Tough Mudder is an adventure sports company that hosts 10-12 mile endurance event obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie that are billed as ‘probably the toughest event on the planet’ and regularly attract 15-20,000 participants over a two day weekend.
Tough Mudder events are a new type of team endurance challenge. According to ‘The New York Times,’ the events are ‘more convivial than marathons and triathlons, but more grueling than shorter runs or novelty events (for example, ‘Warrior Dash’ courses are 3-4 miles). Contestants are not timed and organizers encourage ‘mudders’ to demonstrate teamwork by helping fellow participants over difficult obstacles to complete the course. The prize for completing a Tough Mudder challenge is an official orange sweatband and a free beer. It is estimated that 15-20% of participants do not finish. Each event is designed to be unique and incorporates challenges and obstacles that utilize the local terrain.
Tough Mudder was founded by Will Dean and Guy Livingstone. Dean developed the concept while studying at Harvard Business School, where Tough Mudder was a finalist in the annual business plan contest. Tough Mudder is headquartered in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Tough Mudder’s first event was held in 2010 at Bear Creek Ski Resort near Allentown, PA. The capacity of 4,500 tickets sold out in just 35 days and the event raised more than $200,000 for ‘The Wounded Warrior Project.’
Tough Mudder plans to host 30-40 events in 2012 while expanding internationally to the UK and Australia. Tough Mudder strives to shift the focus of endurance sports away from personal performance and repetitive exercise to varied challenges, teamwork, camaraderie, and fun. At the end of each year, the top 5% of previous Tough Mudder participants are eligible to compete in the ‘World’s Toughest Mudder’ competition, a timed 24-hour championship competition designed to ‘find the toughest man and woman on the planet.’