Kate Hubbard shares her Tough Mudder experience
On the 11th September Kate, Fran and friends took part in the Tough Mudder North West in a bid to raise vital funds for the CSF Leak Association. Here she tells us all about her experience...
What made you want to fundraise for the CSF Leak Association?
The CSF Leak Association is a cause very close to home due to my mother suffering from a CSF Leak since December 2009. I have been previously involved with a lot of fundraising for her to receive treatment in America. Over the past year Fran has become a close friend of the family and wanted to help raise as much awareness for the CSF Leak Association as possible.
How did you prepare for the Tough Mudder?
Since deciding to take part in Tough Mudder in January, Fran and I have been using our University gym to prepare physically for the event, however I believe that a lot of motivation to get through the course came from each other and our teammates. Altogether, 7 of us completed the event, all fundraising for different charities including Cancer Research and The Motor Neurone Disease Association. Fran and I could not have completed the course without the help from our teammates and vice versa, in addition to helping other teams to overcome the obstacles throughout the course.
Which was your favourite obstacle and why?
Our favourite obstacle of the course had to be the 'Block Ness Monster'. We had to push, pull and roll our way over 60ft of slick, rotating barriers which really tested our teamwork and helping other teams on the course too. We enjoyed this obstacle so much as it was something completely new that we would have not had the chance to do if we didn't take part in Tough Mudder. Although - we both agree that the Arctic Enema 2.0 and Electroshock Therapy were equally as bad!
Which was your least favourite obstacle and why?
Our least favourite obstacle was halfway through the course and it was known as ‘Shawshanked'. One by one, we had to make our way backwards up close to vertical pipe using only a rope, and when we got to the top, we had to drop 8ft backwards into a 6ft pool of muddy, cold water then swim out using nets. The worse part was the fall as you can't see where you're falling to and end up disorientated when you finally make your way out from under the water from the fall. To make it worse, this obstacle was about halfway round the course and we had to queue for around 20 minutes when we were already cold and damp, making it very difficult to stay warm to continue running afterwards.
What strategies did you have up your sleeve to keep you going through the really tough bits?
Within our team, we all kept each other going through the really tough parts of the course, particularly when we began to get tired around mile 9 and wanted the end to be in sight! If someone was falling behind, we'd shout as much encouragement as we could to keep them going around the course as we would never leave someone behind, and the whole motto of Tough Mudder is not to finish with a good time, it is to finish the course together as a team.
How did you reward yourselves afterwards?
After finishing the course, we were rewarded with finishers t-shirt and headband, in addition to a well-earned pint of cider provided by Kingstone Press. On the way home we made a much-needed trip to McDonalds before hosing all the mud off and having a bath to clean up!
Do you have any advice for future Tough Mudders?
Train! Endurance is key to keep running between the obstacles as although you sometimes get breaks between running for the obstacles, you are still physically exhausted from completing the obstacles with your team mates, and then going onto helping other teams on the course too. I wouldn't advise anyone to sign up to complete the course on their own as we all helped each other through.
And any messages for your supporters?
Fran and I would just like to thank everyone who has sponsored us to help raise money for the CSF Leak Association. Although it was a challenge we wanted to complete for ourselves, we were so much more motivated to complete the course with our sponsors in mind. As I said earlier, the CSF Leak is a cause very close to home and we hope to have helped as much as we can by completing the course for the CSF Leak Association.
Kate and Fran's fundraising page can be viewed here.