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I am going to be competing (trying to survive) Tough Guy in Jan 2010, has anyone else done this yet and if so any advice? I know it is a while away, but not harm in prep!!! Thanks, DrJ


  • ...the boxing competition?
  • No, the fitness / 8 mile assault course. It's supposed to be the toughest you can do... seemingly. Check out the link below. The cold is supposed to be extreme!

  • oh my god that looks amazing!
  • Yeh I know, was on Channel 4 last year and I though exactly that and signed up with my best friend from Scotland. Can't wait!
  • yeah i think ill enter next payday! looks like a bum biter!
  • gavinrigg06gavinrigg06 Posts: 176
    HI guys,

    I did Tough Guy this year (Jan 32nd) its always held on the last sunday of January.

    A breif description would be - get ready to be colder than you have ever been before

    When we started the wind chill was -5c, out on the run you warm up a bit, there are also a couple of things to jump over / go under. The run is designed to spread the field out prior to hitting the 'killing fields' .

    The run is deceptive, you run out and then as you think you are getting close to the 'killing fields' off out you go again, at about the 6mile point you hit the slalom, this is up and down a 60deg ish hill about 10 times, a real leg killer - after this is the run through 'bear wood' which is littered with huge hay bales and cargo netting, this is the start of the pain....

    the water starts off knee deep and gets progressivley deeper on each of the water obsticles, and this is cold just 2deg this year by the time you get to the underwater torture, you can not feel anything and have to keep moving to stave off hypothermia.

    Watch out for 'the Tiger' on the second visit, they have generally turned on the electric shock tapes by this time.

    I will not lie it is a course that requires more mental power than physical and is quite tough - i think 5000 started this year and around 3000 finished, there were over 500 cases of hpothermia, 2 broken legs, and 1 back injury I think - but hey this is Tough Guy.

    Hope you do it you certainly smile when you finish - any questions feel free to ask.
  • electric shock tapes?
  • tomtristomtris Posts: 135
    That sounds awesome. I am still smiling even after reading gavin's report! Ha, I'm in!
  • FlavadaveFlavadave Posts: 749
    gavinrigg06 wrote:

    2 broken legs, and 1 back injury I think - but hey this is Tough Guy.

    Were they all on the same person? Errrrrr.... good luck!
  • Wow, thanks Gavin. I of course have watch the vids and read about it but to hear from a guy who has done it is great. I bumped into a guy in my gym wearing a vest with Tough Guy 04 on it and when I asked how it is just laughed and said "it's just awful, truely awful!" And this guy looks seriously fit. He had done it for 4 years running, but got injured and dropped out last 2 years. You doing it next year? Come on, you know you want to!!
  • tomtristomtris Posts: 135
    Am i right in thinking its £45 to enter?
  • JessterJesster Posts: 482
    My ex did it this year in january and he said he has never been so cold in his life and that there was no chance he would ever do it again. i have heard talk of people wearing wetsuit gilets and the like, however this goes against 'tough guy' mentality.

    If you were really interested, i'd suggest taking a gander around the 'nettle warrior' first, held in july. same course tho slightly longer i think. expect electric fencing, fire and horrible vietcong tunnels......hats off to all you lot who have done the course at all, i watched it last july. thinking of next year actually........madness lol
  • Mmmm, fraid not Tomtris it is about £80.00 but a lot goes to charity and the more you pay, the further up the 'wetneck' que you get. As Gavin mentioned the more waiting you do the more chance you will get hypothermia, so pay a bit more and run for your life!
  • Ha ha. Yes Jesster, nice to hear.
    No, I think if you are going to do it, do it full tilt. Winter TG is the only one to do and yes, I think wearing a wetsuit would be frowned upon, so pants and socks it is! lol
  • SwizzlenapSwizzlenap Posts: 160
    gavinrigg06 wrote:

    they have generally turned on the electric shock tapes by this time.

    hahahahahahahahahaha I love that line
  • tomtristomtris Posts: 135
    jeepers. Crimbo present then? Ha, thats a funny thought.

    What did you get for Christmas? Errrrr, tough guy entry and the chance to kill myself
  • JonhinioJonhinio Posts: 289
    I'm also booked in to do this. Wifey was watching the highlights and said "Ooh that'd be fun to watch", and in a rather Homer Simpson moment I thoguht "Right, your wish is my command"......

    (... however if she had asked me to go and do the gardening I would have found a way out of it... go figure )
  • JessterJesster Posts: 482
    your wife is right, its great fun to watch....

    and coming from someone who is happy to go surfing in january, there is noooooo way i would do the winter tough guy. give me a 5:3 suit, boots, gloves and a hood and i'm there. i know what british-january-ice -cream- head- brain -freeze feels like and it aint fun, people! you lot are mad!

    on the other hand, if there are any attractive single men tough enough to do it, feel free to PM me as i am very interested!! lol

    What can I say? Every girl wants a Tough Guy!
  • timtim Posts: 43
    Did this in 2008 and 2009. 2008 was a cool but dry day, by the end i was freezing but happily survived. i decided to enter again for this year with the aim of getting a better time, but the course changes so much each year you cannot compare to previous attempts.

    This year i heard the temp was -8 i was really only out to survive. took me just over 2hrs to complete, having finished i rushed back to the car, dried off and changed, wore lots of layers and sat in the car with the heater on full for over an hour before i was in any fit state to drive home, then i had to wait to get out the carpark cause everyone was stuck on the icy grass.

    It truely was a numbing experience. I have no intention of doing it again but i am glad i did it. i am sure 2010 will be much warmer and a lot of fun! recommend everyone to try it... once! and wear something on your hands the ropes are hard to hang on to when you cant feel your fingers.

    Oh you do not have to be that physically fit (tho it helps) but mentally fit and really up for it is vital, and yes it is very expensive, £70 if you book in Feb/March, i think its at £100 at the mo and it goes up £10 per month, or something like that.
  • lol, very funny Johninio, I know what you mean!
    Jesster! Such a fluesy! Get involved and show the ex how it should be done!
  • JessterJesster Posts: 482
    As a person of the female variety, i am far too sensible to be doing that kind of thing in January! I'll leave that to you lads....(Besides, I spend January surfing in Morocco every year.)

    However, Nettle Warrior is a different ball game. Still tough, but not ridiculous. Hell, I'm in! Be good to kick the ex's butt, youre right (even though I dumped him ages ago....) lol

    And as to the floozy bit, guilty as charged.

    Any of you girls out there want to give the lads a run for their money?
  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    I love evnts like tough guy bit have never done it as its a bit rich for my blood and bloody cold. I heard one guy say that he was first to the water and had to break the ice.

    Some other food for thought.

    Hell runner south. Will be doing this in November

    Kamakazi challenge. Did thid one back in march and loved it! I will be there next year and its moved to may. VO2 events!

    Theres also the grim.

    sorry no links but check;em out.

    From whats been said about the tough guy I might have to give it a miss and stay with the above.

    Bring on the hell down south!!!!!

    Oh by the way good luck and my the triathlopn gods see you through.
  • Yep, I'm doing tough guy too. Sounds like it could be a giggle.
    A cold giggle!
  • gavinrigg06gavinrigg06 Posts: 176
    Ha Ha, I can hear the fear in your typing.

    Seriously though, although mentally tough, you get the biggest buzz ever once you have finished (can't compare to an Ironman finish - that is yet to come)

    As for what to where, well as mentioned there are people that try to do it in shortie wetsuits, but you see them trying to take them off during the run as they are overheating !! others do it in fancy dress, spongebob was there this year, a team in mankini's and some rather sexy bunnygirls (think they slowed me down for about 1m ) and of course the true toughguys in the G-String (only the 1 this year).

    Personally I went for the skins shorts with Ron Hills over the top (dont want to damage the 2XU kit) / a long sleeve Skins top plus a rash vest over the top - a wooly hat and a pair of gloves, and a pair of cheap Nike trainers.

    As for the cold, I would say that by the time you have been in and out of the waist deep water a couple of times you loose the feeling in your feet, then once you hit the deep water that's when your hands go too - this is the part where the mental aspect kicks in, because you just want to stop.

    The medical support on the course is second to none - and they will not hesitate to throw you in the back of a vehicle and give you a warm up rub, if you look like you are about to slip into hypothermia shock - but you do get the option to re-join the race once you have come back to your senses.

    Also as mentioned previously, prices change depending on whether you have done the race before and also the month in which you enter (closer to the start date costs more). You can pay approx £175.00 to join the Toughguy squad (No's 1 to 1000) that start at the bottom of kamikaze hill, then there are previous Toughguys (No's 1001 to ???) that start at the top of the hill, all other entries, be it teams or individuals, start from holding pens (this is on a working farm) behind the hill and are released about 5-10mins after the first squad gets away (this is to cut down on the number of bottlenecks later on).

    I have once again signed up for the torture in 2010, my race number is 1002 (I got in early). There is a campsite on site available, there are also barns filled with straw and matresses where you can stay if you wish, they cost a little more but payment is made in stamps and all the money goes to charity. If you are slightly more up market there are several hotels around in Wolverhampton just 5mins drive.

    I believe the event has been running for 25yrs and as yet there have been no 'serious' injuries, even though you are required to sign a 'Death Warrant' prior to competing, which signs away all your rights to a compensation claim

    Although I hated doing it, I can't wait to do it again (does this make sense ) and it would be great to see some BCTTT members there. Coney how would I be able to get the logo onto one of my old tops ??

    Sign up today.....
  • Hi All,

    Thanks for all your thoughts and info.

    Blinky - Cool, will check out these races as am trying to do as many as possible to highlight my justgiving after losing my dad to alzheimers and the wilder and wackier the better! (Still setting this up, but please check it out).

    Conehead - scary picture, well done on the win and if it pushes me on to IM, then it will have done it's job.

    Gavin, again, great report my man. I have my pack sent to me will check out my number and stick it on here - maybe even see you there... when I look behind on the finish line of course!!

    Stu - same as above pal, see you there!
  • SilverbackSilverback Posts: 131
    All I can say is once you've done it you will need to prove yourself to no-one.

    Did it last year and the tales of hyperthermia are all true.

    Three vital tips

    1) inov8 mud claws-got mine from sweat shop-try it in your road shoes you'll be stuffed, literally one step forward and three back These are more like football boots than running shoes but you'll need them.

    2) Army surplus gloves-green wool with rubber "nipples" on the palms and fingers-you put your hand on a log and it sticks.

    3) Watch out for the sewage pipes at the end-climbing over 3ft concrete pipes is simple-unless your legs are cramping to high heaven.
  • gavinrigg06gavinrigg06 Posts: 176
    Ha, ha, yes Silverback,

    I found that bit highly amusing & confusing - I could not figure out why all these people were rolling about on the floor screaming - I thought the pipes were electrified, until someone mentioned the cramp word

    I guess I was just lucky as I was able to just roll over these, prior to attacking the rabbit hills !!
  • Hi all.
    I have a hubby that has completed 1 Tough Guy event. I was there to watch him in 2009, plus I watched the 2008 event. I would like to offer some advice from an outsiders point of view if u like.
    Make sure u train for the event.....really work hard on the stamina side particularly training for the "Slalom". This will seem like it goes on for ever and quite frankly it does!! The legs will really burn on this part of the course and they shove it in about half way. It is a series of continuous hills that return again and again causing the fittest of the toughest of "Tough Guys" to resort to a large walking strides whilst pressing hands on the quads to get to the top of each hill. Also get out there in the cold and get experience of going in freezing cold water as part of your training (its the cold that gets ya). Any observer (like me) needs layers of clothing, a good pair of wellies and a hat that covers the ears.
    good luck all c u 2010 x
  • wyno70wyno70 Posts: 189
    I did Tough Guy in 1992.

    It's painful all the way through but in some perverse way, I loved every minute.

    I remember getting to a bridge that you were supposed to go under (when I say a bridge, you were wading in a stream at the time, the bridge was for spectators) and most people were getting out and climbing over it. There was probably a hundred people spectating, baying for someone to go under, so I did. It felt like someone had pushed an icicle all the way through my brain and took me about 30 seconds to get it back together at which point, all the spectators were clapping and cheering which made it all worth while.

    An excellent event, some real bad pain and I'd throroughly recommend it.
  • Hiya

    just wondering if there were any updates from people who took part on Sunday? I took along a team of 8 (clients of my PT business) who all completed the course. I also managed to finish 1st female which was a wonderful experience as the crowd just completely supported me the whole way.

    Got a mild case of hypothermia after the event along with some cuts and bruises from the ice chard in the water obstacles, but feel fantastic and will be returning to defend my position next year

    anyone else got their experience to share? Would love to hear.

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