Hardcore Geocaching – Tough Mudder NorCal
About a year ago I weighed around 50 lbs. more and was just turning 30. Geocaching though a fun pastime just wasn’t keeping the growing waistline from happening – nor keeping the middle age creaks and pains from encroaching. So last October I decided that I needed to get fit.
I’ve always been one for setting goals in order to achieve a desired outcome. So I had to try and figure out a goal that would help me get rid of some of the weight. I didn’t just want plan on something boring like “I will lose X amount of pounds by this date.” Instead I wanted a challenge – something that would tell me I had achieved what I had set out to do – and that I could be proud about.
So I started looking around – what would offer a great challenge? I considered a marathon, but I have never really enjoyed running all this much. I started asking some of my friends that were in shape what they thought would be a good challenge. Several of them told me about something called the “Tough Mudder”. I did some research and indeed it did look to be challenge. Tough Mudder is a distance race (the website states the races are 10 miles – the NorCal race was over 13!) that is designed by British ex-special forces. It includes several obstacles; climbing twelve foot walls, swimming through ice water, ducking under barbed wire and even running through wires with 10,000 volts! (Think a jellyfish looking contraption that likes to zap you). It’s billed as the toughest obstacle course race on the planet.
The race I signed up for was in Northern California at Squaw Valley near lake Tahoe. I currently live in central New York State – I figured if I spent the cash to fly all the way out to California that I wouldn’t be able to back out at the last moment for some poor excuse. The race started for us at noon – at an elevation of 6200 ft above sea level, and the course took us up another 2300 feet above sea level!
The race itself was, for me, pretty difficult, but I came through it ok. Ok I did lose some skin on the course, was pretty tired and had several sore muscles. I was even able to convince a coworker to run the race with me! I was very thankful for this, as you (or most people) need to have help to complete some of the challenges.
So great, how does this tie into geocaching? Well of course being a cacher I couldn’t help but run/walk those 13+ miles and
occasionally think, “gee I bet there are some great geocaches out here”. But it being a race, and one during which I would be in ice cold water and possibly jumping over fire (it was listed as a potential obstacle, but wasn’t on the course) I knew there was no way to bring a GPS (nor would I want to stop and search or carry the extra weight).
But in a shining moment – I found a cache out in the open! An ammo can sitting at the very top of the course about 7 miles into the race. We had just finished an obstacle called “Hold Your Wood” during which we had to carry rather large pieces of wood down and then back up a rather steep hill. While waiting for my coworker to finish that hurdle I was taking a break to catch my breath when I saw the cache just sitting there. Cache found!
Interested in what cache it was? Click here to go to cache listing GCHG8K – Got KT?
Somehow finding the cache allowed me to move on and sort of “zone out” for the next couple of miles run. I love geocaching!
I’ll embed the video to the race at the end of this posting so anyone who is not familiar can get an idea of what the race entails.
Have any of you found caches while you were out doing something else? Or found one by surprise? Have any questions about tough mudder, or just want to call me crazy? If you want to send us the story, send us an email (and maybe we’ll post on here), or leave a comment below!