With a full English for nourishment and donned in Chinos, blue shirt and tie they were in the car by 7 and they were off! The best way to describe the atmosphere in the car was probably panic induced quietness with a hint of false confidence! Somewhere along the journey it started to snow and thinking of what was ahead this probably didn't have too much of a positive effect on Andy, his Dad or Dan (a friend from uni)! Getting closer to the event it was quite apparent this little known event was causing massive congestion more than 4 miles away from the actual assault course. With the Tough Guy staff being as merciless as they are, they didn't extend the registration time so Andy, his Dad and Dan jumped ship 2.5 miles from the start and started power walking to the start! (Andy's dad was actually running, he's getting on a bit now!). All three arrived at registration with minutes to spare; they received their numbers and special tags to record their times and walked over to the start.
They were all in the Wetnecks squad and eventually their time came, they made their way to the top of the hill and the gates of hell opened! They all slid down a ridiculously steep hill (Andy's and Dan's Chinos: Filthy) and the 6 mileish X-country run began. However, within minutes they were already going through sub zero water complete with shards of ice. This was a real shock for many people as these brutalities weren't expected till after the run! A fair way into the run and the three Tough Guy's to be were up and down the side of a hill like a fiddler's elbow! Then came the cargo nets followed by the fairly soul destroying trenches filled with more sub zero water, of which there were approximately 12. Now the trio were into the heart of the course, aptly named "the killing fields!" The first few obstacles were climbing walls, which weren't too much of a problem, however, queuing in soaked, freezing clothes proved quite testing for the hardy trio. After more freezing water, tyre tunnels, the Vietcong tunnels (concrete tunnels on an incline which turns most stomach muscles to jelly!) and running through fire came the highest obstacles Andy had ever seen! "without a word of a lie they were higher than my house!" Up the cargo nets for our boys and a precarious 180° turn at the top the same again, quickly through the electric prodes and then to the toughest part of the course, the water tunnels. These were 5 logs spread over the lake where the competitors had to dunk their heads under the water. This might sound easy, however, when water is below freezing it tends to take your breath away somewhat! Out of the water (and quickly into the St Johns Ambulance tent for a cup of tea!) and there were just a couple more house size walls for the trio to get over. Now nearly at the end of the course, bloodied, battered and just plain cold Andy, his Dad and Dan then run through a seemingly endless wall of smoke with a fire marshall repeatedly shouting "don't stop running the ground is on fire!". Now with the end in sight there was just crawling under barbed wire and the seeminlgy endless 'Tyre Torture' section left which could lift the spirits of anyone. Ha, but this is tough guy! There were still two more obstructions to glory. Sneakily thrown in at the end was a neck deep wade through another sub zero lake but the last task for our newly crowned Tough Guys was to climb up the hill they started on. After a few thousand feet had been up and down the hill it definitely added a slippery element to the proceedings and after a few attempts all three were up the hill and across the finish line! Andy, his Dad and Dan crowned Tough Guys for the first and most certainly not the last time.
If this whets your appetite then maybe next year, interest willing, we could have a Y.A.C. team enter Tough Guy..