What Defines a Tough Mudder?

Risk taking, thrill seeking, a talent for teamwork and a dash of being awesome at life
  • Jun 08, 2016
  • 380 words
  • 2 minutes
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At the end of a messy, muddy, challenging weekend at Whistler Olympic Park on June 18–19, there are no prizes, no medals, no winners, no best times. There’s just the sheer satisfaction of a day spent in the company of like-minded people keen on testing their mental discipline and general fitness, all working together for the same result: Complete, not compete.

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Tough Mudder 2016 takes place in one of Canada’s most famously beautiful recreational destinations. The mud course stretches close to 20 kilometres against a gorgeous backdrop of the Coast Mountains, but between you and the finish, there are more than 20 rugged obstacles, roughly 2,000,000 litres of grade-A mud and 40 tonnes of ice. Obstacles include 18 metres of slick, rotating barriers known as the Block Ness Monster, through which participants help each other push, pull and roll their way. Feeling a little Quasimodo? Take a jump from a 4-metre platform, catch a swing arm and do your best to ring that bell swinging just out of reach. On the Pyramid Scheme, it’s not all about the one percent, it’s about the rest of us. Scramble, climb and push your way up a slippery incline with the essential help of your fellows. Gird your loins for an icy plunge down a high-speed slide into an ice-jammed dumpster, then quick, join forces and get the heck out. And don’t forget Everest, a 5-metre-tall quarter pipe with a recurved top that makes it almost impossible to get a grip. But helping you get a grip is what friends are for.

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A cold beer, an orange headband and a finisher T-shirt all await the tough mudders who make it through. Whether you form a team before the event or pick up teammates as you go, one thing is certain, you’ll finish the day with far more pals than you started with.

For those dipping their toes in the muddy water for the first time, consider the Tough Mudder Half, held at Whistler on June 25. Described as the leading 8-kilometre obstacle course challenge in the world, it offers “all the thrills of Tough Mudder, in just half the distance.”

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Photos courtesy Tough Mudder


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