So you think you’re tough; you go to the gym and pump weights and run the River Walk everyday, you can do pushups for longer than most people can stand and can bench press your parents, both at once.
A cadre of Gold Pan residents think they’re tougher though and they have 21 kms of mud, electricity, ice water and pain, otherwise known as Tough Mudder, backing up their claim.
” It’s a hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle course designed by British special forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie,” Loretta Mighton, one of the participants from Quesnel said.
“It consists of mud, fire, freezing cold waters and electricity shock.”
And somehow, this fire, mud and pain is fun. So fun in fact, many of the participants are already excited for next year, having signed up almost immediately.
“It was amazing.”Courtney Chatwin, another Quesnel participant said. “Very fun, dirty, challenging and worth it.”
It was the second year that Tough Mudder has run in Whistler and is reputed to be one of the toughest endurance and military-style obstacle races in North America.
Set in the mountains at Whistler Olympic Park, it has everything to test your physical and mental capabilities. Along the race course are 2 military obstacles, ice cold water and lots of mud. Most participants took two to three hours to complete the course. This year 19,000 participants and 8,000 spectators took part in the event held June 21 weekend, running through 10,000 volts of electricity, jumping through fire and into the freezing cold water to make the finish line for their coveted orange Tough Mudder headband and t-shirt
All of which sounds like a cross between a race and torture in writing. And if you think the electricity would be a bit of a joke, just something to put on their posters, Mighton said that’s not the case.
“The electro shock therapy at the end definitely had the juice in it this year!” she said.
“Big guys were getting dropped left and right in the mud when zapped with the hanging wires. As our team ran through at the end. I got a shock in the face as well as my right arm. Growing up on a ranch I know the feeling from electric fences and this year it was definitely turned up full! Let’s just say your body felt a bit weird for an hour after. I looked back and my teammate Rosie Dunn got hit pretty hard, knocking her down. I don’t think she knew what hit her, but she pushed through, hard.”
If you’d like to see some more pictures, or are interested in pushing through the pain and declaring yourself one Tough Mudder, go to toughmudder.com.