Tough Mudder has continued to revamp their offering year after year to adjust to the changing landscape of the obstacle racing industry. Not only do the obstacles continue to improve and change but the company continues to adapt as their athletes demand various challenges. Tough Mudder began in 2010 with a single 10-12 mile event with the ethos “this is a challenge and not a race.” Millions have recited the pledge throughout the years.
However, as with any company in an emerging market, change is bound to happen, and Tough Mudder isn't afraid to create change. It started with adding World's Toughest Mudder in 2011, then the addition of Tough Mudder Half and Toughest Mudder, now the newest offering Tougher Mudder. Which leads to the question, which Tough Mudder are you or better which event is for you?
Tough Mudder 5K
Tough Mudder 5K is an urban stadium based obstacle course. Tough Mudder is debuting the Tough Mudder 5K in 2017. The course will feature a few of the signature obstacles from the series. For athletes who remember Urban Mudder, this event appears to be a shortened version of Urban Mudder.
Tough Mudder Half
Tough Mudder Half was introduced in 2016 to the Tough Mudder family. This 5-6 mile event is meant to be a gateway into the offerings from Tough Mudder. It features some of the obstacles of the classic 10-12 mile distance. One distinction between Tough Mudder Half and the classic Tough Mudder distance is the lack of electrified obstacles. For participants who want to try out what Tough Mudder is all about without the electricity, Tough Mudder half is a gateway into the Tough Mudder family.
Tough Mudder Full
Tough Mudder full is the classic distance from Tough Mudder. It is the original distance first introduced to the world in 2010. Tough Mudder full is between 10-12 miles in length and features all the classic Tough Mudder obstacles, including electricity. Since Tough Mudder Full is not a race participants can choose to bypass obstacles on course, and there is no penalty for failing to complete an obstacle. It is perfect for those who want to test themselves but are not interested in the competitive side of obstacle course racing.
Tougher Mudders take place at Tough Mudder Full events. Tougher Mudder is a single morning competitive heat that has been added to Tough Mudder Full events in 2017. With Tougher Mudder athletes must complete all the obstacles on the course. If an athlete cannot complete and obstacle a wristband given at the start is taken from them, and they are not eligible for prizes at the end of the race. Skipping obstacles is not permitted when running in the Tougher Mudder heat. Cash prizes are awarded to top racers.
Toughest Mudder is an 8-hour obstacle race. Toughest Mudder races start on Saturday's at midnight and continue until 8:00 am in the morning. Toughest Mudder offers all the same obstacles as Tough Mudder Full as well as some Toughest Mudder only obstacles. The Tough Mudder Full course is broken up into two loops which the athletes navigate throughout the night. Top finishers at Toughest Mudder can earn elite contender and contender status for World's Toughest Mudder. For many, this is a stepping stone to World's Toughest Mudder.
World's Toughest Mudder
World's Toughest Mudder is the signature event for the Tough Mudder brand. The 24-hour obstacle race is held annually at the end of the year. A special five-mile course is created for the event and participants race solo or in teams trying to finish as many laps as possible. Many of the obstacles are uniquely World's Toughest Mudder and do not show up at any other events throughout the year. Failure to complete an obstacle incurs a penalty, in the form of an extra running loop, task, or additional obstacles. For top finishers, large cash prizes are awarded.
The often forgotten event that Tough Mudder HQ puts on is the Mini Mudder. The 1-mile kid's event at all regular Tough Mudder Full events in the United States and the United Kingdom. This event is for kids ages 7-12 years old and lets everyone in the family get a crack at some fun and exciting obstacles.