Three Rockhurst High School students competed in a Tough Mudder race on Saturday, October 8. Three seniors, Errett Mackey, Luke Kuklenski and Reed Slaymaker were able to complete the race at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, Kansas.
The Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile trace made up of several obstacles, ranging from mud crawls to a field of tasers.
Coming off an ACL tear, Mackey decided that he wanted to get into better shape.
“I saw it as a goal to work towards,” Mackey said. “Since I tore my ACL six months prior, I used the race to get into better shape for the upcoming lacrosse season.”
The plan came about last summer by the group of friends. Mackey’s dad had completed one years before, and they were able to get him on board for the race. The four decided that they would run the race and finish it with one another.
While Mackey had originally presented the idea, it was on everyone’s mind.
“The idea had been in my mind for a long time,” Kuklenski said. “I saw a video of the course a few years back and knew I wanted to participate.”
The three set out to train for the daunting race months before it had even started. The group ran into trouble when they found out that one them could have been out of the race already.
Mackey was still recovering from his ACL tear which put him out of all activities for a half a year.
“All the doctors told me I shouldn’t do it or even think about it. There were many times where I thought I wouldn’t be able to race because of how limited my training was,” Mackey said.
Going against the advice of his doctors, Mackey continued his training.
“To do something like this, you have to commit full on. I was already committed and I did not want to give up on it that soon,” Mackey said.
“I was very committed to getting ready and put in quite a bit of time running,” Kuklenski said, “I was mostly worried about distance, because the most I had ever run at one time was five miles.”
When it came time for the race, the four had agreed to stick together. They ran to complete the race for their own personal satisfaction.
“We stuck together the entire race,” Kuklenski said. “When we came to the Electroshock Therapy obstacle, I got a rush of adrenaline and hurt a ton, but the electric zap kept the rest of us going.”
All four runners were able to see the lengthy race to the end.
“I would love to do it again in the future,” Kuklenski said. “My advice to anyone who wants to do a race like this would be to find a great group of friends who will push you through it and have a good time while doing so.”