This year I ran Tough Mudder again and after last years post flew around the bloggersphere helping out many mudders on what to expect, I wanted to replicate it with something I felt hadn’t been done. So this year I asked my other half Kristy to write a guest post giving you guys a view of the day from within her ‘spectator shoes’… If you are going to be a spectator at an obstacle race this year, but not sure what to pack. Then check this out…
Unless the person you’re going along to support is a seasoned half marathon runner, you need to come prepared with food because you could be there for a while. The first year Andy did tough mudder he finished it in about 3 hours, so as you can imagine there was a lot of standing around. There’s food in the mudder village, but if you’re standing at obstacles waiting for your mudder to come through, the last thing you want to do is miss them because you was in the burger que!
This goes without saying. If you’re going to tough mudder in the summer, remember to bring lots of water to keep you hydrated- there’s not a lot of a shade out on the course. Don’t bring too much though! If you want to make the most of your spectator experience and see your mudder at as many obstacles as possible you’ll be doing lots of walking so you don’t want big bottles of water weighing you down.
Tip: If you’re spectating in the winter, maybe change up the water bottle for a flask of hot tea or coffee. It’ll help to keep your hands and the rest of your body warm.
It’s not called tough mudder for nothing! Even on the hottest days, you need to come prepared wearing the correct footwear because you will get muddy. I always opt for a pair of boots that I don’t mind getting covered in mud. Wellies might be the obvious choice, but the terrain is pretty uneven so if you sometimes struggle walking in wellies I would recommend staying away from them.
Whatever the weather forecast, make sure you take an umbrella- because we live in the UK after all! And the bigger the umbrella the better. When the heavens do open you’ll be glad you bought it because there’s nothing worse than being cold and wet for 3 hours.
Tip: If you don’t want to carry it around all day, hook it onto the back of your backpack!
You may think you won’t need sunglasses when spectating at a tough mudder in the autumn, but this is probably the time you need them the most. The sun is at its lowest point towards the end of the year so even if it’s overcast you’ll still get a lot of glare. Not good if you’re trying to spot your mudder among the rest of the crowd.
As well as chief cheerleader and photographer, you have to be your mudders coach as well. For mudders it’s difficult to take supplies with them around the course so make sure you’re on hand to help at each obstacle. Mini bags of sweets or liquid energy gels are great to throw to your mudder as they run past and they’ll really help to keep their energy levels and spirits up throughout the course.
Having a camera as a spectator is important. Due to the vast amounts of mud and water throughout the course, your mudder won’t be able to take a phone or camera with them around the course. Which means you become chief photo taker! It’s your job to capture the fun of the day and there’s nothing better than having handfuls of photos of your loved ones covered in mud to laugh at when you get home.
Sometimes you can be waiting for half hour to an hour between obstacles so if you don’t sit down your legs can become tired very quickly. A picnic blanket, ideally with a waterproof bottom will be a life saver because lets face it, no one wants a soggy bum for 3 hours. Some people like to bring camping chairs but they can become bulky and annoying to carry very quickly. A blanket you can just fold up and put in your backpack will do the job fine.
Tough mudder can be a long day out, so it’s important to keep your phone charged. With all the video and picture taking your battery will run down pretty quickly. The aimless scrolling on Facebook whilst you wait won’t help either so make sure you bring a power pack with you.
Tip: Don’t spend too long looking at your phone- it’s easy to miss your mudder running past.
I put the ‘s’ on the end of that one because sometimes one light jacket is simply not enough- especially when it starts raining. Depending on the weather, its best to start in a light jacket and pack a slightly thicker one in your backpack. That way if it gets cold you can add another layer but if it stays dry you still have one for emergencies.
Yes, you can bring your dog with you to tough mudder making it the ultimate family day out! I’m not going to lie but I get super jealous of all the people who bring their dogs to tough mudder with them, they’re good company if you’re on your own as well. Three hours of walkies? Your dog will want to come back every year, even if you don’t!
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Great post! There are always so many unprepared spectators – it becomes more of a challenge to watch them all drowning in mud trying to juggle everything their team mates have left them with while they run the course!