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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

‘Tough Mudders’ Compete For Muddy Glory

A man participates in a Tough Mudder in Pennsylvania, in April 2012. (Flickr/The 621st Contingency Response Wing)

A man participates in a Tough Mudder event in Pennsylvania, in April 2012. (Flickr/The 621st Contingency Response Wing)

Extreme obstacle course challenges like the Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash and Spartan Race have become a booming business – it’s now a 150 million dollar industry.

Participants in the Tough Mudder pay $95 to $200 to run 10 to 12 miles courses where they face challenges such as the Electric Eel: crawling through mud underneath live wires that deliver a 10,000 volt shock.

Time magazine sports reporter Sean Gregory, who took part in a Tough Mudder in Sarasota, Fla. told Here & Now’s Robin Young, “it stinks, it’s horrible, it’s a shock that goes through your body,” but the fact that you’ve already gone through other obstacles and that everyone else is going through it tends to build motivation.

The events also build camaraderie. Participants don’t race against each other, in fact, they often help each other over the tougher challenges.

The Tough Mudder is perfect for the age of social media, Gregory said, since it bills itself as “probably the toughest event on the planet.”

People can brag on Facebook and Twitter about taking part, but “it really isn’t that hard, ’cause you do it at your own pace and you get help out there,” he said.

Reporter Sean Gregory takes the Tough Mudder challenge:


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  • GDieken

    Tough Mudder seems borderline pervy. The slimy half-naked running though a hundred strands of 5000 volt electrified cattle fence & other “challenges.” Watch it over and over on YouTube. Go for it, I guess. Maybe check in with your cardiologist first.

    • http://www.facebook.com/MUDDYSUITMAN James Patrick O’Brien

       I did check with my cardiologist he said go for it.  Until you done one you don’t know what you’re talking about, besides I never do these half naked.  I wear a suit which has won me a year of Tough Mudders, so a year of fun, good exercise and good times.  Get off the couch and try one. 

  • Djackowski

    Sean Gregory hit the nail on the head: TM doesn’t have to be tough.  You can complete the course at your own pace, and trust me, there are plenty of people that walk the entire thing.  I’ve done two now, and managed to complete both in around two hours–even with a broken leg.  There is a definite sense of camaraderie on the course with almost everybody helping their fellow Mudder.   For me, it forces me to keep my workout balanced and gives me something to look forward to in the summer. 

  • http://twitter.com/slickandquick Kevin DiStasio

    I’ve done 4 Tough Mudders. I think my experience with them has created an energy junkie. I’m burnt out on Tough Mudder and I don’t get that energy high I used to get. I’ve moved on for my fix to the GoRuck Challenge which I will do for the first time this weekend. 10-12hrs with a group of 30 or less people who are led around a city by a Cadre, a former member of the Special Ops, who puts the team through a series of team building challenges.

    • GDieken

       “…people who are led around a city by a Cadre, a former member of the Special Ops, who puts the team through a series of…”  Like I said, sounds a bit like something you’d find at kink.com.

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