Local 'Tough Mudder' participants trained for more than a year

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Madras' Martha Bewley, right, with her husband Tim Bewley, center, competed in the Tough Mudder Oregon outside Fossil on June 15. The event, done worldwide, is a 10- to 12-mile long obstacle course  designed by British Special Forces to challenge the mind, body and spirit. Also pictured is Jodi Burch, and all three were part of a team of competitors with local ties. Finish what you start.

Four simple words were the driving force behind a local group of ambitious athletes, who took on the Tough Mudder Oregon mega-obstacle course June 15 at Wilson Family Ranches outside Fossil.

Martha Bewley, School District 509-J's chief financial officer — accompanied by husband Tim Bewley, sister Carino Bautista, brother Rudy Loredo and friends Jodi Burch, Michael Riley and Rosie Riley — completed the 10-mile course in 2 hours, 45 minutes. Failure wasn't an option to the group, and they were going to cross the finish line no matter what.

"When you start an event like this, you just can't think about the obstacles or anything," Bewley said. "You just have to go do it. I just wanted to be able to say I finished it, no matter how long I took."

Bewley's training in preparation for the event, she said, wasn't anywhere near what Bautista did.

"I just wanted to get the basics down, cardio and upper-body strength was what I worked on the most," Bewley said.

Bautista, on the other hand, knew the land around Fossil was full of hills, so she traversed the Tumalo State Park trails a couple times a week to get acclimated to the elevation changes.

by: SUMBITTED PHOTO - Local participants of Tough Mudder Oregon flex their muscles while on the course. From left to right are Carino Bautista, Rosie Riley, Rudy Loredo, Tim Bewley, Martha Bewley and Jodi Burch. A team member not pictured, Michael Riley, snapped the photo.  "This event was a perfect goal for me," said Bautista, who started running about four years ago to stay in shape. "I thought it looked pretty tough, and if I could complete that, I've done quite a bit."

The pair trained for more than a year in order to do the event, and while Bautista might have done a little more prep work than Bewley, both said having everyone there as a team was what mattered the most.

"The team atmosphere helped us get through the obstacles, and having the support and motivation was great," Bewley said.

Bautista said the team was also needed to complete some of the obstacles.

"Everyone was needed, and everyone helped each other out," she said. "Even if you weren't on the same team, people were still helping each other get through obstacles."

Bewley took an interesting approach to the event. She refused to watch any of the videos of previous Tough Mudder events, saying that if she did she would probably psych herself out. She gave in the night before the event, however, and watched some posted on the website.

"Panic mode started to set in," Bewley joked. "I really wondered what I had gotten myself into."

by: SUMBITTED PHOTO - Carino Bautista tries to work through the Funky Monkey obstacle during the Tough Mudder Oregon competition. Bautista not only watched the videos months ahead of time, but studied them to try to get an idea of how she needed to attack certain obstacles.

"I went into sort of a survival mode, and tried to figure out what I needed to do to get through the course," Bautista said. "I was trying to find ways through so I wouldn't suffer a whole lot."

Tough Mudder International holds these mega-obstacle course events around the world. The course is essentially the same wherever the event is held, and it was designed by British Special Forces to test the mind, body and spirit of anyone who wants a piece of it.

Some of the obstacles were more difficult than others. Bewley and Bautista both agreed the toughest, and most painful, obstacles were pretty shocking.

The "electric eel" and "shock therapy," placed near the beginning and end of the course, tested the mettle of most competitors. Both involved electrically-charged wires dangling from wooden frames in the competitor's path - for them to run through and get zapped.

Both said those obstacles hurt them the most from a physical standpoint, but they didn't let it break them mentally.

"It was scary, for sure," Bautista said. "I didn't know what to expect, and when I got shocked in the head, all I heard was a loud crashing noise."

Bewley summed it up as an "unforgettable experience," both running through those obstacles, and the entire event as a whole.

As for the next Tough Mudder Oregon, the pair said they will be doing it again, and hope to get more people to do it with them.

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