Are You Man Enough to Enter a Tough Mudder? 7 Signs You've Got What it Takes
More than just a mud race, this 10 to 12 mile route of incredible stamina-testing challenges can rapidly become the obstacle course from hell. Find out if you've got the skill, strength and sheer will to make it through a Tough Mudder alive.
5. You Have $95
Tough Mudders cost between $95-$200 depending when you register. But, if you raise $150 or more for the Wounded Warrior Project—an organization that raises awareness and helps injured service members—Tough Mudder gives a $25 discount off the ticket price. “We really believe in helping veterans when they come back,” said Patterson. “It’s a really good cause.” And today, Tough Mudder has already raised over three million dollars for the Wounded Warrior Project, making it one of the organization’s single largest benefactors.
6. You’re an Injured Service Person, or Have Ties to the Military
Just as Tough Mudder gives over three million dollars a year to the Wounded Warrior Project, the wounded warriors themselves get $15 discounted from their entry fee. But it’s about much more than money. “Tough Mudder itself, a bit unbelievably, is a goal for a lot of injured service men and women to come out and do. A lot of vets with one arm, one leg, or PTSD train hard from registration to the starting line,” said Patterson. “It’s inspirational and a challenge to everyone who looks at Tough Mudders like ‘I don’t think I can do that,’ but then they see service people do it, and get over the fear.”
Bryan Wagner, 26, was operating a gun on a lead truck near Baghdad, Irag, when an IED went off on December 17, 2007. He was seriously injured, and 13 days later doctors amputated Wagner’s right leg just below the knee. Wagner now wears a prosthetic leg, is a Tough Mudder finisher, and plans to sign up for Jacksonville’s Tough Mudder next year. “I love how Tough Mudder looks at itself as a challenge. It’s not just your team out there helping you, but a bunch of random strangers too,” said Wagner. “With one leg I might need a hand on the balance beam, and people are always there. It was really cool; people would run by saying, ‘You pump me up bro!’ I remember laying in my hospital bed thinking I was a cripple, and I couldn’t do anything anymore, but it’s my actions that show people it’s all about your state of mind.”
7. You’re Older than Justin Beiber and Live in the US, UK, Canada, or Australia
Tough Mudders now offer dozens of challenges annually across the U.S., three events in the U.K., two events in Canada, and two events in Australia. And as long as you’re 18 years old, you can participate. If you’re over 80, you run for free. “Once, an 81-year-old guy ran the Bever Creek Tough Mudder, which has a 10,000 feet elevation gain,” said Patterson. “He was an absolute badass. But you have to be at least 18 years old, sorry Justin Beiber (and wash your hair).”
Plus, it’s one of the fastest growing challenges in the nation. Only started in 2010, Tough Mudder officials anticipate selling half a million spots just in 2012. Participants sign a tongue-in-cheek waiver referred to as the Death Waiver, but the worst injuries have been hypothermia or broken bones, and the most common are scrapes and bruises. “We don’t take any chances—we’ve got course marshals, medical tents, and EMTs circling the course on ATVs,” said Patterson.
Thing you got what it takes? Check out Tough Mudder’s 10-question quiz that analyses whether or not you’re Tough-Mudder-ready, and suggests events to register for. If you don’t the to participate in a Tough Mudder, or you’re a previous finisher who simply wants to watch, you can buy spectator tickets online for $20 and $40 at the event gate.
If you qualify—and are ready to train for an adventure race, check out our training guide.
This race not seem enough for you? Want to get even more brutal on your body? Check out 8 ridiculously tough alternatives to the Tough Mudder.