Fear fac­tor grows

Ex­treme fit­ness event will test Baker’s met­tle

Central and North Burnett Times - - BURNETT SPORT - Shirley Way shirley.way@cnbtimes.com.au

Lisa Baker

I had Russ there a cou­ple of times to catch me, (but) now I’m grip­ping so hard, I’m po­ten­tially get­ting blis­ters.

TO SWIM through a pit of muddy ice, jump through fire and charge through a field of live wires de­liv­er­ing mild elec­tric shocks: is it the stuff of night­mares or the adult ver­sion of jump­ing in pud­dles?

Lisa Baker and four friends will find out in six weeks at Bell’s Creek.

Tough Mud­der is a muddy 20km course with 18 SAS-styled ob­sta­cles, and re­quires ca­ma­raderie, men­tal grit, strength and agility to com­plete.

Named Healthy North Bur­nett’s Most In­spi­ra­tional Ath­lete for 2013, Baker has been build­ing her strength and agility since she started run­ning af­ter the birth of her sec­ond child in 2012.

Af­ter run­ning two half-marathons, she was per­suaded to run her first marathon, 43.5km from Gayn­dah to Mun­dub­bera, last year.

“Tough Mud­der I see as a chal­lenge to make me train to do that,” she said.

“It’s a dif­fer­ent chal­lenge and the train­ing for it is ob­sta­cles, us­ing dif­fer­ent body parts.

“It’s a men­tal as well as phys­i­cal chal­lenge.”

And there are chal­lenges on course for ev­ery­one and ev­ery fear.

Ob­sta­cles could in­clude the Boa Con­stric­tor, crawl­ing up­hill and down through con­fined spa­ces; the Arc­tic En­ema, where par­tic­i­pants need to avoid a body shut­down by run­ning (crawl­ing) up a hill af­ter swim­ming through a muddy ice pit; and a new ob­sta­cle which fea­tures fire.

“It’s the ex­treme sport level based orig­i­nally on an SAS course and com­mer­cialised,” Baker said.

Her train­ing reg­i­men has “some­thing for ev­ery­one” and in­cludes fac­ing her fear of heights.

With the help of hus­band Russ, she has built her own ver­sion of the Funky Mon­key ob­sta­cle, an A-framed mon­key bar, at home.

“I had Russ there a cou­ple of times to catch me, (but) now I’m grip­ping so hard, I’m po­ten­tially get­ting blis­ters,” she said.

De­scrib­ing Tough Mud­der as “the adult ver­sion of jump­ing in pud­dles”, Baker has been en­joy­ing the va­ri­ety in her train­ing – climb­ing and swing­ing on ropes; crawl­ing through stormwa­ter drains and un­der barbed-wire fences; ne­go­ti­at­ing cat­tle-yard fences and rock ob­sta­cles; and flip­ping trac­tor tyres.

But, the key to sur­viv­ing Tough Mud­der is team­work or, as the or­gan­is­ers call it – ca­ma­raderie.

Or­gan­is­ers say ev­ery ob­sta­cle on the course is de­signed for a 78% suc­cess rate, and you need mates to suc­ceed.

“For me, there’s an ex­tra level of plan­ning – I’ll need to make sure the sug­ars are per­fect at the start,” said the Type 1 di­a­betic, who has worked through a plan with her en­docri­nol­o­gist.

“I can’t carry the pump or blood tester through a kilo­me­tre or more of mud, or when swim­ming, so I’ll carry an in­sulin in­jec­tion with me.”

There will be blood testers at medic sta­tions on course and Baker will carry a stash of jelly beans in case her blood su­gar goes low.

She said her team had yet to dis­cuss their strengths and weak­nesses, but she was con­fi­dent they would work through each ob­sta­cle – “who’s got the height here or the strength there”.

Hav­ing had a trial run at Bris­bane’s “Miss Muddy” event, a 5km mud run for women only, last Sun­day, Baker was ready to tackle Tough Mud­der.

With their team of five keen for an­other mem­ber or two, those in­ter­ested can call Baker on 0412 686 572.

PHOTO: SHIRLEY WAY

HANG­ING TOUGH: Lisa Baker de­fies her fear of heights to pre­pare for the Tough Mud­der.

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