January 2017 marked the end of an era as the Tough Guy Race in the UK put on its last event. In reading about it and watching videos I began thinking about the idea of “Toughness” and how this notion of being “tough” or at least trying to teach this attribute has actually spawned the entire industry of obstacle racing (OCR). In fact, this belief that an OCR is basically a sport of suffering is eloquently described in detail in Scott Keneally’s documentary Rise of the Sufferfests. Tough Mudder has doubled, actually quadrupled down on this idea with their creation of the Tougher Mudder, Toughest Mudder, and the World’s Toughest Mudder events. The question is what does it really mean to be “tough”?
Stefanie Bishop is nothing but amazing. It is not an easy task by any means to win the World's Toughest Mudder event, but this lady did it with grace, honesty and a fire in her belly. I watched her race rather closely this year and saw nothing short of raw emotion when she got to take home the win. Through this interview, I learned more about Stefanie and her true spirit for OCR.
Evan Perperis recently visited the new Obstacle Athletics on Long Island, New York. The new obstacle training center and gym owned by Kevin LaPlatney a long time obstacle racer himself. Joining Evan and Kevin was the 2016 World's Toughest Mudder champion, Stefanie Bishop. Below is the Facebook Live the trio recorded showing off the new space and answering community questions.