Race Report: Louis Smit – Tough Mudder

Louis Smit – Race Report for Tough Mudder SA. 15/09/2018

Tougher Mudder 16kilometers and 20+ obstacles competitive elite wave.

This was such an awesome event and also a big privilege to be able to compete in the first Tough Mudder event in South Africa. First off the weather wasn’t playing along, it was a cold and wet morning but in hindsight, this made things muddier and fun, and also may be closer to what we might expect in October for the World Championships.

I had done a race or two here previously in Elgin Valley so I knew this was going to be a race with some serious climbing and also some really awesome descending. The build-up to the event was spectacular and I started fast with sprinter Ruan Eygelaar who said he would be challenging me the first 200m of the race, so I had a pacemaker pretty much haha, thanks, Ruan. 

After that, I was pretty much on my own and started to pull a gap after the first obstacle (Kiss of mud). The next obstacle was something I had never seen before called Blockness monster. It was literally big blocks that rotated when you want to climb over them submerged halfway in the water, it usually requires some good teamwork to complete, I don’t know how but I got over these on my own.

Next up was Pyramid scheme, a really slippery obstacle and with the rain made things even worse, I made a mistake here and had to attempt the obstacle twice. Claude Eksteen closed the gap and he was next to me at this stage. There was a massive downhill after that with some easy obstacles here and there and I pulled a decent gap again, got through some mud piles fast or rather sand piles as they weren’t too muddy, and now was the turning point as we started to head back up, this was a massive climb.

 

I had built a decent buffer with the decent and held my nerve on the balance beam, Devils Beard was next and my legs were burning, I now had to crawl up the hill under a net that was pulled tight to the ground, not an easy task and I knew I couldn’t relax as Claude was breathing down my neck just 150m behind me. I reached the venue area and got some respite for my legs as things levelled out. I got through Shaw shanked no problems and the water drop was really refreshing, loved the single track through the woods! Back to climbing up again as we continued to ascend, I knew there was only like 30% of the race left and that the worst was behind me, I still focussed hard on each obstacle and managed to deal with Funky Monkey easily. 

The battle soon got real as Claude closed the gap on hold your wood, he was now 10 to 15sec behind me and I was feeling the fatigue from starting hard. I really had to dig in and every small sharp climb was getting to me. Again I had to really concentrate on keeping my intensity high through the obstacles and somehow kept the lead. Every decent now was critical and I used my leg speed to go hard and as fast as I could, I went into Arctic Enema and again it was cold but more refreshing than anything else, the final two obstacles was all that was left.

I had no clue where Claude was and didn’t care all I knew was that a massive half pipe / Everest and a massive shock now stood between me and the win. I managed Everest with ease and I felt only a little jolt. The crowd was cheering and the finish line was in front of me, I had done it, I had won the first Tougher Mudder in South Africa. My mother was crying with elation and I was so happy with the result.

I just want to thank Discovery Tough Mudder for an amazing event and also for bringing this brand to our shores it was amazing. Also, I couldn’t have done this without my sponsors believing in me and providing me with the means to be able to come and compete, thanks Nevarest. Last but not least I want to say thank you to all my family, friends and supporters, you guys are my rock and the wind in my sails, without you guys this would mean absolutely nothing…

Form is on song for World Championships only a few more weeks to go.