Tough Mudder is not your run of the mill mud run. If 11 miles of sloshy sticky mud do not put a fear of God into you, the obstacles aptly named: Arctic Enema, Everest and Electroshock Therapy definitely should.
Webyshops.com employees are not the ones to back down from a challenge, so when a group of us decided to do Tough Mudder race near Cosicana, Texas – the only question we had was – what piece of gear can we put to the test in these conditions. For anyone that has run a distance beyond 5K on an unsupported or poorly supported race – the issue of hydration or taking in enough liquid comes to the forefront. And while we knew that we would have plenty of opportunity to sample local mud pies and pond water – we knew that this would be a perfect opportunity to test drive some of our new hydration packs.
Several of us have used products built by Camelbak before but the biggest drawback to their hydration packs we saw was two fold:
- The need to suck the water out
- The need to put your mouth on the mouthpiece to perform "sucking"
For anyone that has ever been in a mud run knows full well – when you run in one – expect mud to be everywhere. And I mean, everywhere.
When it comes to a hydration system, the last place you want to have mud on is on the mouthpiece. As we were preparing for the race, one of the team members was at the Outdoor Retailer tradeshow where he saw what he considered a “new” company, called Geigerrig. They did not have as many fabric choices for their backpacks, but what they did have was one very cool Hydration Engine, that could!
The team member said that it was actually their slogan that drew him to their booth. It read: "Performance Under Pressure.” Try this next time you are running. Attempt to maintain your pace and suck in some water from the Camelbak. It’s a “sucky” experience to say the least.
As the date of Tough Mudder race got closer, we procured several Geigerrig Guardian Rigs in black and tan from Geigerrig and got them set up. The mechanics of the rig are very simple. The bladder consists of two separate chambers – one for liquid and one for air. You fill the liquid chamber with your favorite beverage and you pressurize the air chamber by squeezing several times on the air pump the size of a small apple. The solution is genuius. Once the air chamber is filled – the liquid squirts out from the mouth piece when you gently squeeze it.
This became our favorite feature during the race. Here’s how we used it. Originally, our team was supposed to have 6 Geigerrig units in it, but in the end 2 of the girls decided to run without them (it was their first race) and one of the guys forgot his. So we ended up with 3 rigs amongst 6 people. Two of us carried water and one carried Advocare Spark mixture for an exra “boost” in performance. Geigerrig’s ability to squirt came in handy when “sharing” both water and the other beverage. No one was concerned about getting someone else’s slobber on the mouthpiece. And by doing a quick burst squirt – one could clean off any mud that may have accumulated on the mouthpiece during one of the “mud crossings.”
We also brought a GoPro camera on the run and Geigerrigs did a super job in cleaning off the lens after each “submersion” into the elements. When the race was over, all of us felt grateful for having Geigerrig’s hydration packs with us that day. Could we’ve done the race without them? Probably, but they did make it easier and not having to wait for the water station to hydrate was priceless.