Al Stevens is sore but satisfied having completed his fifth Tough Mudder event.
The 76-year-old Sicamous man was in Whistler on Saturday, June 18, to run in the 16-20 kilometre obstacle race.
What made this race stand out over past mudder events for Stevens was that it was also a fundraiser for Wounded Warriors Canada, a veteran’s charity with a focus on mental health.
“I’m a little stiff and sore – it was maybe the toughest one I’ve done so far,” said Stevens, a veteran himself. “But I don’t know if that was me or the course or both. Anyway, the good news is I got $1,810 raised. That’s the part that I like the best. The second part is I made all the obstacles and whatnot.”
Cold, rainy weather added to the already challenge of this year’s event. Stevens said the arctic enema – an obstacle in which racers must wade through a pool filled chest high with ice water – was especially difficult.
“The arctic enema was difficult, not to do it, but because it cools you down so much, the muscles lock up and stuff like that…,” said Stevens. “And then, of course, all the water obstacles were pretty cold because it’s been cold up at Whistler for the past week, especially up high, and there’s a fair number of water obstacles, so you never get dry. As soon as you think you’re starting to dry up a bit you’re at the next one with maybe 25 to 30 yards of water to swim through.”
At one point, Stevens said hypothermia was a concern, but it passed.
“It made for a rough year, but it wasn’t just me,” said Stevens. “There was a lot of people doing the same thing so there was no point in whining, just get’er done. A misery loves company sort of thing.”
Despite these adversities, Stevens isn’t ruling out the idea of doing a sixth mudder event in the future.
“I met a few of the Wounded Warrior people there and they were pretty pleased, so that part of it was good. That makes it sort of worthwhile to give it another shot,” said Stevens. “But right now, I have to heal up a bit. If I had to do another one today I wouldn’t be able to make it, but in a few days I’ll probably be fine again.”