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.
Spartan Race World Championship Ultra Beast Race Recap: Embrace Your Weaknesses, for They Will Make You Stronger
When you get into ultramarathons, especially ultra-OCRs, you will be taken through the highs and lows of performance and emotions. That makes running and watching them especially exciting. On any given day there is a good number of people could win the whole thing. Going into this event, there was a lot of hype regarding as many as 10 different guys who people thought could legitimately win the whole thing. Mine was one of the names being floated, which was an honor and put some more pressure on me. To share with you the joy and the experience of the event, here’s a race recap of the event and the drama about the competition. I’ll throw in helpful mini-tips for people looking to enter the ultra community or improve their racing.
The most common mistake that new endurance runners make is blowing themselves out early in the race. Without practice, it’s hard to know how hard is too hard. We’ve all gone through variations of this thinking: “It’s a race, right? So I should be in front, right? Okay!” Unless you’re superman, that thinking inevitably leads to that painful feeling near the end of the race that you’re dying and somehow can’t keep on going. For 100 milers, 24+hour events and other big endurance events, this thinking is what causes a good deal of Did Not Finish’es (DNF’s).
This year has been exciting for the endurance OCR community with the expansion of BFX, the first BFX24, the promotion of Spartan Endurance, the beginning of the Spartan Agoge, and now Tough Mudder’s new event type that was just announced: Toughest! (Not to be confused with the European Obstacle Race Series) So what is this new thing and when can you get involved? Well, that’s what I’m here for.
The SB100 was a rough introduction to the world of ultra running. My facetious but true statement when people would ask me if I had run a 100 before was, "I have never run a race without obstacles more than 13.1 miles." Of course, I decided to change that by running one of the hardest 100 milers in Southern California. Here's how it went (spoiler, the kitty was a lie):
As I predicted in my previous summary of the World’s Toughest Mudder (WTM) rule changes for 2016, there is another rule change that will change the experience of the event and has had a big response on social media. The first thing to know about WTM is that you do not need a pit crew to compete, but pit crew is very helpful.
When you’re preparing for a race, most people’s first goal is being able to run the whole distance without stopping. When you’re doing track work, people look at you with an evil or confused eye when you walk on the track. Well… let me tell you a secret: I have walked during every event that I’ve done since November of last year.
In obstacle course racing, we get familiar with seeing new challenges at almost every event that we complete. That’s part of the joy of the sport: you’re always learning and problem-solving. The challenge is that it’s hard to keep track of how you are improving and progressing. Dr. Redtights brings you a couple benchmark workouts to track your progress.
We live in a world that focuses on being “the best of the best.” We regularly applaud the person who gets first, while looking at the second place finisher with disgrace. We think that they must have done something wrong that kept them from being on top. In fact, they did something amazing to be second! I think that the mindset of “second is the first loser” and the associated culture is destructive and counter-productive, even for people who regularly appear on the top of the podium. Here’s the start of why I think so.
Tough Mudder changes the rules in their signature championship event, World’s Toughest Mudder (WTM), every year. With each change, there is great controversy and great potential. Sometimes the rule changes are in response to feedback or problems they encountered in previous years, or sometimes they just like to change it up. Before I describe the first announced rule changes, I’ll preface the controversy with this. In sports, and especially OCRs, we rely on the organizers to define the rules of engagement, and we challenge ourselves to do our best within those confines.