World’s Toughest Mudder Report 2013

November 16, 2013, The Lords of Coventry returned to the World’s Toughest Mudder. Like last year, our entry became official when I posted this “reveal” video…

Although the video features six members only five competed. Jon “Longun” Longly, Ben “Rhino” Kirkup, Don “El Donyo” Gidusko, Jason “Warchief” Gidusko, and me. Ramon “Guererro” Rodriguez decided not to join us and also not tell us why. Must’ve been on a secret mission or something.

This year I decided to spruce up our wetsuits and WTM bibs…

Our tent space was located at Row #1, Space #1 and was pretty epic. Camp Coventry…

For the first time in Tough Mudder history the race was shortened to a 5 mile lap consisting of 22 obstacles. We weren’t crazy about the change. To me it sounded like the World’s Toughest Spartan Sprint. In addition to the change in distance, the first lap was going to be a “dry” lap. Bypass all obstacles.
In order to maintain constant movement for 24 hours straight a pace time must be set. We thought we had it set but we went into our first lap way too hot. “Rhino” checked his heart rate. This is what happened…

After some heated words were exchanged and threats of face punches were thrown around we cooled down for our second lap. “Leap of Faith” was a new obstacle that we were excited to try out. I know of no official statistics but I’d say this obstacle was the cause of the majority of injuries handed out by WTM. At one point during the night it was even closed down. When “El Donyo” did this obstacle it looked like this…

That’s right, he landed safely in the crash pad and then some giant stupid asshole jumped and landed on him, breaking one finger and dislocating another, launching him into an adjoining crash pad. El Donyo is the lightest and most agile climber in the L.O.C.. This was a big setback. At last report, El Donyo needed metal pins to set his finger correctly.

All the while the Lords were followed by a large film crew from LA. I was contacted out of the blue on the Wednesday before the race by a production company that was doing a short feature called “One Tank Adventures” for Ford Motor Company that would appear online on one of Yahoo’s sites. What was funny was that they weren’t with us the entire time but they would show up at the craziest moments. At one time during the day they all came roaring in on a 4Wheeler and on foot There were guys running with camera’s and a soundman with a big boom mic. There was even a remote controlled 4-winged helicopter hooked up with a GoPro flying overhead. It was quite a spectacle and the Lords got a chuckle out of it. It kinda looked like this…

Before hitting the “Electric Eel” obstacle I ran into Matt B. Davis of the popular Obstacle Racing Media podcast. He asked me for a quick, official statement. Being that we were the second place team last year, and that the first place team wasn’t running this year, he wondered if the Lord’s of Coventry were the team to beat. I deferred the question to our team captain, “Warchief”, who simply said, “Ask me again at midnight.”
We then hit the Electric Eel which had a brilliant setup this year. There were two paths to the Eel, one was hot and the other, not. Answer a simple trivia question correctly and choose the right path and you could escape unscathed. I swear to God, this is exactly what happened…

I have heard stories, and even been with people who have gotten his so hard with electricity at a TM event that they black out momentarily. I always thought that the shocks just didn’t effect me that way and that I would never black out. I was wrong and I did. Three times on that one crawl. For a split-second each time I went out. I hated it.

Going into the race, our goal was 75 miles. We seemed to be on course but then our pace started slowing. We all bonked at separate times. My bonk was during the day. “Longun” who is normally our workhorse was moving slow. The drawing below is a true story…

Longun did some damage somewhere along the way. He said he had broken his foot before and this was the exact same feeling. What’s funny is that a day after the race he went to the hospital to get his foot checked out and they asked if they could do a blood test. The test revealed that he was close to kidney failure and that they needed to admit him immediately. He tried to tell them that he was fine and that those levels were normal for a person who had just run a 24 hour race but they weren’t having it. They hooked him up to saline and ruined his opportunity for a night of cold pints in NYC with friends.

The Lords were also lucky enough to have a 24 hour pit crew member. Jay Garcia helped us throughout the race in so many ways and the Lords just couldn’t thank him enough. It was an awesome sight after coming out of the woods at 2am and seeing Jay sitting in his little folding chair and freezing his ass off for that maybe five minute visit with the Lords. What a guy. During one visit Longun even offered Jay’s children one of his kidneys if the need ever arose. Thanks Jay…

The later into the race we got I started to appreciate the brilliance of this race setup. It sucked horribly. I was completely drained and exhausted. Several guys on our team have done a few Spartan Death Races and they said the feeling of exhaustion there didn’t even compare to the level of exhaustion they were feeling from the WTM. The sheer monotony of the course was enough to drive you mad. Each lap blended into the other. I’d even consider the repetitive monotony as the 23rd obstacle…

By daybreak on the second day we knew that the 75 mile goal was way out of reach and that 50 miles would have to suffice. We weren’t happy about it but it was the best we could do on that particular day. After 21 hours and 10 minutes our race was over. Out of a field of at least 40 teams we finished in 17th place. The film crew caught us when we crossed the finish line and I was overcome with emotion. I didn’t cry (almost) but I had a million feelings going on. I was extremely disappointed in our result yet incredibly proud of our team. What Jon and Don accomplished with their bodies broken the way they were was just inspiring and humbling. Also knowing that I wouldn’t have another opportunity to run with these guys again for a long time was bumming me out greatly. These guys are like brothers to me. So yeah, happy, sad, disappointed, and satisfied. That about sums it up.

14 Responses to “World’s Toughest Mudder Report 2013”

  1. Brian M November 25, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

    Great recap. The concept of a 24 hour Mudder is something I really struggle to wrap my mind around. I’m so stoked with a regular tough mudder that a 24 hour one seems almost mind boggling. Great job guys!

  2. Jamie Boyle November 25, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    Despite obvious setbacks, you guys still showed the determination that has made you the team to look out for every year. Good on ya for a gutsy performance and a solid 50 miles completed.
    I happened to see you guys when you crossed that finish line and it was obvious that the brotherhood couldn’t have been any stronger than at that point. Kudos.

  3. Ryan M November 26, 2013 at 1:34 am #

    You guys rock! Pumped to seeing LOC at races. Hope to see you guys in 2014.

  4. Kevin November 26, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    Great work men and great write up. I can say that watching some of your training videos has been inspirational. To bad we didn’t get a chance to meet on the course!- 3AM Waterfalls

    • Mustacheman November 26, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

      Thanks, Kevin! You guys tore that course up! Congrats!

  5. Homebrews32 November 27, 2013 at 12:04 am #

    Great job, guys! This write up is amazing, and I agree completely. Love the comics, they really captured the feeling of the event. You guys were a bit ahead of me, congrats on the 10 laps! I was able to struggle through 10 as well, but it took me the full 24 hours to complete. 24:02. What a hell of a weekend, hope to see you guys in the future!

  6. Brett Scharf December 1, 2013 at 3:54 am #

    Andy, Great meeting you guys at the race! My buddy and I ran into you and LoC maybe 2nd or 3rd lap during the day. Greatly enjoy your blogs.

    Firstly the Leap of Faith was the #1 contributor to injuries let along having someone land on you. The Eel is no f@^cking joke…… been ko’d by it so bad was scared to change the batteries in my kids toy.

    All the best and will be out there next year…. will hit you up in advance maybe grab beer night before in NJ.

    -Brett

  7. Jon March 9, 2014 at 2:04 am #

    Hey Andy!

    I was the sound man with that long boom mic. I had a great time running around that course with you. You guys definatly made it look fun! Best of luck with all your upcoming races.

    Jon

    • Mustacheman March 11, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

      Hey, Jon! You guys were warriors, too. Unsung heroes. Thanks for being a part of putting together such a nice piece, brother!

  8. Des March 31, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

    Great article and your training video is unreal. I’m in training for WTM 2014. First timer, coming from London (via Ireland) and we need all the help and information we can digest! Hopefully see you on course this year!

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