On April 26th Nick Blackman of General Demolition undertook the biggest physical challenge of his life, sprinting through mud-covered fields, crawling under live wires and jumping flames. Pushing himself to the limit Nick participated in and completed Tough Mudder, a 12 mile course consisting of 26 obstacles, designed to test your all-round strength, stamina and mental grit. Founded in 2010 and designed by the British Special Forces, Tough Mudder competitions take place all over the world and have attracted over one million participants globally, proving to be the premier obstacle course and billing itself as “probably the toughest event on the planet”.
This year’s Tough Mudder event was held at Culden Faw a vast estate near Henley-on-Thames. Covering thousands of acres and with a varied terrain consisting of hills, valleys and thick wooded areas it was the perfect setting for the hardcore obstacle course.
An ambitious undertaking by anyones standards the question remains was Nick prepared? The best way to find out was to catch up with him a few days before the event during one of his training sessions. In between lifting weights he had time to tell us what he has been doing to prepare for the event. “I haven’t attempted any form of cardio for the last 10 years so anything more than running for a bus was an achievement but for the last 6 months I’ve up’d my weights programme and added swimming, jogging and skipping into the weekday routine. I had read about Tough Mudder a few years ago and have been keen on participating ever since. My girlfriend thought I’d never do it so I had to prove her wrong. When I heard “obstacle course with fire, ice and electrocution” I felt it was my duty as a man to get involved, plus it was a great incentive to get fit and give up smoking”.
Nick took on Tough Mudder for the challenge and also to support his chosen charity Cancer Research, a charity close to his heart. “We all know someone affected by cancer and it hit home last year when my sister was diagnosed, thankfully she’s on the mend now but I want to raise as much money as I can to help the charity. So far I think my team have raised over £2500 which is a great effort but there is still time for a few last minute donations”
Slogging through the mud and swimming through ice Nick managed to complete his 12 miles of torture in an impressive 3 and a half hours but was keen to point out that it’s not a race ” I completed the course in just under 3.5 hours but it’s not officially timed, it’s a “no man left behind” mentality rather than a race”.
Apart from collecting a number of bumps, bruises and a broken finger along the way we asked Nick what his stand out Mudder memory from the day was “The Arctic enema obstacle is a definite contender, (swimming through the ice and under a wooden plank) nothing can prepare you for completely submersing yourself in freezing icy water on mile 2, but as cheesy as it sounds, crossing the finish line was the Mudder moment for me, I never thought my body had 12 miles in it. So it goes to show what mind over matter can achieve”.
So has nick had enough punishment or will he be signing up for next year? “Probably not, it was a great experience but I would try my hand at something with less mileage and more obstacles in the future.”
If you wish to make a donation to Nick’s chosen charity Cancer research visit www.cancerresearchuk.org
For further information regarding Tough Mudder events visit www.toughmudder.co.uk