Tough Mudder competition video makes triathlons look tame

a muddy creek, part of an obstacle course

Tough Mudder is a new endurance/adventure sport competition featuring obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces. Geograph photo.

The Tough Mudder competition is the latest endurance sport sensation. Tough Mudder is also a company started by a couple of Harvard Business School grads. Their product is an endurance/adventure race that makes other races and triathlons look like a walk in the park. Sunday Tough Mudder Bear Creek will have 4,500 people who used their credit card online to register for the event at a ski resort near Allentown, Pa.

The Tough Mudder competition

Tough Mudder Bear Creek is the first event for Tough Mudder, a fledgling company based in Brooklyn, N.Y. The New York Times reports that the event’s founders, a couple of Englishmen named Will Dean and Guy Livingstone, got the idea from similar events in Britain like the Grim Challenge, and Germany, the Strongman Run. They recognized an unfilled niche in American culture for events more easygoing than marathons and triathlons, but more challenging than fun runs. The Tough Mudder video says it all.

Tough Mudder course design

On its website, Tough Mudder calls the Tough Mudder competition the “toughest one-day event on the planet.” Tough Mudder hires British Special Forces to design 7-mile obstacle courses that test all around toughness, strength, stamina, fitness, mental grit — and camarederie. They advise participants to help each other along the way and forget about race times. The most important thing is to simply finish, thereby earning the right to be called a Tough Mudder. All Tough Mudder sponsorship proceeds go to Tough Mudder’s exclusive charity partner, The Wounded Warrior Project.

Tough Mudder Bear Creek

The Tough Mudder course at Bear Creek will put its participants through steep climbs up ski slopes, slogs through mud bogs, crawls through drainage pipes and barbed wire, climbs over walls, shimmys over rope bridges and a plunge into a freezing pond. Saving the best for last, the finish line is through a wall of fire from burning hay bales. Nobody’s on the clock and there’s no prize money. But the free beer and live bands should make up for that.

More Tough Mudder courses

Tough Mudder Bear Creek had a goal of 300 participants, but Dean told the New York Times that $8,300 worth of Facebook ads eventually netted More than 4,500 entrants paying $90 each. The runaway success of Tough Mudder Bear Creek has inspired the company to take the show on the road. The New York Times reports that hundreds have already signed up for a Tough Mudder in Northern California in October and a Tough Mudder covering 12 miles in Englishtown, N.J., in November. Watch the Tough Mudder video and decide if you want to be there.

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