Diaries of a Tough Mudder | We finished!

Alicia Ann Daw is a film & digital wedding photographer who specializes in New York City and European destination weddings. With over 15 years of experience photographing weddings, she's spent two decades globetrotting to over 37 countries and working with clients around the world. She delivers images that are effortlessly romantic and chic, telling a story about the start of your heritage in a way that will leave you in awe.


I knew this post was coming but I had no idea what I would write. Would I have to admit that I got in way over my head and failed miserably or would I write that we finished strong? By the title of this post alone, you know that we finished. And a glorious finish it was. 🙂 But I’m sure you want at least a few details of what is known for being “probably” the toughest event on the planet. Tough Mudder New England is no joke, and I found out that the Tough Mudder New England 2012 was way harder than the previous year at Mount Snow, officially earning the nod as the toughest of ALL the Tough Mudders. When I found that out, to put it mildly, I was scared out of my mind. I may or may not have shed a few fearful tears 2 nights before the events. My plan was to leave super early in the morning so that we would get up to Mt. Snow with plenty of time to scope out the lay of the land (i.e. – mentally prepare myself for the incredibly stupid decision I had made to sign up), as well as stretch really well….you know, since stretching for 30 minutes would make up for the utter lack of training leading up to Tough Mudder New England. But as we parked our car, we were pretty quickly rushed by our teammate into starting before it got really hot (it was already pushing 85). Literally within 15 minutes of parking our car, we jumped over that first wall into the holding area for the next heat, being sent off at 11:40. Before I could even finish tying my shoelaces or adjusting my GoPro camera, I was ushered into a series of Hoorah’s and our national anthem. And then…we were off. I didn’t have a second to even think about what we had just begun, but abut 1/4 of a mile after we let the start line, I was abruptly reminded of exactly what we signed up for. 10 miles of grueling trails, physical obstacles, and HEAT. That first mile was hell as we charged straight up steep ski trails, the burning of our legs felt way too early in the game. I remember thinking to myself “If this is how the whole thing is…there is just no way I’ll be able to finish”. But after that first mile we got a nice shock via the Arctic Enema (huge container full of ice and a bit of water), and that ended up being the kick I needed. By the grace of sweet baby Jesus…and the fact that our teammate, John kept me distracted by talking most of the 10 miles…I finished. And, if I dare say so, I finished strong. We took our time but I felt AMAZING pretty much the entire time. Next week I’ll do another blog post about each of the specific events, my view on training for Tough Mudder New England, some tips, and show you VIDEO FOOTAGE. But for now, I want to revel in the adventure that was Tough Mudder New England 2012, and then I need to head out to run….because I’m already planning on doing Tough Mudder Austin in October. 🙂

HUUUUUGE thanks to my dear friend, Tiffany Farley, for joining us and doing a fair amount fo hiking herself to get these photos of us.

Tough Mudder New England 2012
Adam and I in our matching neon. He was pretty mad at me for making him wear this “absolutely obnoxious color”, but upon arrival he realized that, apparently, I wasn’t the only obnoxious person there….cause half of the mudders wore neon.
Tough Mudder Mount Snow

This guy has a pretty sweet full-time job of pumping people up. And that he does well.Tough Mudder Mount SnowTough mudder new england photosArctic Enema! That hill on the left looks like a nice running trail, but really it was the top of a grueling hike. The image on the right is one of the holes we had to shimmy through for Trench Warefare – about 40 feet of underground tunnels – which was NOT made for those who suffer form any level of claustrophobia.Tough Mudder New England 2012 This is the Electric Eel, swimming/crawling through water with live electric wires dangling down.Tough Mudder Mount Snow Electric eel I did well on these kinds of obstacles because they are made for men much larger than I, so I was able to slip under the wires with relative ease, never getting shocked. Both Adam and John got shocked at least once on all the electric events. Getting ready for the Dong Dangler.Tough Mudder Mount Snow Getting ready for the Dong Dangler.Tough Mudder New England 2012I owned the Dong Dangler. Well, I owned it up until the last 5 feet when I fell off. 😉Tough mudder new england photosTwinkle Toes was probably my favorite obstacle because I knew I’d do well at it. I considered doing a cartwheel in the middle but since i haven’t tried doing a cartwheel on a balance beam in about 15 years….and considering I was at mile 8.5 here…I decided to pass on the cartwheel. Maybe in Austin. Twinkle Toes was probably my favorite obstacle because I knew I'd do well at it. I considered doing a cartwheel in the middle but since i haven't tried doing a cartwheel on a balance beam in about 15 years....and considering I was at mile 8.5 here...I decided to pass on the cartwheel. Maybe in AustiTough Mudder Mount SnowMr Karate man…with his jazz hands.Tough Mudder New England 2012So glad my favorite person did Tough Mudder New England with me.Tough mudder new england photos Surveying the Everest obstacle…which was the only one I couldn’t do. I tried three times but never got on top. Everest will have to wait until October.Tough Mudder Mount SnowMy favorite little guys join us at around mile 8 and kept us entertained the last two miles. They were in muddy heaven.Tough Mudder Mount SnowAlmost done!!Tough mudder new england photos Electroshock Therapy. Which got me good. I still have the burn mark to prove it. But, in all honestly, it was way more hype than shock, though it did send both john and Adam straight to the ground. 😀Tough Mudder New England 2012Me reacting to the shock I got. I’m way more dramatic than I should have been…it wasn’t that bad.My nails still in perfect shape after 10 miles of mud, hills, water and muck. Not bad.Tough Mudder Mount SnowA proud moment for us allTough Mudder New England 2012The obligatory Dos Equis beer. Which I didn’t finish. I said I’d try, but I hate beer…so I tried…and then gave the rest to John. Tough mudder new england photos

Stay tuned next week for a video and full run down of each obstacle!

  1. AHH what a fun day!!!

  2. OMG!!!!! LOVE the pictures.. so happy you both had such a wonderful time!!

  3. Renee Cowan says:

    Alicia you are an incredible young woman!! I love how you are smiling in every single one of these pictures your joy exudes from you…you are blessed <3

  4. mom says:

    LOVED the pictures…………at one point you are looking at Adam like he proposed 🙂 I love the kids cheering you on and I especially love the fact that Adam has his headband on upside down :)looks like you 2 did GREAT!

  5. Emilia Jane says:

    You go girl! This is seriously awesome.

Leave a Reply