One of the joys of running a new event series that promises to bring obstacles to a new level and enhance the competition of the event like we haven’t seen before is that we don’t know what we’re getting into. It’s like jumping off a 37ft cliff: it’s scary, but we’ll survive somehow. As a data scientist and detail-oriented person, however, I try to maximize our performance by controlling what I can control.
The Tough Mudder Head Quarters (TMHQ) has been very busy the past week or so talking about their new event series and many other updates to their season. Between the World’s Toughest podcast, a Facebook live Q&A and a website update, there has been a lot of new content in a lot of different sources.
The official rules for Toughest Mudder have been announced! We have less than 40 days until the first event, so now we’re shaping up for the competitions. It’s time to look in detail at the prize structure and what they’re offering/requiring for Toughest and World’s Toughest this year. Let’s jump into it.
Recently the Spartan Race season got underway with a series of 4 events in Lake Elsinore, California: a Saturday Super, the 100th Hurricane Heat, the 27th 12-Hour Hurricane Heat, and a Sunday Sprint. As an avid endurance athlete, I got excited to start my year off with Steffen “Cookie” Cook, Kyoul Cha and Tony Matesi. I’ve finished 4 HH12HR’s previously, and I’ve learned that each one is unique. Here’s a recap of the journey that Cookie and Kyoul took us through on Saturday night/Sunday morning.
If you’re married and running an obstacle course race, one great piece of advice that people give you is to take your wedding ring off. As a happily married man, I don’t like the idea of taking my ring off because it implies that I’m choosing between my marriage and my love of OCR. Since I spend a good deal of time training and doing events, I am very conscious of any subtle suggestion that I’m more committed to training than my marriage, so I always leave my ring on during training and events. Here’s how: I wear my QALO ring.
The most famous thing about New Year’s Resolutions is that everyone fails at them. So why are they still a thing? They’re the product of introspection to identify things about yourself that you would like to change or improve. For many of us in obstacle racing, one of the functions of the offseason is to do just that: identify weaknesses and create plans for how to address them! That sounds a lot like a resolution.
World’s Toughest Mudder (WTM) is the championship event of the Tough Mudder series. It also is one of the rare ultra-obstacle course races (ultra-OCRs) because participants complete as many laps of a 5-mile course in 24 hours with an extra 1.5 hours to complete the lap the participant was on at 24 hours.
The joy and challenge of a 24-hour event are that you don’t need to run fast to succeed. With slow, constant forward progress you can cover a huge amount of ground so that you will look back on your day and feel like you have accomplished something great.
Just two weeks before World’s Toughest Mudder 2016 (#WorldsToughest16), Tough Mudder (TM) put on both a full and half course at the same venue. Obviously, many of the local players made a strategic appearance to check out the course, get in some final obstacle training, and have a good time with great people. There is no guarantee that any of the course or obstacles will mirror that of WTM, but I find it hard to believe that they’ll dig new pits or rebuild certain key obstacles like Everest 2.0 or King of the Swingers. The other caveat is that there was a fire on course the night before the Saturday event and TM had to quickly reroute us to the other side of the venue.
Now that we’re within a month of WTM, we get to see the final set of rules! There was a lot of speculation behind these rules for this year's event. Tough Mudder recently sent out the updated rules for 2016 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.