies Tough Mudder’s idea of teamwork and camaraderie, and I was happy to see it out there.
- Turducken: This is the second time that I’ve encountered this obstacle, and it’s quickly becoming a favorite of mine. While not necessarily challenging, I enjoy it because it is multifaceted, and it includes multiple water entries. There was one unwelcome addition (unintentionally) to this obstacle in New Hampshire, but I’ll cover that a bit later.
- No Flying Squirrel at the Tough Mudder Half finish line. This obstacle is marketed as an exclusive item for the TM Half, and one that I find very enjoyable. Not having it (or any obstacle, really) at the finish line made the completion of the Half very…uneventful.
- Devil’s beard: Why? Why does this obstacle still exist? Seriously. It’s not challenging, nor is it fun. It’s just kind of….there. It’s like a filler obstacle, and one who’s time has come to be retired. How many times have you approached this obstacle and heard someone say, “Oh sweet! Devil’s Beard is up next!” Exactly. Me neither.
- Wolf Spiders are MUCH bigger out east, and they can swim: I don’t mind spiders, but swimming death spiders that are the size of my hand? Nope! I encountered one of these during the second half of the Turducken obstacle. I escaped its watery lair of doom unscathed on Saturday, but I cannot speak for the other participants.
As has happened multiple times this year, I left Tough Mudder Northeast with a smile on my face and a satisfied feeling in my heart. Tough Mudder continues to do a wonderful job at putting on these events. From the blaring dub-step of the Warm-Up Zone, to the giggling and splashing of the Mini Mudder kids course, these events continue to evolve and grow. These events truly have a little something for everyone, and this one was no exception.
Carlo is one half of the not yet world famous YouTube duo known as "The Pis-N-Cox Show".