World's Toughest Mudder is only days away. As most of the community is getting the last minute packages from Amazon, securing their final gear, and prepping their nutrition it is time now to look at who some of the contenders are this year. With the announcement of the $100,000 prize for the team who cracks 100 miles, many individual athletes have shifted gears for this year making the men's race wide open. On the women's side for the first time all former WTM champions will be running as individuals.
The men's field is wide open this year with many of the top males opting for the team race this year instead of individual as well as several top contenders from last year sitting out the race this year. With many new athletes and several new countries represented there could be some completely new names gracing the podium this year. Here are are few favorites to watch out for in the men's individual race.
Junyong Pak – USA
Junyong Pak is a two-time World's Toughest Mudder champion. He is returning once again this year to try and capture the title back. Last year he had trouble staying warm early in the race and was forced to tap out early on. This year he is surely coming back to avenge the cold and the race itself. Look for Pak to take an early lead in the race and try to get ahead of his competition.
Trevor Cichosz – USA
Trevor Cichosz finished the 2014 World's Toughest Mudder in third place. Last year he was the only one to manage 90-miles on the grueling course at Lake Las Vegas. He is back again this year ready to race. When we asked him about competing this year, he mentioned he is primed and ready to go 100 miles.
Robert Killian Jr. – USA
Robert Killian Jr. is still a newcomer to the obstacle course racing world however his recent win at the Spartan Race World Championships and background as an army ranger suits him well for the challenge that World's Toughest Mudder brings. Killian was originally on a team, however with a teammate hurt Killian switched to an individual. Although it's his first World's Toughest Mudder, he just might find his way onto the podium this year.
Marco Bedard – CAN
Marco Bedard also is taking on World's Toughest Mudder for the first time this year. His experience in endurance sports is extensive as a former member of the Canadian National Biathlon team, former Olympian, and years of obstacle racing experience makes him well suited to succeed at World's Toughest Mudder. He is no stranger to the cold weather, and this type of endurance race can play to his strengths.
Ben Greenfield – USA
Ben Greenfield is headed to World's Toughest Mudder this year as an individual. The famed fitness author, triathlete, and most recently turned obstacle course racer will be taking on the challenge this year. Greenfield is the author of Beyond Training a book about mastering endurance, health, and life. His training will be put to the test this weekend.
Check out WTM Community Leader Ken Jacobus's picks in the men's race on our event page.
The women's race for this year is a tight one. For the first time, all previous female winners will be running as individuals as well as many returning podium finishers and new racers looking to claim a spot on the podium. The women's field is shaping up to be one of the most competitive races this year at World's Toughest Mudder. We narrowed it down to five women who will be hunting for a podium position.
Amelia Boone – USA
Amelia Boone is one of the favorites to win World's Toughest Mudder this year. She is a two-time champion of World's Toughest Mudder in both 2012 and 2014. This race and the terrain is perfectly suited to her strengths. Boone excels in the challenging long endurance events, look for her to once again make her way to the podium. If Boone is one her game on race day, she will be hard to beat.
Deanna Blegg – AUS
Deanna Blegg is returning to World's Toughest Mudder for the fourth time. In her first World's Toughest Mudder in 2012 she finished second to Amelia Boone. In 2013, Blegg dominated the race taking home a win for her home country of Australia. Last year she and her team, Team Under Armor, took a close second place to the Spartan Wolf Pack. This year she is racing once again as an individual. Her adventure racing background and proven track record at long races cannot be ignored. Look for Blegg on the podium this weekend.
Juliana Sproles – USA
Juliana Sproles was the first Female World's Toughest Mudder champion in 2011. Sproles last competed in World's Toughest Mudder in 2013 as part of Team Shark School. In her last effort at World's Toughest Mudder, she and her team completed 50 miles. This year she is back as an individual looking to find her way back onto the podium. She has been on an intense training program leading up to the race and should be a contender.
Allison Tai – CAN
Last year Allison Tai finished second at World's Toughest Mudder in her first attempt. She completed 70 miles falling five miles short of Amelia Boone last year. She told us she has been putting in a lot of miles but has been battling an ankle issue. While she considers herself a wildcard pick for World's Toughest Mudder this year her track record would prove she is not one to rule out on the podium once again.
Claude Godbout – CAN
Claude Godbout is no stranger to endurance racing. She spent most of her life as a competitive biathlete. She was a member of the Canadian National Biathlon team for years and has switched her focus entirely to obstacle course racing. Her OCR resume is impressive, recently finishing second at the OCR World Championships. Her background in endurance sports should place her well at World's Toughest Mudder.
Check out WTM Community Leader Ken Jacobus's picks in the women's race on our event page.
This year the team division is proving to be the race to watch. Many of the top individual competitors have opted for the team competition with the addition of the $100,000 prize for the first team to reach 100-miles. With that challenge in mind, top athletes have been compiling the best athletes they could find for the chance to grab that slice of the prize money. The real question is with so many racers going team will they stay as a group the whole race or break finishing the race as individuals should their pacing not go to plan. Here are some of the initial top teams to watch.
Team Sinergy is arguably the most talked about team this year as World's Toughest Mudder approaches. The team is made up of two-time WTM Champion – Ryan Atkins, two-time OCR World Champion and Sky Running winner – Jon Albon. Matt Murphy is the third on the team with numerous OCR wins as well as ESPN Australia television show Search4Hurt he is another strong addition. Finally, Eric Batty an accomplished mountain bike competitor and photographer from Canada rounds out the team. All four of these men could easily be podium contenders in their own right, as a team they could be unstoppable. The question on race day will be if pacing isn't going to plan for 100-miles will this team break up and go for the individual prizes.
Spartan Wolf Pack
The Spartan WolfPack is back again this year to defend their title as team champions. Three out of the four original Wolf Pack teammates are back this year. Mark Jones, Hunter McIntyre, and Miguel Medina are all back this year to defend their title. Joining them this year on the team will be Isaiah Vidal. Many of the members of the team have spent more time this year on endurance endeavors that will help them on race day. With the experience of working as a team, this group of guys has a strong chance to take home the top prize once again.
Team Carbo Pro
Another new team to look out for is Team Carbo Pro. This team is made up of some endurance athletes. Tom Worthington, Spencer Patterson, and Nickademus Hollon. Their fourth member is ultrarunner, Jordan Sakala. Hollon is building on the experience of last year's race as he and his team head into this year.
Team FourEyes has probably run the most World's Toughest Mudder miles of any team. The four members of this team have accumulated over 600 miles in the last four World's Toughest Mudder. This year Matty Gregg, Walter Lyon, Joe Van Dyke, and Kc Hereth will make up Team Four Eyes. Look for the experience to shine through for this team as they take on World's Toughest Mudder yet again this year.
Check out WTM Community Leader Ken Jacobus's picks in the team race on our event page.
We asked WTM Veteran Ken Jacobus who his picks were for this year's WTM. See his picks on our WTM Coverage Page here.
What are your predictions for World's Toughest Mudder?
Who do you think will take the top prizes?
Do you think any team will hit 100 miles?