That’s One Tough Mudder

Extreme physical events like Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash, and Rugged Maniac are obstacle courses that push participants to their physical limits, and land some in the hospital—or worse. But despite physical trials and risks, the events are swiftly rising in popularity with young people around the world. Today, Ypulse staffer Mike Miller gives us a first-hand look at his experience surviving Tough Mudder, and just why extreme events that might seem like torture to some are attracting hundreds of thousands of Millennial participants. 



Tough Mudder events are described by the creators as, “probably the toughest on the planet.” They are 12-mile courses with roughly 24 obstacles designed by British Special Forces. It’s mud from end to end. It’s fire pits, ice baths, and teams of walls. You’re jumping, climbing, swimming, and crawling. In between all of that, you’re running, jogging or walking. You don’t want to stop moving, because if you do you’ll never start again. I don’t know if it’s the toughest event on the planet, but it’s the toughest thing I’ve ever done. And Millennials around the world can’t get enough of the extreme challenges.

Tough Mudder is about physical toughness. It only lasts 3 hours, but it’s 3 hours of non-stop running, sometimes through waist deep mud. It’s 3 hours of carrying a 100lb log a half-mile through the woods, up a muddy slope and then back down. It’s 3 hours climbing over 14-foot walls: 10 of them. Tough Mudder is about mental grit. You want to stop running, and just rest for a minute. You want to be home in bed, warm and rested. Signs along the course remind you how miserable you are, how many miles you have left. It gets harder and harder to ignore those thoughts while you’re crawling through mud under barbed wire, charged with 10,000 volts of…


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