Friday, May 16, 2014

Q&A With A Tough Mudder Expert

The Tough Mudder Ohio 2014 is upon us, taking place this Saturday and Sunday, May 17 & 18 in muddy Mansfield! Some people think it's crazy that I am doing this 12-mile mud run full of wild and extreme obstacles, so people must REALLY have their minds boggled when they hear about people like my friend Johnny Madeline. 

In just 2 years (beginning in April 2012), Johnny has completed 14 Tough Mudder laps at 9 different venues. He has run in Ohio twice, but has also traveled to various cities to tackle the Tough Mudder, including: Florida (twice), West Virginia (twice), New York, Chicago, Poconos, and North Carolina. This weekend, Johnny plans to run the Tough Mudder Ohio course THREE times in two days! We will catch up with him on Sunday, but we also wanted to check in with an expert like him and ask a few burning questions!

OHVENTURES: Why did you start running the Tough Mudder?
JOHNNY: I did my first Tough Mudder to challenge myself. It also gives me another workout besides maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As of the beginning of 2014, I run for a different purpose: it's an organization called Hoorah 2 Heroes. Its man goal is summed up in one saying: "only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile."

OHVENTURES: What are some tips or words of advice for people who have never done the Tough Mudder?
JOHNNY: The biggest misconception is that you have to be in great shape to do one of these events and that's not true at all. You have to have the mindset and determination to complete the course, because when you cross that finish line you and get that prestigious headband. Have fun and enjoy the moment no matter what. Be sure to carb up the days before and drink plenty of water!

Electroshock Therapy

OHVENTURES: What would you say is the hardest or most difficult challenge or situation you have faced in all of your Tough Mudders?
JOHNNY: The weather can be mentally tough. Cold and rain don't mix well. The hardest obstacles for people are the monkey bars, and "Electroshock Therapy." Electroshock will give you a shock. When it hits you it's almost like your muscles seize up. The key is to cover your head, because when it knocks you in the head you blackout, and when you blackout you face plant. Don't be that person to face plant.

Johnny pictured on far left.

OHVENTURES: What is the most fun obstacle or Tough Mudder situation you've been in?
JOHNNY: The most fun is running with people you know and meeting new people! Everyone there has the same goal in mind - make it to the finish! My Chicago experience was by far my best encounter with new Mudder friends. I was on my second lap of the day when I started to talk with Heather while running. Little did I know she was with a group of three, Renee, Mike and Tom. Once I met everyone I ran the rest of the course with them. Helping them complete all obstacles and crossing the finish line with them. It was a great and memorable experience.

OHVENTURES: Which TM that you have run has been your overall favorite or most memorable?
JOHNNY: I would say that my favorite one overall was with my mom in Florida. She lost a lot of weight a couple years ago and she displayed courage and self discipline throughout the whole process!

OHVENTURES: What would you say to someone who is scared out of their wits about doing a TM to encourage them to do it?
JOHNNY: Tough Mudder isn't meant to scare you, it's meant to help you overcome your fears. So many different kinds of people that are scared do it every year, and when you see them cross the finish line you see the biggest smiles on their face. Don't let being scared hold you back.

OHVENTURES: How long does it take the average person - and how long does it take you - to complete a TM?
JOHNNY: I would say it takes the average person 3-4 hours to complete a TM depending on course length. My average time just depends on length and weather. My fastest lap at a tough mudder was in Chicago this past weekend. I ran my first lap in 1 hour and 40 minutes. My slowest was probably my first TM at around 3 hours and 30 minutes.

OHVENTURES: What are some personal accomplishments or awards you've received along the way?
JOHNNY: TM has started to reward Mudders this season with the Mudder Legion. It rewards multi Mudders with different color headbands that signify how many they've done. I have the highest legion.

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