Now that we’re within a month of World’s Toughest Mudder, we get to see the final set of rules! There was a lot of speculation behind the regulation of this year’s event. Tough Mudder recently sent out the updated 2016 World’s Toughest Mudder Final Rules and the community starting chatting. When we sign up for crazy events like this, we’re allowing the HQ to define the parameters for our efforts to count, so it’s important to understand exactly what these rules are so we can do as well as possible on event day. For the students of the sport among us or those with OCD, there’s still some controversy or lack of specificity about what the exact rules are, based on the document.
TMHQ reserves the right to change these rules at any time, including before or during the event, so be on the lookout for any further clarifications or modifications.
WTM athletes have 24 hours to complete as many laps of the course as possible, with an additional hour and a half to complete their last active lap. An active lap is defined as one that starts before noon on Sunday.
The winner of each division (male, female, team) is the individual or team that has the most laps in a 24h period (4.01c). However, your official race record is based on the number of laps completed before 25.5 hours (4.01gv). Additionally, you MUST finish a lap after 24h and come to the Monday awards ceremony to be eligible for any prizes.
The difference between 4.01c and 4.01gv institute a mandatory glory/”finisher” lap, because of the following very confusing and specific potential situation. Suppose two individuals or teams, A and B, finish 95 miles before 24h with A finishing 95 miles before B. Then suppose B has a final surge to get 100 miles after 24h before A, but A still finishes 100 miles before 25.5hours. Based on 4.01c, A wins. However, if A cannot finish that glory lap, A is not eligible for any prizes, and A is a very sad.
After the bombshell change of 2+ person teams, the remainder of the team rules has mostly stayed the same. Teams must cross all timing mats within 1 minute of each other, and if one team member fails the obstacle, all team members take the penalty. They may disband by 8 am on Sunday and must declare this before starting a new lap. However, it is not specifically noted that they must finish the lap as a team before splitting up.
We knew the prizes for elites already, and they kept true to their word that the per-person team prize exactly matches the individual prize, so there is a slight advantage of being on a top 5 team versus a top 5 individual (see previous rules article).
They did clarify that the winning team above 100 miles will get $100,000, and not $120,000 (the 100 grand plus the individual team champion prize). The top 6-10 teams DO NOT get season passes and WTM entry. That means if it’s before 8 am on Sunday, and your team is going to be 6th-10th, but you’d be 6th-10th as individuals, there IS a benefit of splitting up.
Interestingly, they did not specify that the top 5 individuals and teams also would get a Season Pass and WTM entry. That means the value of the prize for top 6-10th individuals exceeds that of the top 4-5th individuals, but I hope that this is just a typo.
Drug testing: TMHQ reserves the right to test anyone and disqualify anyone for performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).
Despite some of our fears and speculations, they kept all the distance prizes! They also specify that each lap counts as 5 miles, irrespective of penalties, inaccurate course mileage (5.4-mile laps), or real-time changes to the course.
The major exciting shocker of this is the 75-mile season pass prize! That’s great news for the roughly eight men that, historically, will get 75 miles but will not be in the top 10 (see previous rules article). If there are more people that will get 75 miles this year, like what happened in 2013, then a lot more season passes are going to be given out.
Here is a quick breakdown of the required pace to hit the key personal landmarks, if we assume a 24h race without the 1.5-hour active lap rule:
25 miles: 4h:48m per lap or 57m:36s per mile
50 miles: 2h:24m per lap or 28m:48s per mile
75 miles: 1h:36m per lap or 19m:12s per mile
100 miles: 1h:12m per lap or 14m:24s per mile
If we allow for the extra 1.5 hours and require that you finish all but your last lap by 24h, we these required paces:
25 miles: 5h:06m per lap or 61m:12s per mile
50 miles: 2h:33m per lap or 30m:36s per mile
75 miles: 1h:42m per lap or 20m:24s per mile
100 miles: 1h:15m:47s per lap or 15m:09s per mile
You can expect a longer discussion of pacing and strategy for these mileage goals in a later article, as we get closer to the event.
Disqualification, Safety & Pit Rules
A World’s Toughest Mudder athletes must stay within the confines of the course or pit throughout the entire event. You cannot receive any help from the outside during the event. Athletes can (and should) help each other. During the night (5pm-6am), they must have a headlamp and a safety strobe flasher. (Sorry, people with seizures that are provoked by flashing lights.)
You may have up to 4 pit crew (children included), but they can only provide assistance in the pit area: no pacing, no hand-offs. That means if you see athletes handing off items to people off course not running, the athlete should be disqualified.