Echuca resident Jim Avard recently finished 22nd in the World’s Toughest Mudder in Englishtown.November 30, 2012 4:11am
If a 30-hour flight to New York without sleep is tough, then a 24-hour slog through 100km of mud and electrical wires, among other obstacles, must be near-on torture.
That was the reality for Echuca resident Jim Avard, who finished 22nd in the World’s Toughest Mudder in Englishtown, in the US state of New Jersey recently.
Avard and 1096 other athletes from around the world were greeted by sunshine and a brisk 4°C before reciting the Tough Mudder creed on one knee.
At 10am, the athletes took to the 16km course, which included road, bush, swamps and obstacles like the ‘Electrical Eel’ — a crawl through 10,000 volt wires — as well as avoiding 10kg blocks of concrete, one of which Avard copped to the head.
While the Echuca paramedic was protected by his wetsuit, the many water immersions and decreasing cold temperatures saw the garment torn to shreds by the end of the race.
Avard was joined by a Canadian whom he met before the event and shared the same goal as he — to finish the race.
The two athletes ran at a conservative pace as they completed each lap in about three hours, while being checked up on by medics to make sure they were healthy enough to complete another lap.
Temperatures dipped below -3°C during the night and before too long there was about 200 athletes left competing.
Mud started to freeze and Avard’s refuelling foods of Coke, fruit and water had also frozen.
Competitors could be seen shivering uncontrollably in front of heaters in first-aid tents, succumbing to hypothermia.
But as the race dragged on through the night the toughest mudders willed each other along, with Avard describing the camaraderie as ‘‘palpable’’ and ‘‘humbling’’.
He said the idea of the event was not about winning, but finishing.
By the time 10am rolled around, Avard had finished second in his age group, but, more importantly, was one of 140 competitors to have completed the course.
He thanked his friends and family, who sent through messages of support during the race, which were relayed by his partner, Bec, from the pit crew.
Avard said while his body was battered, his wetsuit torn and toes numb, he had accumulated some unforgettable memories.
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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