After five weeks of anticipation the final episode of Mission Mudder has dropped and our athletes have tackled Europe’s Toughest Mudder. Don’t want to miss out on the most contraversial episode of Mission Mudder yet? Catch up on 8 hours of mud, ice and teamwork right here.
How do you train for Arctic Enema?
After missing out on some of the key training moments due to her busy snowboarding schedule Aimee joins coach Sam Tucknott and OCR athlete Kerry for a final workout.
Sam gets them going on a ciruit using the natural incline of the landscape and featuring burpees, press-ups and squat jumps to mimic the mixture of running and obstacles on a Tough Mudder course.
Next they head to Brighton Beach and with the help of the English Channel train for Arctic Enema – The Rebirth. Although Aimee seems unfazed Sam is quick to remind everyone that Europe’s Toughest is no joke.
Welcome to Europe’s Toughest Mudder
As a special treat TMHQ provide Coach Sam with a sneak peek at the Europe’s Toughest course and as he rightly states – we’re not mucking about. If the athletes aren’t completing obstacles they’ll have to do penalty laps, a grim prospect after hours of running.
Our athletes seem motivated when we meet them on the day of their biggest challenege – the realisation that money for their charity is at risk has given them an extra boost. Sam clearly has plenty of faith in our athletes, he believes they can complete five laps, just 25 short miles.
When the athletes arrive onsite the seriousness of what lies ahead hits them. The athletes that take part in an event like Europe’s Toughest Mudder are at the pinnacle of OCR. The team meet Jon Albon a famous name on any Tough Mudder course and the man who along with Ryan Atkins, won World’s Toughest Mudder in 2016 – they completed over 100 miles.
“I genuinely feel like we’re the amateurs here,” says Ashley and he’s right, they might be Olympic athletes but the people preparing around them are a mixture of Tough Mudder legionnaires and OCR regulars, these are the people who know exactly what they’re doing and clearly, this comes as a surprise to athletes who are used to being the best in the room.
Tough Mudder gets Tougher
Out on course the athletes are disappointed to see that obstacles that they found difficult before have got harder, with Hero Walls now featuring a lip at the top. It takes an hour and a half for the team to complete their first lap, but with some of the big obstacles missing the rest of the night won’t be this easy.
After a quick pit-stop the team are back out and in high spirits. At Everest – which has now become Grappler (ropes have been added so Mudders can scale it solo) the team find that the Tough Mudder ethos is still strong as strangers on the course help them get to the summit.
When the girls choose to give the bars and wheels of Funky Monkey a miss to conserve energy, it’s clear they’ve forgotten the penalty laps. Anthony makes it across and Ashley tries but hits the water. We’re impressed to see that in true Mudder spirit Anthony joins his teammates for their penalty run.
The whole team were nervous when faced with Tough Mudder classic Electroshock Therapy – how will they fare this time round when confronted with Operation? Anthony takes a big shock and after that the rest of the team decide to take another penalty.
Anthony goes on to dominate Kong followed closely by Ashley. Aimee gives it a go, but it’s clear that tiredness is taking its toll and none of the girls make it over – taking yet another penalty.
Europe’s Toughest takes it’s toll
Despite being a winter Olympian Aimee’s body is struggling to adjust to the cold temperatures, so the team take time out to get her warm. Coach Sam has proved his worth time and time again, this time convincing Aimee to get back in her wetsuit and back on course.
On lap three team Mission Mudder meet King of the Swingers, it’s a Mudder favourite but it demands bravery, strength and adds even more water to the course. The girls choose to take another penalty but Anthony and Ashley step up.
Judoka Ashley jumps and swings with ease but misses the rope and falls into the water. Teammate Anthony is frozen to the spot by his fear of heights and it’s a triumphant moment when he finally takes the plunge, even though he can’t complete the obstacle his attempt demonstrates Mudder grit.
Suddenly the evening takes a turn for the worst, when after avoiding Grapler the team fail to properly complete their penalty loop and overhear they have been disqualified. Sam takes them to one side to tell them that this time they’ve been lucky but if they miss one more penalty they will all be disqualified and that means no money for their charities.
One more lap
As the sun rises motivation is at its lowest, the athletes are visibly exhausted and are beginning to care less and less. Towards the end of the third lap some of the athletes decide it will be their last – despite the five lap goal and more money for their charities at stake. But Sam isn’t about to let them drop out now and as they head through the finish chute on what they think is their last lap he’s there waiting for them – kitted up for his own Europe’s Toughest challenge.
Sam generously gives them a get-out clause – as long as one athlete completes the next lap with him they will all still get the maximum amount of money for their charity. Ashley steps up immedietely and just as they are heading off, cyclist Jess offers to take Ashley’s place. Sam manages to convince them both to run. Throughout this journey Ashley, has always been the most determined but Jess, who was the first to drop out of the beep test in the very first training session has clearly come on leaps and bounds.
Together Ashley, Jess and Sam face the course with renewed energy – Ashley even successfully completes King of the Swingers. The three of them cross the finish line with 10 minutes to spare and are greeted with applause from their teammates and the maximum money for everyone’s charity.
It definitely hasn’t been as easy as these Olympians first thought but taking on three Tough Mudder challenges has given them insight into a whole new world. Each of our athletes has left with £2,000 for their chosen charity; Jade raised money for Cancer Research, Perri for the Victoria Park and Tower Hamlets Athletics Club, Ashley for Camberly Judo Club, Anthony for mental health charity Mind, Aimee for Prostate Cancer UK and Jess for Women in Sport.
Read the whole story here: Episode 1: It Takes a Team, Episode 2: 5 Miles in the Desert, Episode 3: Making of an Olympian, Episode 4: 10 Miles of Mud and Episode 5: Get Ready.
Want to watch it again? Find out where and when it’s on again.