Ashley McMillan column: Mud, sweat and testosterone

FOURTEEN thousand competitors, most of which hung around Whistler village afterwards and stayed the night to relax and celebrate and I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much testosterone together in one village.

Everyone was walking around (or drinking at the bars actually) in their ‘free’ Tough Mudder tee shirts and their souvenir orange headbands - and I mean EVERYONE! There was definitely a typical body type amongst the men competitors on ‘parade’ around the village bars – around 6 foot 2 and 200 + pounds (around 14 stone for you Brits) of muscle. Personally I think that carting all that weight around for near on 12 miles will have only proved to be incredibly hard. Much more suited event to someone a little more lithe and nimble one would think...

For hours end throughout the Saturday, you could see endless streams of individuals and teams making their way back from their shuttles as they traipsed back to the nearest bar or hotel to flake out. Covered in dried mud and everyone looking the same in their muddied, headband wearing attire – we know it was a big event guys, but couldn’t you get a little more imaginative with your dress sense after showering, especially instead of still wearing the same darn headbands and t-shirts the next day!!!

Still, it brought a hell of a lot of business into Whistler. Most hotels we as good as full, hopefully many achieved decent rates, the bars were spilling out everywhere as their walls literally creaked with the volume of patrons celebrating their efforts with their ‘just rewards’. Some bars literally couldn’t cope with the amount of business on hand, it was that busy…everywhere! And so it sounds like it was a roaring success from all the anecdotal feedback I’ve heard, so here’s hoping Whistler manages to negotiate a return stage this time next year.

Of course, no sooner than Whistler manages to catch it’s breath, we now have a long bank holiday weekend upon us again (sometimes what with the yank celebrations we tend to jump on the bandwagon to make them feel welcome, it feels like there’s always a long weekend of some sorts!!). This time it’s the turn of Canada Day long weekend with July 1st being the official holiday. As the name would suggest, it’s a day of national swell and a great excuse for many to have extra time to come up, kick back and party (feels like I’m saying that every weekend as well at the moment!!). Sure, for the ‘family’s benefit there’ll be some fireworks and a parade, but let’s not kid ourselves. It’s what every long weekend is about – anywhere in my experience. Time away from work, cervezas, margaritas and with a bit of luck, barbeques.

I’m wishing everyone well here, but the truth is that I’ll be leaving them all to it. I’ve a date with a huge flying tin can as I take the horrendous flight back to ‘blighty’ this week for a few weeks catching up with friends and family. What’ll it be like? What will have changed? Will I get away for a few days in Europe, which is something I always yearn for when that side of the ‘pond’. One thing’s for sure, I picked a good time for it, albeit I’m leaving again before the actual Olympics starts!!?? Hopefully there’ll be plenty of anticipation and atmosphere in the build up to savour. There’ll definitely be a ton of sports to watch though, which although a tad sad to admit, I’m actually looking forward to. I’m usually to busy working or playing to watch much of any sport. So football, tennis, cycling and Olympic hype it is then! Guess I’m looking forward to this one then – once I’ve landed back on terra firma that is!!