Whistler’s Tough Mudder is only days away (June 21 and 22, 2014), and the excitement is starting to build.
Banners are already strung throughout Whistler Village welcoming Tough Mudders into town, and athletes are putting in their final training days in before tapering off in preparation for the big event.
If you’re new to the world of Tough Mudder, you’ll want to listen closely: this obstacle-packed challenge is the ultimate test of all things toughness. Think mud. Think mountains. Think very cold water.
Here are eight reasons why you definitely don’t want to miss out on the excitement:
More than a million people have participated in Tough Mudder events around the world. That’s not to say it is easy: each of these athletes has had to tackle an 18 to 20 kilometer course packed with challenging obstacles, some natural, others man-made.
Since the first event at Bear Creek, Pennsylvania in 2010, Tough Mudder has expanded to seven different countries. From Tahoe to Toronto, from Sydney to Südeutschland, each event incorporates local elements. For Whistler, that means lots of steep rocks, frigid glacier waters, and dense forests.
You’ll notice something strange over the weekend of Tough Mudder: Whistler will become orange-washed. The trademark orange headbands you’ll see people donning around town were earned by the wearers as they crossed the finish line.
If you see somebody sporting some orange Tough Mudder paraphernalia, go ahead and let them have your seat on the bus, or buy them a drink: they’ve put in some heard work!
It certainly is not advisable to go from couch potato to lean, mean, log-carrying Tough Mudder machine with no training in between.
An event like Tough Mudder gets participants moving months in advance. Training needs to be multifaceted to encompass the wide range of physical and mental challenges participants will face on the day of the event. Endurance, strength, balance, cardio, and an unbreakable will to cross that finish line are just some of the elements participants need to brush up on as they prep for the big day.
No matter how many hours you log at the gym, you can’t “win” at Tough Mudder without this key ingredient: teamwork. Tough Mudder is a challenge, not a race, and success is measured by how many people you help, how you accept help from others, and how closely you work with your teammates. Participants must pledge to prioritize teamwork and camaraderie ahead of the time it takes to complete the course.
Participants who succeed in finishing the course will gain a sense of personal achievement, the symbolic orange headband—and a cold cup of beer. They’ve earned it: athletes will have run the equivalent of nearly a half marathon, pausing only to tackle grueling tasks. They’ll reach the finish line cold, wet, and muddy, but we’ll guarantee that a cold brew will never have tasted so good!
Electric Eel. Ladder to Hell. Electroshock Therapy. Arctic Enema. These are just a few of the obstacles that can be included in any Tough Mudder race. If those names don’t pique your curiosity, nothing will.
Whistler’s Tough Mudder participants are encouraged to raise funds for or donate to Wounded Warriors Canada, an organization offering support for soldiers returning from service, veterans, and their families. The thought of how tough these brave people are will give athletes that last bit of motivation when they’re close to the end.
Above all, Tough Mudder is about the challenge. It’s not easy, but it’s achievable. Prove to yourself that can be dedicated to a cause, can learn to work with and rely on others, and can push yourself to the absolute limits as you become a Tough Mudder!