Monday, July 9, 2012

Team Tiburon Conquers the Tough Mudder

Those of you who have been following Team Tiburon have probably been wondering what happened to us.  Well I’m happy to report that we completed the Tough Mudder in May, and we did it as a Team — I couldn’t emphasize that more strongly. Although Elasmo was sidelined by an injury, he was out there on the course all day cheering us on, and thanks to his efforts we have these great photos to share. So here’s a big thank you to everyone who supported our team throughout our training process, and helped raise money for the renovation of our Giant Ocean Tank.

Check out our photos below and then find out what’s next for Team Tiburon!

Cuddle, Hawk, Flame, Mudskipper, Lion, Chrys, and Elasmo before heading over to the mountain.  Our faces might look relaxed but we were all very nervous about what challenges loomed ahead!

Although we were given bib numbers to pin on, our numbers were also written on us in permanent marker - ON OUR FOREHEADS – just in case the bib number came off and we needed to be identified.  From left, Lion, Flame, Cuddle, Chrys, Hawk, and Mudskipper clean and happy before the Mudder begins!

Teams are sent off in waves every 20 minutes – we were in the 9:40 a.m. start time.  Scaling a wall to get into the starting corral,  we knew this was going to be no ordinary race, a fact driven home when we took the Tough Mudder pledge:

“As a Tough Mudder I pledge that I understand that Tough Mudder is not a race but a challenge.
I put teamwork and camaraderie ahead of course time.
I do not whine – kids whine.
I help my fellow Mudders complete the course.
I overcome all fears.”

And then we were off to run up and down the black diamond trails of Mount Snow for the first of many, many times that day all while anticipating 30 military style obstacles!

Our first non-hill obstacle – the Arctic Plunge.  Flame, Mudskipper, and Cuddle brave the ~35 degree water completely filled with ice cubes.  In the center there is a wall that you have to go under (the barbed wire prevents you from going over).  It was CHILLY to say the least!

Getting out of the Arctic Plunge, you can see our faces frozen in shock from the cold.

Another of the challenging obstacles, Hawk and Chrys are on the Dangler – you had to hang from the rope and pull yourself across a manmade lake approximately 50 yards long.  Fall off, and once again you are plunged into some freezing cold water.

Team Tiburon (near the top) doing some more hill running – by the end the downhills were just as challenging as the uphills and the event was definitely designed to test your mental grit as much as your physical strength.

As if cold water weren’t enough, they added an ice obstacle in the form of the Glacier.  You had to climb to the top of it and then slide down.  It definitely burned!  Cuddle is sliding down while other Tiburoners wait their turn and Mudskipper has made it to the bottom.

Muddy, tired, and cold – but still smiling despite being only about halfway through. 

This was one of the hardest obstacles in the whole challenge – the Funky Monkey – consisting of monkey bars, some loose, some greased, angled up and then down.  Most of us chose to just swim through this obstacle as several people were seen being taken off the course with sprained/broken ankles after falling from the bars.  But here Lion – the only member of Team Tiburon to complete this challenge - shows how to get it done while Flame and Mudskipper cheer him on!

The Log Jammer – a series of logs formed together with barbed wire.  Here Flame is showing how to get over some of the logs but there were also others that you had to crawl under.  Although not maybe the most daunting challenge, at this point we were cold, wet, and tired, and each obstacle required physical and mental toughness to overcome.

Chrys and Lion help Cuddle over one of the 12 foot Berlin Walls where Flame and Mudskipper are excitedly waiting.

Team Tiburon making our way through Firewalker – at this point while the smoke was thick and thus hard to breathe, we were just happy for the warmth!  Especially since it was about ½ hour wait for us to get through the next challenge – Everest.  No quit in here…!

The only way to get through this challenge, unless you can pull yourself up, is to run up the wall and reach for the people waiting for you at the top.  Here Chrys is helping Lion up the wall – now that’s teamwork!  And from here there was one last obstacle waiting for us – Electroshock Therapy…

Hawk, Flame, Lion, and Chrys pictured running through a field of live electric wires, some of them carrying up to a 10,000 volt shock.

We did it!!  We earned our Tough Mudder headbands and Elasmo won the award for best teammate and supporter ever (although his boot might have been a little worse for the wear).

But fear not loyal Team Tiburon followers – this is not the end for us.  Now that Elasmo’s leg has healed, Team Tiburon will once again take on the Tough Mudder on July 14 in Mount Snow – so if you have what it takes, then sign up to join us, or at least come cheer us on – as Elasmo will tell you, that’s a workout in and of itself.  (And remember, there’s always still time to donate.)

Please contribute to their fundraising efforts for the New England Aquarium and share this post to spread the word. Catch up on their previous posts here.

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