Rosemount resident is one Tough Mudder
Lon Anderson trains ‘all out’ to honor wounded military veterans
Lon Anderson is one “Tough Mudder.”
The 47-year-old Rosemount man proved it by completing the 11.5-mile Tough Mudder extreme obstacle course May 20 to raise money for military veterans wounded in combat.
It was that higher purpose that Anderson says propelled him and his eight-person team to endure the morning’s cold, windy conditions and muddy course that attempted to recreate a “boot camp” training run.
“Conditions were downright nasty,” Anderson said. “We were all chilled to the bone after the first obstacle, which was referred to as the ‘arctic enema.’ ”
The obstacle was a 40-foot-wide dumpster filled with colored ice water. Barbed wire was stretched across the surface of the water at the midway point forcing participants to swim under water for several feet before coming back to the surface.
“Of all the obstacles to have first, this one would have been my last choice based on weather conditions and air temperature,” Anderson said.
After that obstacle, Anderson completed the rest of 28 obstacles on the rain-soaked course in 3.5 hours with his team of four men and four women amid 15-20 mph winds and 50-degree temperatures.
“The race was by far the most difficult event I’ve ever participated in,” said Anderson, who has run 5K and 10K races and a 12-mile urbanathlon with five obstacles that were made to seem like “Romper Room” compared to the Tough Mudder. “When they say ‘toughest event on the planet,’ they mean it.”
He said the event had a “no-man-left-behind” theme that his overall team, which included a total of 22 people from the Burnsville-Savage area where his UPS delivery route is located (in addition to Rosemount residents Jake Askew and Anne West), agreed to adhere to honor the military’s wounded warriors.
As a result, he said faster runners had to go at a slower pace or wait at each obstacle, most of which required teamwork to overcome.
“The course was designed by British Special Forces and was constructed to push your mental and physical barriers to the limits,” Anderson said. “Many of (the obstacles) were more psychologically difficult than physical.”
Anderson said he never felt fatigued during the race, which he attributed to his training that started in December.
The Rosemount resident since 1990 made a “complete nutritional overhaul” that had him eating nearly 100 percent fruits, vegetables, fish and chicken.
His running routine consisted of weekday 5 a.m. runs of 5 miles, lunch break runs of 4 to 6 miles during the week and weekend runs of 10 to 12 miles.
He said he averaged 500 push-ups and 100 pull-ups Monday through Friday since December.
Anderson said he stayed motivated during his training and the race because of the sacrifice of America’s wounded warriors.
“It’s so much easier to put out that kind of physical effort if you are doing it on behalf of someone else,” he said. “This was all about our military heroes.”
Anderson has raised $5,225 and made hundreds of friends and family members aware of the Wounded Warrior Project.
One donation that Anderson said he is so proud of is that from Rosemount residents Jeff and Lori Wilfahrt, the parents of Andrew, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2011.
“I have never dedicated myself more to anything I’ve ever done than I did this event,” said Anderson, who is married to Cathy and has two sons, Phillip, 22, and Miles, 20. “I was determined to do it to the best of my ability to honor our wounded American veterans.
“The feeling I felt when I finished is hard to explain,” he said. “I never doubted my ability to do it, so I wasn’t surprised that I finished. I guess I was very proud because I did it for all the right reasons and did everything I could possibly do for the Wounded Warrior Project and to physically prepare my body for the challenge. I also felt a little empty because it became such a huge part of who I was this year.”