A track of either 8 or 14 kilometers, challenging obstacles and lots of mud! That was what was waiting for me at the Strong Viking Mud Edition, my first obstacle run.

From the moment that I received my conformation mail, my enthusiasm kept growing. It was definitive, I couldnít crawl back. Not that I would consider doing that, I wanted to show everyone that Iím strong enough to complete such a tough obstacle run. I started my training en preparations in January. I ran through fields between villages and performed exercises whenever I could. I knew it would be though, but my mind was made up. I wanted to participated and complete this run.

The day before the run I collected all my gear for the next day. For me that means packing half of my wardrobe, and add bananaís and energy drinks. I felt prepared and up to the challenge. While driving to Wijchen, I saw some of the other runners. They were walking or causally jogging. My thoughts were: Gosh, these people are slow. Entering the track, the people were very social and fun. There were a lot of people, some already running, others just chilling in the sun and listening to music. The directions I got were good, I know where to confirm my participation, put away my bag and before I knew it, it was time to go to the start line. We did a thorough warming-up, then the counted down started and in seconds we were off!! Shortly thereafter, we were heading for the first obstacle of the day, a big wall.

The solidarity was apparent immediately. Everyone was helping one another get over the wall. That was great. After a short distance of running we faced the next challenge, sand hills with water in between. Of course I tripped and fell in the water/mud. After that there was a obstacle with a net to help us climb over. The whole course we were climbing, gliding, balancing on beams, crawling and getting covered with mud.

Later on in the course, they had placed an obstacle called Thorís Lighting. It was a wireframe which we had to run through, but there were electrified wires hanging from it. On my first attempt I just tried running through, but I soon gave up that idea because of the shocks. Not the greatest feeling, so I ducked and made my way through to mud. After this they had us hoisting bags of sand and again deal with a lot of mud. The further into the course I got, the more I enjoyed it!

Another challenge was called Collision. You recieved a shield and a hammer made of wood and had to carry them up the hill and through a little forest of hanging sandbags. The shield was cumbersome and heavy, but I managed not to lose it. Thanks heavens I was halfway after this obstacle, time for some bananas and energy drink.

After a short break and some liquid libation I reached the Mud area. This was the part of the course I talked about earlier, where I saw people walking slow and wondered why they did that. Well, now I know! Itís a long track with sticky mud up to your ankles and you will lose your shoes if theyíre not tied up real tight. Halfway into the Mud Area there was a part where you had to climb over huge mud hills. The last one was very tricky; I couldnít get a grip and slid back into the mud a couple of times. Luckily there were two friendly men who wanted to help me. One was pulling me up by my arm, the other was pushing me up. My plan was to reach the top and then swing my legs over and glide down gracefully at the other side. But my saviors pushed a little too hard, so I slid down the hill face firstÖ into the mud. Free mud facial!

After I finally conquered the mud hills we had to crawl under some barbed wire which was fun, but also exhausting. After that there was a tunnel, filled with mud of course, to crawl through. I reached the point where I had it up to here with mud and the water and felt tired. But then the crowd kicked in and gave me an extra energy boost by chanting and supporting me on. So I managed to run the last part and climb the big Walhalla Steps. Because the steps were big and high, everybody helped each other climb up to the finishÖ
And there I was, standing on top of the gigantic steps and covered in mud. Finally I made it, and it was time to collect my T-shirt and a free drink as reward for finishing the Strong Viking Mud Edition.

This has been a fantastic experience which I donít plan on missing next year. It feels great to use your primal power, help others and enjoy something with other people you donít know. Itís good to see that people want to help others. In the days following this contest I discovered lots of bruises, scratches and despite of my training in the weeks before, I still felt various aches and muscle pain. But, notwithstanding these minor discomforts it was really worth it!

Strong enough to be a VIKING! OORAH!

Strong Viking Mud Edition

Do you want to put yourself to the test? Are you strong enough to be a Viking? For more info check out: