DALMENY IT consultant and family man, Damien Cross has put himself through the world’s toughest obstacle course to test his limits and help raise money for Legacy.
Tough Mudder events are hard core 20km-long obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test all-round strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. There are 25 obstacles including ice, fire and electric shocks and literally miles of mud.
The challenge was set in Gosford near Sydney on September 22 and 23 and attracted thousands of competitors.
Damien was inspired to get involved after he saw TV coverage in March of a Tough Mudder in Melbourne.
Damien had left the army in 2000 and was increasingly gaining weight.
“I had decided to get fit back in December and I needed a goal,” Damien said.
“I smashed myself for the next six months and lost 15kg.”
Training six days a week Damien lost a further 15kg before he set off to the Tough Mudder challenge.
You cannot complete a Mudder course alone and Damien had put together a team from the Bodalla area. Unfortunately the team chickened out at the last minute so Damien hooked up with a team from Moruya.
At 37-years old Damien felt quite old arriving at the event.
He signed the death waiver and the challenge, not a race, began.
The mud mile was particularly special according to Damien.
“I was up to my chest and I’m 1.9m tall.”
Teams worked together to ensure no one got stuck in the mud and life guards were never too far away.
Damien was entertained by some participants dressed as superheros, gladiators and even saw a man dressed in a pink tutu. Naturally all clothing was destroyed in the challenge.
If participants were getting weary during the course they were soon revived with an 11,000 volt jolt crawling under live wires.
“It was impossible to avoid and I probably got zapped about 20 times,” Damien said.
Another wakeup call was an ice bath where participants had to swim underwater beneath a beam in freezing temperatures.
The hardest part according to Damien was trying to scale the ‘Berlin Wall’ which was impossible without the help of your teammates.
Damien managed to complete the course in a gruelling four and a half hours.
A few bruises and aches and pains certainly have not put Damien off and he’s putting together a Narooma team for the next Mudder event in Sydney in February.
“I'd like to inspire more locals to have a go at the challenge and help Legacy,” Damien said.
If you feel up to the challenge go to toughmudder.com.au