September 8th, 2012 was the inaugural Hardcore Mudd Run at Tussey Mountain Ski Resort in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania. It promised to be the most challenging experience that any of its participants had ever encountered. It promised to challenge, both mentally and physically, those who dared enlist. It promised to be a course that could not be completed alone, but would band each individual together into a unified team that would need to work together to finish the task at hand.
Hardcore Mudd Run delivered, and I will say confidently, that it is the most challenging course that I have encountered to date. It blew away my expectations, and I am thrilled to be one of the few that can say, I am a part of the Hardcore Army.
I was invited to participate by my husband’s cousin, Christy, and after a quick introduction to my other team mates before the event, we quickly bonded, in a way people only can during an experience such as Hardcore Mudd Run.
Commander Animal Jones & his trusty sidekick for the day (a boy I would guess to be about 10 years old, who had to be having the best day of his life heckling grown adults like a drill sergeant), gave us a motivating pep talk, played the national anthem, required 30 jumping jacks & 15 pushups, and then sent us on our way up the first of nine climbs up the mountain.
Yes, nine. The largest climb of which we would also be required to carry a heavy sandbag up and back.
We were given a multitude of tasks throughout the course. We crawled through shale filled tunnels, climbed a 25 foot high cargo net, followed winding trails through the woods over rocks and trees and down steep embankments, scaled walls, jumped fire, were shot at with paintball guns, jumped from heights (my least favorite!!), and finished together, a unified team.
Not only that, but we laughed together, bled, fell, faced our fears, supported & encouraged each other, helped & supported each other, bonded fiercely, made lifelong memories, felt weak at times but emerged strong, and we did it together. Exactly what Hardcore Mudd Run is all about.
The Hardcore Mudd Run “Army Statement” goes as follows:
Today I am not a race, competitor, or contestant. Today I am being tested, challenged and pushed. Today pain and fear will find me and I will overcome. Today I am here to be challenged! Today I am here to claim my right! Today I am no longer I or me! Today we will become members of the Hardcore Army!
Through driving rain and slippery conditions, we completed the 8 mile course in just under five and a half hours. It was an amazing experience, and one I am so thankful to have had!
One thing I really liked is the fact that spectators were able to travel throughout most of the course, so those there to support their family and friends had access to see most of the obstacles. Not all courses are that accessible, so that was great!
The main complaints had were due to bottle necking, causing long wait times which resulted in stiff muscles. One particular obstacle, we waited almost 40 minutes to start, and by the time we reached it we were freezing and sore, and daunted by the fact that we had at least three more times ahead of us to climb the mountain. The other issue was lack of water stops/nutrition. We had a couple of water stops along the top of the mountain, but definitely needed more. Thankfully I brought energy gummies and a Camel Bak, and at one point my husband brought over Gatorade for us to re-fuel. I must commend the HMR team for listening to the feedback of their participants though, because Sunday they made sure that bananas, bagels, energy bars, etc were provided throughout the course.
So, overall, AWESOME experience! Having never completed any sort of event in the mountains, it was definitely a game-changer for me. It was tough, it challenged our bodies and our minds. I’ve never gotten so close to becoming discouraged in a race in my life, as the cold and stiffness set in at one point. But we all pushed through, and we all finished together. I am so proud of my team, and so proud to call myself a part of the Hardcore Army!
Here are a few of my favorite photos of the day. To see them all, head to my Facebook page, Click Here