Five Coasters proved themselves to be real “Tough Mudders” in Whistler, June 23, where together they completed a half-marathon through a military-style obstacle course designed by the British Special Forces.
April Qureshi, Russ Qureshi, Len Randle, Paola Stewart and Alan Stewart formed the Prudential Platoon. Together, the real estate co-workers completed the event, despite its promise to push the strength, stamina and camaraderie of its competitors.
“I was quite fearful,” said April, who had agreed to join husband Russ and their co-workers after being challenged during an office sales meeting.
Obstacles can be intimidating for first timers and veterans alike.
In the case of Electro-shock Therapy, victims were made to endure frequent shock from 10,000 volt wires while pushing through hay bales and deep pockets of mud.
This year’s course map listed 22 obstacles. From claustrophobic crawls through muddy pipes and trenches, to climbing steep cliffs and ramps, there was something to intimidate anyone.
Take the Arctic Enema, for instance. Upon reaching the third obstacle, the competitors had to dive into frigid ice water, throwing their bodies into a panic as they swam below a wall lined with barbed wire.
“As soon as you jump in, your core temperature drops immediately. It’s freezing cold water in there,” April explained.
As someone with a touch of claustrophobia, she had to mentally prepare herself to take on the course’s several tight squeezes.
“I just kept picturing coming to the end of the tunnel and seeing the end, my husband Russ being there,” she said. “That’s what really got me through.”
Tough Mudder is not technically a race, although some competitors treat it as such.
Many of the obstacles are designed specifically to require the assistance of a teammate or ally.
For the group of realtors from the Sunshine Coast, conquering the Tough Mudder was not just a chance to test themselves individually, but as a group.
“It does take your friendship up to the next level,” April said.
Prudential Sussex Realty manager Alan Stewart said the team has already begun recruiting for next year’s challenge.
Like his colleague, Stew-art described the course using fearful language.
“While the idea of doing something like this was terrifying, I just knew it was something I had to do,” said the team captain. “There are no words to describe the relief of hauling out on the other side.”
The next Tough Mudder event in British Columbia begins on Aug. 10, 2013. Pre-registrations are being accepted on-line.