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Tough Mudder – A Brutal But Satisfying Challenge




Tough Mudder is an extremely challenging series of often muddy obstacle courses that range from ten to twelve miles total in length. It was created in 2010 by British business partners Guy Livingstone and Will Dean and is based on British Special Forces training. Tough Mudder events have quickly become popular.

There have been thirty-five events scheduled in 2012 and that is expected to increase to sixty in 2013. Over 500,000 people have participated in Tough Mudder events. Tough Mudder is advertised as “the toughest event on the planet”. It typically contains twenty-five different obstacle courses. The first event occurred in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Since then, events have occurred in several different U.S. states and in parts of the United Kingdom. There are plans for expansion to other countries in 2013.


The obstacle courses are designed to test the toughness, endurance, and resilience of the participants. There are many different types of obstacles that participants must surpass. Each course is given a colorful and often humorous name. Some examples are the “Funky Monkey”, “Cliffhanger”, “Electric Eel”, “Walk the Plank”, and “Turd’s Nest”.

The official website lists twenty-eight different courses in all. An individual event will not necessarily feature every course. The last event of each year is called The World’s Toughest Mudder and is a full twenty-four hours in length. Only participants who finished a previous course are eligible to participate. The most recent Toughest Mudder occurred in November 2012.

Charitable Partnerships

Tough Mudder donates some of their proceeds to charities that they partner with, organizations that help military veterans returning home from the battlefield. According to the official Tough Mudder website, over three million dollars have been raised for the Wounded Warriors Project.

A Participant’s Account

A recent Tough Mudder event occurred in Manchester, the U.K in November 2012. Participants were subjected to a physically and psychologically grueling twenty-two obstacle courses. The event started with wall climbing. This was followed by crawling through mud, an ice bath, and much more.

A participant named Melanie Ryding completed the course with her husband. She reported that she “hurt all over” for days but also felt proud and excited that she had completed the course. She praised the fact that the courses are designed to encourage participants to help each other, enhancing the camaraderie of the event. Ryding reported that her husband initially was not enthusiastic, but after completing the course, he became much more open to participating again. Overall, Ryding had a positive impression of her experience with Tough Mudder, even though it involved substantial physical pain.


At Tough Mudder, business is booming. If you want to find out how you measure up, check to see if there is an event scheduled for your area. Finishing a challenging event will not only give you a sense of accomplishment, but it will also prove that you can handle and overcome any life obstacles that come your way.