Chicagoans, Tough Mudder is finally here! You’ve either been training for it, heard about it or have no idea what I’m talking about. If you’re the latter, don’t worry, you’re about to get a little taste of what Tough Mudder is all about.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Ben Johnson, Head of Communications for Tough Mudder, this morning. For those of you that don’t know, Tough Mudder is 10-12 mile obstacle course event. The goal of this event, unlike many others, is that this one is not designed to be a race. One of the things Ben believes separates Tough Mudder from other event races, “is that they encourage camaraderie between participants”. Whether that be from the individuals you signed up to race with or people you meet on the course. I like their style.
Not to say this is an easy event. Designed by British Special Forces, Tough Mudder is there to challenge you physically, mentally and pull out that inner grit. They’ll be 10ft. walls to scale, dumpsters filled with ice water and of course the well known electrical charged wires to sneak through. That’s the obstacle I’ve most heard about. When I asked Ben what the deal was with those, he laughed and said, “it is our most well known obstacle. Every year we survey and ask if it should be an obstacle that is removed from future races and the response is always an overwhelming NO”. Wow is all I can say about that one. Don’t worry folks, Ben added that most participants are so sore (including himself) by that event that it just feels like another obstacle. I’ll just have to take your word on that one Ben.
This weekend’s event is already sold out on Saturday, so if you’re itching to try this one be sure to snag the last few spots in Sunday’s event. If you’re not ready to make the leap and try it out, you can go and be a spectator. This year there’s a special treat for spectators, you get to jump in on the action and try and knock competitors over (into what I only imagine is a pile of mud). It’s a great way to get back at your loved one or friend for leaving all the dirty dishes out…maybe?
If you live here, we all know Chicago is an awesome city. It’s also a great city for fitness events. And Tough Mudder is no different. I asked Ben what made Chicago a great location for one of their city stops? Ben said the natural terrain here makes for such a great event. We marshy soil which makes it great for providing an ultra muddy experience. Ben also said, “the team vibe in Chicago is spectacular. I did the race last year and it was amazing to see so many people helping one another out. The spectators were great too.” Way to make a good impression Chicagoans! Speaking of making a good impression, the Chicago event last year raised over $90,000 for Wounded Warrior Project-the designated charity for Tough Mudder here in the U.S. Such a cool stat I only hope this year has surpassed that number!
So don’t wait. Head out to the Tough Mudder events this weekend, cheer on teams, help raise money or volunteer (opportunities may still be available for Sunday). It’s $20 to be a spectator, and if you’re really itching to experience this yourself snag one of those spots for Sunday.
Good Luck and please fill me on all the festivities since I can’t be there!
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Have a fun and fit day, Chicago.