Athletes Put Physical Skills to Test With Tough Mudder Event - The Missourian: Sports

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Athletes Put Physical Skills to Test With Tough Mudder Event

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Posted: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 3:00 pm

It’s an event that’s appropriately named.

The Tough Mudder, which can best be described as a grueling 11-mile obstacle course full of mud and many other challenges, recently came to Missouri.

The event’s website, www.toughmudder.com, described it as “probably the toughest event on the planet.”

In further details, the website says “Tough Mudder events are hard core 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit and camaraderie. With the most innovative courses, half a million inspiring participants, and more than $3 million raised for the Wounded Warrior Project, Tough Mudder is the premier adventure challenge series in the world.”

Seven area athletes, all of whom train at the Four Rivers Area Family YMCA in Washington, made the trip to Poplar Bluff on Oct. 13 to give the Tough Mudder their best shot.

Competing were David Cox, Brandy Kimminau, Adam Koch, Heather Henderson, Greg Birkmann, Adam Smith and Melissa Brown.

Approximately 200 to 300 people competed in each heat of the two-day event.

There were roughly 26 obstacles scattered throughout the course that included mud, fire, ice-water and 10,000 volts of electricity.

To paint a mental picture, each obstacle had a name. Some of them included Bale Bonds, Braveheart Charge, Berlin Walls, Cliffhanger, Devils Beard, Electric Eal, Funkey Monkey, Gauntlet and Greased Lightning.

It was far from just a walk in the park.

Just to get to the starting line, participants had to climb an 8-foot wall.

Once everyone was at the starting line, the master of ceremonies gave a motivational speech, which was needed.

Music also was played during the event. Anything to help the participants through the course helped.

It’s impossible to fight the Tough Mudder alone.

Instead, it takes a boost and a push from friends and teammates to get over walls as high as 12 feet and through underground mud tunnels — all when you’re body is soaked with water and mud.

Cox, Koch and Kimminau, all Washington natives, had plenty to say about experiencing Tough Mudder for the first time.

“You’re not just going through all of these different obstacles, which is challenging enough, but you’re pushing yourself through mud that’s up to your knees and your waist,” said Cox, an avid rugby player in the area. “There were random mud pits everywhere. It was very competitive. It’s no joke.”

Koch, a former Washington High School football player, said he was challenged right off the bat.

“The second obstacle on the course was a pit probably 6 feet deep that was full of ice water. It was brutal,” Koch said. “It was tough, but I loved it. The best part was looking forward to what was coming up next.”

Kimminau pushed her way through the course as well, but agreed that it took teamwork.

“As a girl, there was no way I could climb over those walls by myself. It definitely took teamwork. You’re forced to work as a team, which made it fun going through the obstacles, ” Kimminau said. “I’ve run in a couple of half-marathons, but this was definitely the hardest thing physically I’ve ever done. There was a lot of walking, crawling and jumping.”

The Tough Mudder is much different than Muddy Buddy and Warrior Dash.

It’s three times as long and requires supreme athletic ability and mental toughness.

“You definitely have to be in shape. You have to train and prepare for it,” Cox said. “It takes a lot of upper-body strength.”

It took the local YMCA team four hours and 15 minutes to finish the race, which all seven of them did.

“There’s no down time,” Koch said. “I think everyone in our heat finished the race, but it takes a lot of work. There’s a lot of climbing and jumping. Sometimes you have to carry each other.”

So why would anyone want to put themselves through this for better than four hours?

“I was looking for a physically demanding challenge and definitely found one. From start to finish, it was very challenging,” Cox said.

“I had a blast. I guess I just like beating the crap out of myself. It was an eye-opening experience. I can’t wait for the next one,” Koch added.

“One thing I really liked was not only does it donate to the Wounded Warrior Project, but there were also wounded warriors competing,” Kimminau said. “It was neat to see them out there and help them when they needed it.”

The YMCA team stayed together throughout the race.

“We all finished together,” Koch said.

Originally, Koch and Kimminau had just planned to compete, but wisely recruited some teammates at the YMCA.

“Adam took the initiative to put the team together,” Cox said.

“I met everyone on our team here at the Y,” Kimminau said. “I’m glad we got the team together. We all supported each other and helped each other through it.”

Koch was quick to answer the question of whether there will be another appearance in the Tough Mudder.

“Absolutely. I’ll do it again. There’s one in April in St. Louis and one in September in Kansas City. I’ll do both,” Koch said. “I encourage everyone to give it a try. You just have to train and prepare for it. And don’t do it alone. Bring friends.”

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Area Scoreboard

Football

Friday, Sept. 19

*Ft. Zumwalt S at Washington    7 p.m.

Cardinal Ritter at Borgia    7 p.m.

*St. Clair at Union    7 p.m.

*Pacific at Sullivan    7 p.m.

*Hermann at Owensville    7 p.m.

Ash Grove at St. James    7 p.m.

Cuba at Brentwood    7 p.m.

*St. Charles West at Warrenton    7 p.m.

South Callaway at Wright City     7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 12

*Ft. Zumwalt North 49, Washington 0

*Borgia 35, St. Dominic 0

*Union 27, Pacific 19

*Sullivan 47, St. Clair 21

Hermann 65, Wentzville Liberty 7

*Owensville 29, St. James 28 (OT)

Cuba 22, Windsor 6

*Warrenton 14, St. Charles 6

*Bowling Green 55, Wright City 0

Friday, Sept. 5

Warrenton 14, Washington 6

Borgia 13, Maplewood-Richmond Heights 0 (forfeit)

*Union 32, Sullivan 19

*Pacific 20, St. Clair 18

*Hermann 52, St. James 20

Owensville 35, Cuba 8

*Wright City 36, Montgomery Co. 0

Friday, Aug. 29

Sullivan 30, Washington 8

Borgia 56, Union 13

Ozark 41, St. Clair 0

Potosi 34, Pacific 13

Hermann 54, Cuba 12

Blair Oaks 42, Owensville 0

St. James 36, Houston 18

Warrenton 28, Troy 0

Orchard Farm 36, Wright City 18

Friday, Aug. 22

Washington 26, St. Clair 21

Borgia 48, Owensville 12

Parkway West 49, Union 39

Pacific 28, De Soto 20

Park Hills Central 34, Sullivan 27

St. James 12, Cuba 6

Hermann 61, Montgomery Co 12

Warrenton 26, St. Dominic 23

Trinity 28, Wright City 24

Softball

Tuesday, Sept. 16

*Borgia at Notre Dame    4:30 p.m.

*Washington at Ft. Zumwalt N    4:30 p.m.

*Union at Owensville    4:30 p.m.

*Pacific at New Haven    4:30 p.m.

*St. James at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

*Hermann at Sullivan    4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 17

Washington at Warrenton    4:30 p.m.

Sullivan at Northwest    4:30 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 18

*St. Dominic at Borgia    3:45 p.m.

*Union at Hermann    4:30 p.m.

*St. Clair at New Haven    4:30 p.m.

*St. James at Pacific    4:30 p.m.

*Owensville at Sullivan    4:30 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 19

Union at Ft. Zumwalt N Tny    TBA

South Callaway at New Haven    5 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 20

Union at Ft. Zumwalt N Tny    TBA

St. James Tny    TBA

Monday, Sept. 22

*Washington at Ft. Zumwalt S    4:30 p.m.

Union at North County    4:30 p.m.

Warrenton at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

Principia at Sullivan    4:30 p.m.

Hermann at Cuba    4:30 p.m.

Owensville at Cuba    4:30 p.m.

St. James at Bourbon    4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 23

*Borgia at Duchesne    4:30 p.m.

*Holt at Washington    4:30 p.m.

*Pacific at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

*Owensville at New Haven    4:30 p.m.

*Hermann at St. James    4:30 p.m.

Volleyball

Tuesday, Sept. 16

*Sullivan at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

*Washington at Ft. Zumwalt E    5 p.m.

*New Haven at Union    5:30 p.m.

*Pacific at Hermann    5:30 p.m.

*Owensville at St. James    5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 17

Washington at Duchesne    5 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 18

*St. Clair at Owensville    5 p.m.

*Union at Pacific    5:30 p.m.

*Hermann at New Haven    5:30 p.m.

*St. James at Sullivan    5:30 p.m.

O’Fallon Christian at Borgia    6:30 p.m.

Washington at Gateway Match Up    TBA

Friday, Sept. 19

Eagle Ridge at Crosspoint    5:15 p.m.

Providence at Crosspoint    7:15 p.m.

Washington at Gateway Match Up    TBA

Saturday, Sept. 20

New Haven Round Robin    9 a.m.

ECC at Wentworth    1 p.m.

ECC vs. Graceland JV (Wentworth)    3 p.m.

Washington at Gateway Match Up    TBA

St. Clair at Seckman Tny    TBA

Monday, Sept. 22

St. Clair at Salem    5 p.m.

Bourbon at Sullivan    5:30 p.m.

Dixon at St. James    5:30 p.m.

Hermann Tournament    TBA

Tuesday, Sept. 23

Cuba at St. James    5:30 p.m.

Crosspoint at Bethel    5:30 p.m.

Crosspoint vs. Thomas Jefferson    6:30 p.m.

Hermann Tournament    TBA

Boys Soccer

Tuesday, Sept. 16

Crosspoint at Fulton St. Albans    4:30 p.m.

Tolton Catholic at Borgia    5:30 p.m.

*Washington at Ft. Zumwalt E    6 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 17

*St. Louis at ECC    4:30 p.m.

Union at Affton    5 p.m.

St. Clair at De Soto    5 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 18

*St. Clair at St. James    5 p.m.

Dixon at Sullivan    5 p.m.

Borgia at Trinity    6:15 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 19

Eagle Ridge at Crosspoint    4:30 p.m.

Tolton at Fulton SA    5 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 20

*Ft. Zumwalt S at Washington    10 a.m.

Crowder at ECC    2 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 22

Hillsboro at Union    5 p.m.

CYC Tny    TBA

Tuesday, Sept. 23

*Fulton SA at Thomas Jefferson    4:30 p.m.

North County at Union    5 p.m.

*St. James at Pacific    5 p.m.

*Borgia at St. Dominic    6:15 p.m.

CYC Tny    TBA

Cross Country

Thursday, Sept. 18

St. Clair at Lutheran North    4 p.m.

New Haven, St. James at Steelville Inv    4 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 20

Festus Inv.    9 a.m.

Hermann at Fulton Inv    9 a.m.

Thursday, Sept. 25

Washington at Rolla Inv    4 p.m.

Union, Owensville, St. James at Belle Inv    4 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 27

Hancock Inv    8:30 a.m.

Pacific at Viburnum Inv    10:30 a.m.

Monday, Sept. 29

St. Clair at Elsberry Inv    4 p.m.

St. James at Dixon    4 p.m.

Girls Golf

Tuesday, Sept. 16

*Borgia at St. Dominic    3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 17

Duchesne at Borgia    3:30 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 18

Ft. Zumwalt S at Washington    3:30 p.m.

Borgia at AAA Meet, Lutheran SC    TBA

Wednesday, Sept. 24

Washington at GAC Central Meet    TBA

Thursday, Sept. 25

*Duchesne at Borgia    3:30 p.m.

Boys Swimming

Saturday, Sept. 20

Borgia at Ft. Zumwalt W    8:30 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 29

Washington at Ft. Zumwalt South    3:30 p.m.

*Conference Games

Racing News