We recently completed the Tougher Mudder in Laughlin, and my feelings about it remain unchanged. IT ROCKS!
(Note: this is NOT a review of World’s Toughest Mudder, held in Laughlin the weekend before.)
In November, Tough Mudder recently held two events in Laughlin, Nevada: World’s Toughest Mudder and then the good old normal course options the following weekend as well. This event was in lieu of the Spartan that’s normally held in November in Laughlin. Now that Spartan also runs Tough Mudder, I’m hopeful we’ll see more of the combined events like the one that just took place in Florida this past weekend, where both race brands are present at one event. Fingers crossed!
This event in Laughlin was the last time that Tough Mudder (at least for the time being) is going to offer competitive heats at their standard events, and I’m so glad I ran the very last elite heat! Though I do hope they bring back the competitive heats in the future. There is something unique about running to compete but also having to work with those around you (sometimes even if you’re competing against them) so that you both can get through a team-based obstacle.
With that said, I’m also excited to get out there in 2022 and just run with my husband and friends for fun.
The course itself continued to wind its way through washes and thick sand. (The Spartan course here did that as well, but the stretches of wash were shorter and fewer). If you’ve never run through thick sand in a wash before, it can be extremely exhausting, and it’s hard to get into a true running pace because your feet are working hard to dig out and off the ground.
The course was supposed to be 10 miles, but several people, myself included tracked it at just under 9.
There were some new-to-me obstacles (and penalties) on this Tougher Mudder course, such as Castaway. You use a rope to pull a (floating) bag toward you, get on the bag, and then use the rope or slack line to pull yourself across without falling in. This obstacle really challenges your ability to balance. While I did it solo, it seemed to be that having a second person on the obstacle with you might actually make you more prone to falling in the water unless you both work really well together.
I know the cage crawl is not a new obstacle, but this was the first time I’ve seen it on course. The obstacle was not hard, but I did experience self-created issues. Because the water was FREEZING, I tried to get out of it as quickly as possible. In turn, I kept splashing water up everywhere into my own face so I couldn’t see. I wear contacts so I basically had to keep my eyes shut and hope for the best when I got to the end. Where are the photographers when you need them?! 😆
I failed one obstacle: well swung. I ran and jumped but I think I was still like 3-6 inches shy from reaching the handle. There is a full body plunge into cold water that you submerge into whether you pass or fail this one. For a failure, however, there was a penalty. Again, no photographers to capture this funny situation. The penalty was out and around a u-shaped penalty loop by bouncing on a huge bright yellow bouncy ball with a smiley face on it. I’ve never laughed so much while completing a penalty before.
THE COMMUNITY & VENUE:
The event itself was a ton of fun. We met a handful of people and were inspired by countless others. The one racer that was nearby to me for the race, Mike, had completed the World’s Toughest Mudder the weekend before as well. I was inspired that he ran 75 miles of this course the weekend prior and came back out to have another go at it the following weekend. And he was right there to help me on the obstacles that you sometimes just really need another person for unless you’re taller (blockness monster for example). Thank you again, Mike!
Overall, Laughlin is a good spot for OCR races to happen. I think it offers a different vibe than many other venues. It’s dusty, windy, and sandy. Even as a person who lives in the desert, this course presents a good amount of challenges to overcome.
Have you done a race in Laughlin? What are your experiences and thoughts about it?
Written by Bethany Diaz | Race date: 11/20/2021
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