Hi guys! ***LONG POST ALERT***
So because I’m a mad badger/am easily persuaded into doing things, I signed up to volunteer for a full MVP shift at the TM Half Midlands and then a Race Official shift at the inaugural Europe’s Toughest Mudder over night.
This meant I had to leave Manchester at 3am Saturday morning, work 6-6 at the half, have a 4.5ish hour break and then work 10:30-8:30am before driving back.
After some ‘negotiating’ shall we say regarding where on course I wanted to be, I wangled my way onto being on Everest 2.0 – basically the best role for someone who is loud, mad and annoying but can also be really physical at the start/finish.
Due to the nature of the event there were a lot of new-to-OCR people, and people who’s fitness may not have been exactly where it needs to be for Everest, which meant that we did have a lot of injuries (despite my incessant reminders not to jump/land on your face, people kept ignoring me and thus a fair few teeth were lost, plus the usual head injuries etc), but all in all it was a good day, we had cleared the course by 2pm!
Luckily we managed to check out earlier (around 4pm by the time we had helped sort other stuff out) so I got to lie down in the car for a wee while but I only managed about an hour’s sleep
We wandered over to the MVP tent early for the second shift and quickly got roped into helping on check in for the pit crew, before being allocated onto our obstacles. Mike and I were put onto Arctic Enema: The Rebirth – an obstacle I have done once and hate with a passion but had yet to MVP on.
The nature of ETM being a race meant that the usual MVP role of helping people and dishing out muddy hugs was off the table – nothing that could be construed as interference was permitted which was hard for me as a serial MVPer!
With one hour sleep under my belt I knew it was going to be hard but I wasn’t sure just HOW hard it would be – come 2am this morning I was seriously flagging and in desperate need of sleep, I looked worse than some of the runners! Speaking of the runners, it was hard having to remove timing chips from people but AE is a compulsory obstacle which mean not completing it resulted in disqualification – and AE was top of the DQ list. Between people retiring themselves due to exhaustion, cold or injury the field shrunk steadily.
Most people seemed to smash out 4-5 laps (5 mile a lap + penalty loops) assuming they finished which was really impressive given the weather conditions.
The male winner ended up running 10 laps – 50 MILES IN 8 HOURS PEOPLE – and when we saw him he barely looked phased! This guy had won World’s Toughest and already qualified in America with 50 miles so that goes to show the commitment some people put into this.
Anyway, this has been a really long post and I’m super tired but I wanna say a massive thanks to all the runners for appreciating our work, to TMHQ for all the hard work put into the event and my fellow MVPs without whom the event could not run.
I’m now off to eat ice cream and drink cider in the bath before I go to bed at some ridiculously early hour.
Muddy love and hugs (now I can give them out)