Reservists grit it out as Tough Mudders

Article / July 7, 2016

Peter Mallett / Lookout Newspaper

Personnel from the 5th (B.C.) Field Artillery Regiment have conquered one of the toughest endurance events in the world.

Ten reservists tackled the Tough Mudder event at Whistler Olympic Park on June 18, with everyone completing the 19-kilometre 20 obstacle course.

 

The course was long and physically demanding, and completing it forces people to work harder than they normally would, and pull together as a team, and bring out a strong core dependency.

  “We all started as a group and finished as a group,”  said Team Leader, OCdt Chris Life.   “Everyone in our unit was in good enough shape that there was nobody lagging behind or slowing us down. Everyone worked hard and stuck together.” 

On average, Tough Mudder events have a 78 per cent completion rate. The mud and obstacle course is designed to drag a person out of his or her comfort zone by testing physical strength, stamina, and mental grit. There are no podiums, winners, or clocks to race against; so it’s not about how fast a person can cross the finish line. Rather, it’s a challenge that emphasizes teamwork, and camaraderie.

 “The course was long and physically demanding, and completing it forces people to work harder than they normally would, and pull together as a team, and bring out a strong core dependency,” said OCdt  Life, also a software engineering student at University of Victoria who has participated in three previous Tough Mudder events.

 “It goes beyond standard military training and soldiers working with other soldiers, because civilians were also involved in helping us complete the course.” 

One obstacle that OCdt Life said was particularly challenging was called The Pyramid Scheme. It required teams to climb over a giant man-made incline by forming a giant human pyramid. The large mound of bodies kneeling on top each other’s backs enabled the person at the top of the pyramid to climb over the incline. Meanwhile members of other military and non-military teams pitched in to pull them over the top of the incline and make sure everyone completed the course.

The reservists were greeted with cool windy weather conditions when they set out at 10:15 a.m. and that was followed by steady rain that fell about an hour before they completed their dirty four-hour odyssey.

 “We were all pretty exhausted and cold when it was over, but happy to be done, and proud of what we had accomplished; so that outweighed the chills and the soreness,”  concluded OCdt Life.                                               

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