staying fit

Staying fit: Are you ready for Tough Mudder?

A special preview of the high-octane obstacles awaiting race fanatics this weekend

Dwynn Trazo, Senior Infographic Artist
12:54 December 6, 2017
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The sun is setting on 2017 and the festive season is rapidly ushering in what will be, yet again, a new chapter of unfulfilled New Year’s fitness resolutions. Remember that time you told yourself you’d be active this year? Yes? Then good on you, I’m sure you did great! No? Well then, we’ve got your last hurrah covered. Consider this proposition because it’s adrenalin pumping... seriously.

Capping this year’s obstacle course race (OCR) season isn’t a ‘race’ per se. More like a long muddy stretch of exciting teamwork and, did I say fun?

Hello du Tough Mudder! The second outing of this one-of-a-kind OCR is taking place at the grounds of Hamdan Sports Complex tomorrow and on Saturday. Registrations are still open so if you want to make last minute amends with your broken promises, now is your chance.

Gulf News tabloid! got a special preview of this year’s du Tough Mudder and it’s looking like a vastly improved version from 2016. The organisers listened to your suggestions and made generous changes. For example, there is now only one distance to cover — 12km, a welcome compromise between the previous 8km and 16km lengths. Another noteworthy adjustment is bringing the obstacles closer to each other, making them always within your line of sight, so you never feel like you’re wandering aimlessly. This also means less time running on sand. And of course, there are enhancements to the obstacles and an addition of one particularly tricky challenge.

During the preview, we got to experience some of the obstacles first-hand and I must point out the addition of the ‘Reach Around’.

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The Reach Around requires a lot of upper body strength and dexterity from the mudders. You traverse monkey bars and make your way to the end where you either flip yourself feet first onto the platform just above the bars or hook your legs onto it and slowly climb on. Your reactionary movements seem instinctive once up there and you just keep on adjusting to something you’ve never done before. Not easy by any means but it was so much fun to do!

That’s only the tip of the iceberg. Every obstacle Mudders around the world have become accustomed to is back in the UAE this year to challenge participants and give them a hard good time.

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Here’s a rundown of some signature Mudder obstacles:

Mud Mile: Classic. Drag your way or get stuck in pits full of mud.

Arctic Enema — The Re-birth: A high-speed plunge into 10 tons of ice.

Funky Monkey: A hanging ascend and descend traverse across pipes.

Birth Canal: Claustrophobic? This slow, heavy crawl to the other side is perfect for you.

The Liberator: Scale it by strategically placing wooden pegs into a series of holes.

Pyramid Scheme: The only way to reach the top is by climbing on a stack of other mudders.

Skidmarked: This 10-foot slanted wall is best conquered with teammates pushing you from below.

Berlin Walls: Go up and over because there is no tearing down of these walls.

The Block Ness Monster: Teamwork is mandatory to push and pull this giant rotating barrier in order to get through.

Everest 2.0: A slippery sprint to the summit where outstretched arms of mudders await to grab you.

Electroshock Therapy: Run through a shocking finale of dangling wires packing 10,000 volts.

But there’s more! Hurdles, Sand Bagging, Killa Gorilla, Fireman’s Carry, Totally Tiresome, Mudder Barrow and The Big Dipper also make their presence felt in this year’s du Tough Mudder.

All in all, teamwork is necessary in a lot of these obstacles. So, you may not start with a team but you’re going to end up in one. And like the previous OCRs, du Tough Mudder is sure to test your physical and mental toughness. Conquer yourself to end the year strong.

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Don’t miss it!

du Tough Mudder will take place on December 8-9 on the grounds of the Hamdan Sports Complex. Registration prices begin at Dh490.