Logistics for Tough Guy

I just completed Tough Guy 2014 in Wolverhampton, England. Several friends have expressed an interest in doing the 2015 or 2016 race, so I am offering the following advice. I stumbled around England, occasionally wondering if I was even going to be able to find my way there and back to the airport. This information should make your trip smoother than mine.

I flew into London Heathrow airport. All terminals have a connection to the Underground (what us Americans would call the London subway system). Take the Piccadilly Line to Leicester Square (pronounced like the name Lester), then take the Northern Line to Euston. Go up the stairs to the surface-level train station and you can catch a train to Wolverhampton from there and take a cab to your hotel and/or the race venue.

tubemap

I stayed at the Mount Hotel (http://www.booking.com/hotel/gb/mountcountryhouse.en-us.html?sid=c6493172d7ca8265055bcfc90d6911d2;dcid=1;srfid=f0ea2c73a04d7a89129816aca246a94d7b123fc9X11) and booked the room through Booking.com so that I could pay in US currency and not get the foreign exchange fees from my bank. I made sure to keep my booking printout with me, so I could just show it to the cabbie and he would know where to go.

I highly recommend this hotel, they were awesome. Comfortable room, WiFi, close to the venue, and enough Tough Guys stay there that the staff knows the event. They were also great about arranging a cab to pick me up when I needed it.

The UK uses different electrical fittings than the US. Pay the extra money for a quality adapter. This is what was required to get the cheap adapter I had to stay connected:

Adapter

Finances:

Room was about $100 US per night. Trains from the airport to Wolverhampton and back totaled 116 pounds. Cab fare from train station to hotel, to venue, back to hotel, and back to train station came to around 40 pounds.

Food costs about the same number of pounds as you would expect to pay in dollars back home. So, in short, plan on double your normal food budget while in country.

Be advised that the British do not mark roads nearly as clearly as Americans are used to. If you plan on checking out anything on your own, bring a GPS that does not rely on cell phone signal.

And lastly, this needs said: DO NOT underestimate this race. It is completely conquerable, not impossible, but be aware that it is a mean course. It will knock you to your knees if you give it the chance. Invest in good cold-weather gear that can stand getting wet, and train in the cold as much as you can.

The obstacles, while awesome, do not require the same level of strength as many Spartan Race obstacles, but the conditions and the amount of time you will spend in cold water require MUCH more grit.

And THIS is what you will have to sign at the starting line:

Image

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