Chesterton House Toughen Up!
On Saturday 18th May, six of our bravest Chesterton House staff members took on the Tough Mudder Midlands 5K, along with 4 friends. They included a Financial Planner, an Accountant, two Paraplanners, a Receptionist and a member of the Marketing team (guess whose task was writing this blog).
John Bolton has the full story of how they got on...
Set in the lavish grounds of Belvoir Castle, we were tasked with running 5km. Sounds easy, right? So why did it take over an hour to complete when the average time for a standard 5K run is 20-25 minutes?
The clue's in the name of the event - "tough" and "mud". Overall there were 13 obstacles we had to overcome as a team, which were as follows:
Kiss of Mud
After the first initial running section we found ourselves crawling through a thick blanket of gloopy mud while trying to avoid the reams of barbed wire overhead. The barbed wire set an ominous tone... what had we signed up for?!
Running through a waist high pit of sludge that had strategically placed holes and ledges to trip you up, sending you face-first into the mud.
The first real test of our teamwork skills - three walls that gradually got higher and higher with a 10 foot wall to finish. Anyone need a leg-up?
The Blockness Monster
A killer obstacle with a killer name. Slipping into freezing cold water, we had to traverse some 60" wide (and very heavy) rotating blocks. This one required cooperation both within our team, but also with other runners. Help your fellow Mudder out and they'll help you!
So you're all slippy from the murky water of Blockness... I know, let's put a great big quarter pipe between us and the rest of the race. We all got through, although this is probably what caused the bruise on my knee. Another cooperative obstacle, if someone pulls you up then pull up the next person!
Nice and simple - walk through a swamp and hope you don't trip on any tree roots!
Wade through a lake until you arrive at the islands (floating, wobbly platforms), then jump from platform to platform. Simple enough.
Crawl under a gigantic net that gradually gets tighter to the floor. My knees!
A few of us pegged this as the hardest obstacle of all when all it was was more running! A steep uphill climb, followed by a downhill trudge... then do it all again.
Texas Hold Em'
Think they may have started to run out of ideas for this one... traverse a triangular platform by holding hands with a teammate and shuffling across. Lean back!
After trudging through yet more muddy water, we were faced with a extremely steep, wooden slope that required us to create a human pyramid to get each other up. Whether it was hanging your leg down and pulling someone up with it, or having someone climb up your back, we were getting up that thing!
Another one where they might have run out of ideas... piggyback your fellow Mudder, then swap over and get carried!
Mud Mile 2.0
More like 30 feet, but it certainly felt like a mile! We were tasked with trekking through waist deep mud pits, then climbing up 8 feet tall, slippery ridges of mud... then sliding back into the mud. You had to hope you wouldn't make too big a splash on the way down, or you'd be met with some angry, muddy faces!
The final obstacle - and of course it was the biggest. A tall scaffolding (photos don't do it justice, but it's visible in the photo below) with some netting to climb stood between us and the finish line. This was a real test for some of us with vertigo, but we all got through.
And here we are at the finish line!
The aim of Tough Mudder Midlands 5K wasn't to get the fastest time - it was all about getting everyone over the finish line. We all banded together to get people through their hardest obstacles... whether it was encouraging those with vertigo or heaving teammates up the walls, we waited for each other and did everything together. It made it that much sweeter when we crossed the line, posed for our photo (above) and were given our free headband, t-shirt and finisher beer!
One final obstacle that we hadn't anticipated - the freezing cold showers!
Next year Chesterton House will be raising money for charity and completing the Tough Mudder Classic - 10 miles and 25 obstacles. This will be a whole new challenge, but we're really excited and relishing the opportunity to put our efforts to a good cause.
Chesterton House prides itself on its team's ability to work together to overcome challenges. This is symbolised by the combined service of our Financial Planners, Accountants and Solicitors, who work in synergy to offer you the best opportunity to grow, manage and protect your wealth. Why not read more about our combined service: