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Children of the Mud

Tuesday September 29, 2015 by Guest Blogger

WHY WOULD YOU EVEN DO THAT!!?

Who's to blame?
So let me explain. This last weekend 5 of us Prestige-ers got lured (in somewhat dubious circumstances) into doing something called a ‘Tough Mudder’.

So, what exactly IS one of those I hear the uninitiated ask?
Personally, before it was brought to my attention by fellow team member Harriet, the prime instigator of this madness, I'd never heard of it either.

It initially sounded to me like the type of organisation/event that no-one other than some horrible cliquey gang of possessed gym bunnies or mental squaddies would ever want to belong to, let alone partake of. And actually, that proved to be about the size of it. Because who in their right mind would want, yes want, to run (slowing to a walk, then a crawl) around a very, VERY muddy 19.3 kilometre, SAS-style obstacle course?
I know, right!

So, in order to keep our readers abreast of things, I asked the girls who took part to remind me of their most memorable moments!

Tough going
The team (Italian Stallion Silvia, fit Kiwi bird Sophie, office manager Alex G and lady boss Alex W, along with the evil mastermind Harriet) had arranged to meet on Saturday morning at Royal Oak tube station in West London at the ungodly hour of 9am. So perhaps having had several beers the previous evening to celebrate our colleague Marietjie Snyman's birthday was not the best idea we'd ever had! Anyway, despite every single one of us being delayed by works on the tube, we all made it (sort of) on time, only to find out that we couldn't find our Zip car! Thanks to the girls enthusiasm in searching for the brute however, we completed our first real challenge of the day and found it lurking in an adjacent street! Bloody hell…what a start Fraught or what? By time we eventually got in the car, we'd all walked an extra K or three.
Never mind, we'd had strict instructions from them above (The Mud People) not to 'whine', and so it was, that with a limited amount of whining, we set off!

So fuelled by a kitkat and salad break at Winchester services, we arrived at the enormous Mud Patch and met Sheffield based event instigator Harriet lurking furtively nearby a battered Golf in the huge grassy area that passed for a car park.
She squished into our emission heavy (not if you work for VW though, obviously) Touran, and we made the 200 metre traverse to our Premium Parking spot look easy. Anyway, it was a good thing we had, because it took us another 15 minutes of hard walking to get the the Mud People's Village that they'd created for us. Coincidentally, along the way, we overheard the following humorous snippet from a rather battered looking finisher as she passed us by:”…and Katie Butler cried all the way around. I didn’t cry at all...”
Ha, ha, a tad worrying, but we thought they were just being wusses. We shall see.

The Village People
These seemingly (on the surface of it at any rate) pleasant individuals helpfully directed us towards the appropriate areas in which to validate their indemnities for the horrors and cruelties about to be inflicted on us. 

And so it was that with bags dumped, face paint daubed, wrists tagged, and the team warmed and primed (by some frightfully over-enthusiastic and over-muscled young man), we set off. Very fortuitously, the sun was shining. With hindsight, doing this thing in genuinely horrible conditions, i.e. rain, wind and cold would have been intolerable.


The Ice Bath thingy
And so it begins.

This utterly ghastly instrument of torture led to the wonderful look of trusting innocence on Alex G's face (not to mention her sparkly body glitter) being very quickly replaced by a look of such heartbreaking and abject misery (the like of which we have't seen at Prestige since we jokingly told fashionista Alex that we were introducing an Easyjet orange uniform), that we can never forgive them for it.

Silvia says: “For me the most memorable moment was the first encounter with the slide and the ice water, and people shouting: “GO UNDER, GO UNDER, GO UNDER!”
Alex W says: “Ha ha ha, that’s kind of what I was shouting at Harriet. “MOVE!!!! GO NOW, I’VE GOT TO GET OUT”
This is because after we emerged from initially being dumped under the shockingly, brain-numbingly freezing water, we needed to go back under some tires to get out of the ‘obstacle’. To say that the average shocked and oxygen deprived Prestige-er found this challenging, would be somewhat of an understatement.
And having a 40kg sack of ice blocks dumped on top of your head on re-emergence doesn’t actually help matters, contrary to what the TM management might suppose.

Other ‘highlights’
We encountered The Ice Slide obstacle quite early on (cunningly planned to avoid too many drownings methinks), but along the 19K course, the various climbey-overy and crawley-underey thingies seemed to reappear with alarming frequency. Freezing cold water and/or mud seemed to be a recurring theme too, strangely!

Alex W loved Harriet screaming that her ‘****** peg’ was stuck whilst halfway up an horrendously high climbing wall that could only be negotiated by the use of the aforementioned implements. 

Sought-after Sophie loved “The mud pools and the slide at the end of them” A lot of boys clearly also liked the idea of a very dirty Sophie sliding around in the mud too, and she developed quite a fan base on her way round the course. Taking no notice of them, Sophie excitedly added: “Oh! And loved the jelly baby after the tear gas obstacle. Best jelly baby ever.” Uh, I wouldn’t know…was too dazed and confused to spot the jelly-baby-lady!

And on the subject of mud sexiness, Alex W says that one particular highlight for her was being manhandled over not one, but two walls by some very fit looking young men. As her husband, what is there left to say but: “Well!!!”

Harriet adds: “I had such a fun time, even though I was moaning for the last 11 miles…” (the course is 12!). She had good reason to be honest: “Well, my leggings splitting ‘in the right place’ was pretty unfortunate…and the near death ice experience was pretty poor too!” I took a close look at Harriet’s wardrobe malfunction myself, and to be fair, it WAS pretty bad. Knickers everywhere. Thanks to Silvia’s big pants, the day was saved. Hooray! Well, ish. lol.

And in conclusion...

Despite being cold, tired, bloody, muddy and bruised, we all stuck together and got through the last test without anyone being being zapped to the ground by the much feared Elctroshocktherapy tower. I got one shock to the side of the head and it did ****y well hurt but on a 'positive' note, I'm starting to remember some of the stuff I got up to at college!

So although we're all barely able to walk at the moment, the girls are already saying that they’ll be back next year for another jolt of 10 000 volts, more climbing over stuff, and crawling under stuff, the awesome water swing and the ‘interesting’ changing facilities…

It’s therefore with massive respect that we salute the brave and Tough Prestige Mudders Alex W, Alex G, Silvia, Harriet and Sophie…

Well done girls, and here’s to next year!

And finally from our lovely Ali G, on holiday (recuperating) in Poland

"The worst bit was definitely the slide with freezing cold water - I felt that I was going to die, the last time I felt that way was when I was in labour!! Yes, this is how bad it was.

The best bit is everything else!!! I so want to do it again!!! Next time I'll make sure to wear waterproof make up and more sparkly lotion" Smiley face! 

Go Alex!


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