1. Mudder – Obstacle Course Racing

Date: 14 November 2022
Obstacle Course Racing

Mudder – Obstacle Course Racing

Why do women not compete in sports that men are predominant in? Well, here is why!  This Blog is a 7- to 10-minute read.

Free Running

What are Free Running sports exactly?


Free running is a way of expression by interacting with various obstacles and environments. Free running may include flipping and spinning. These movements are usually adopted from other sports, such as gymnastics, tricking or breakdancing. Free runners can create their own moves, flows and lines in different landscapes. It is all about becoming creative in an objective environment. Practitioners of free running usually do parkour as well. Free running is often associated with parkour by adding acrobatic and stylish moves, showcasing the art of movement.


Obstacle Racing



What is Obstacle Racing Exactly?


Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) is a sport in which a competitor, travelling on foot, must overcome various physical challenges in the form of obstacles. Races vary from mostly obstacles to track races to urban and cross-country events.

In cross-country events, mud and trail runs are often combined and the races are designed to result in mental and physical collapse. Obstacles may include climbing over walls, carrying heavy objects, traversing bodies of water, crawling under barbed wire, and jumping through fire. Many obstacles are similar to those used in military training, while others are unique to obstacle racing and are employed throughout the course to test endurance, strength, speed and, dexterity.

Races vary in distance and difficulty, often combining trail running, road running, and cross-country running. With race venues typically in sports stadiums, ski resorts, cities and parks, organizers encourage athletes of all types to participate.

It’s widely thought that Tough Guy – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tough_Guy_Competition is the earliest contemporary OCR, with the first race held in 1987. The race has been running continuously since its inception and continues to attract contemporary and professional athletes.

In 2011, approximately one million people registered to participate in obstacle racing events in the United States (US), 4.5 million in 2015, 5.6 million in 2016 and over 6 million in 2017. Globally the number of participants is thought to be 20 million.


Tough-Mudder                          Tough-Mudder-Classic





The typical Tough Mudder Classic course is 8–10 miles long and features 25 obstacles. Terrain type varies from course to course; natural features of the land at each venue are incorporated into the course design. Past venues have included ranches, motocross tracks, and ski resorts.

The list of obstacles also varies from course to course, though there are several “signature” obstacles at almost every event, including:

Arctic Enema – Participants plunge into a dumpster filled with ice water, dunk underneath a plank that crosses the dumpster, and pull themselves out on the other side.

Electroshock Therapy – Live wires hang over a field of mud which participants must traverse.



Funky Monkey – A set of incline and decline monkey bars over a pit of cold water. The bars are slicked with a mixture of butter and mud.



Everest – Participants run up a quarter pipe slicked with mud and grease.


Also including:

Mud Mile 2.0:

By far Tough Mudder’s well, muddiest obstacle, this one requires you and your teammates to navigate six 6-foot trenches. It’s all about teamwork, people.




Mudderhorn is a three-story cargo net A-fram—the biggest obstacle on the Tough Mudder course, and new for 2019.



Funky Monkey – The Revolution:

Grip strength, grip strength, and grip strength are the keys to conquering this classic Tough Mudder obstacle.



Black Widow:

Another new obstacle, Black Widow is a 30-foot cobweb of slacklines suspended over a pool of water.



Block Ness Monster:

A course favourite, this beast is a series of spinning blocks that you and your teammates have to get up and over.



The Gauntlet:

This one’s all about you: 4 unique challenges—balance beam, wall traverse, and two tests of grip-strength—on the biggest obstacle Tough Mudder has ever created.



Channel your inner child on the ring swing

Kiss of Mud:

Prepare to get yer face (and everything else) dirty: This is 40 feet of mud you’ll need to crawl through—with razor-sharp barbed wire just 18 inches above you.



Berlin Walls:

This 9-foot wall is the quintessential Tough Mudder teamwork obstacle.



Leap of Faith:

It doesn’t get any more Tough Mudder than this obstacle: a 6-foot water



Arctic Enema – The Rebirth:

Experienced Mudders know this obstacle is a Tough Mudder rite of passage.



Augustus Gloop 2.0:

A true test of your courage and mental grit—especially if you’re claustrophobic.



Everest 2.0:

A 12-foot quarter-pipe that’s all about sprinting and commitment.



Devil’s Beard:

It’s all about slowing down to speed up when it comes to conquering this 60-foot cargo net that’s staked to the ground. You can do it by yourself—but it’ll be easier if you don’t.



Spread Eagle:

A 30-foot slackline spaced about 18 inches apart.



Tight Squeeze:

This brand-new obstacle requires you to get down on your hands and knees and go under multiple tubes, and then climb and crawl your way out the other side. If you weren’t totally muddy before, you will be now.



Electroshock Therapy:

Nothing says Tough Mudder more than 800 square feet of dangling live wires.





At 5 kilometres long, featuring more than 13 obstacles. Tough Mudder Half events are just under half the distance of a typical Tough Mudder challenge. however, they do not include any obstacles with fire, ice, or electric shocks.



The courses feature signature Tough Mudder obstacles including:


Block Ness Monster



Kiss of Mud:



Everest 2.0:



Mud Mile 2.0:






Black Widow:



Pyramid Scheme:









Trench Warfare:



Berlin Walls



Devil’s Beard:



Spread Eagle:



Tight Squeeze:



Tough Mudder


Tougher Mudder, is a timed, competitive start wave at the beginning of Tough Mudder events that will be held at select venues with prize money to the top 3 finishers. The OCR World Championships team confirmed that Tougher Mudder will be a qualifier for the OCR World Championships.

In September 2017, Tough Mudder announced that it was launching the $50,000, Tougher Mudder Championship Race Series. The race featured some of the world’s top extreme athletes, functional fitness athletes and endurance runners as they tackled 20-plus obstacles on a 10-mile course.



The 5K features 13 obstacles. No mud, no mess! Tough Mudder 5K is 3.1 miles or 5K in length. Tough Mudder expanded its 5K event to more than 25 cities in the US and more than five countries globally including Germany, Canada, and Oman in 2018.The 5K features 10 obstacles.



Worlds Toughest Mudder


World’s Toughest Mudder 2021 is a 5-mile circuit race peppered with 20-25 of Tough Mudder’s biggest, baddest, most insane obstacles, including never-before-seen 2020 obstacles and a handful of World’s Toughest-only obstacles, at a rate of over 4 tougher-than-you-ever-thought-possible obstacles per mile.

It compiles of:


Everest 2.0:



Redesigned in 2015 – the classic Tough Mudder obstacle now includes a constant stream of running water on its quarter pipe slope, with a rounded top to make it that bit more difficult to grab a hold of. This obstacle is designed to exhaust and enrage participants.


Arctic Enema 2.0:



Love the thought of the sun on your face, with the warm Caribbean sea lapping your feet? Well, this isn’t like that at all. Arctic Enema – an ironic name given that it will have you clenching your cheeks at the prospect of sliding into ice-cold water under a chain link fence, with only chunks of ice to keep you company as you swim through the pool.


Electric Shock Therapy:



It sounds ridiculous because it is. It won’t kill you, but it might hurt, which can be said for most of the course. Oh, there is one more thing, you’ll be wading through knee-high mud and dangling wires carrying up to 10,000 volts, no biggie.


Funky Monkey:



Those childhood memories will be a thing of the past after you’ve done monkey bars the Tough Mudder way. The bars are v-shaped and ascend then descend as the obstacle goes on, but that’s too easy! Cue the mix of mud and butter that is smeared across the bars and the ice-cold pool below, ready to catch the less grippy mudder.


Electric Eel:



Wriggle your way through an ice-cold pool of blue water with electric wires dangling over your head. This obstacle will work your abs harder than any TRX machine. The vaults won’t cause you a lot of harm, but they will give you enough of a kick to make you scramble that bit faster.


Berlin Wall:



Super tough, and super high, this 12-foot (3.6m) monster wall will be standing in your way when you are physically drained and mentally exhausted.


Boa Constrictor:



Claustrophobics, you’re going to hate this one. To beat this Tough Mudder obstacle you’ll have to face a labyrinth of pipes through which you must squeeze yourself through. But that isn’t tough enough, so the Tough Mudder engineers decided to throw in some ice-cold mud for good measure.


King Of The Swingers:



King of the Swingers is one of the funniest obstacles on the course. It requires mudders to take a leap of faith and reach for a rope swing dangling above a body of muddy water. Mudders must make sure they hold on long enough to reach for a hanging bell, indicating they completed the obstacle.


Twinkle Toes:



A log smothered in grease above an icy pond. Chances are you’ll be taking an ice-cold dip while attempting this obstacle. Who knows where the Tough Mudder masterminds will place this bad boy, but it’s likely to be somewhere after another energy-sapping obstacle.


Cliff Hanger:


Demoralising if attempted on your own. You must climb up a 40-foot (12m) cliff of mud and filth. You’ll struggle to find any hand/footholds. Go it alone and you’ll find yourself getting a third of the way up the slope before sliding back down to the muddy pit that lurks below.


Dirty Ballerina:



This obstacle calls on your agility and balance. Your mission is to catapult yourself over four-foot-wide deep muddy pits, all spaced closely together. Jump to far or fail to stop your momentum and you’ll find yourself wallowing in the mire waiting to be hauled to safety.


Dong Dangler:



Just a heads up, it’s a wet one. Metal cables 10 feet (3m) in the air going across 70 feet (21m) of muddy lake. Make sure you don’t fall in, those who do receive a five-minute penalty on the other side, which involves standing still in your soaking wet ice cold kit.


Fire Walker:



One of Tough Mudder’s poster-boy obstacles. Beat the Fire Walker and you are a true Tough Mudder badass. It’s not for the faint-hearted though. You must run through kerosene-soaked straw trenches that are on fire, with flames up to 4 feet (1.2m) high biting at your heels as you sprint through, and a thick smog surrounding you.


Hangin’ Tough:



You have to swing your way over 25 feet (7.5m) of freezing dirty water, only this time you only have greased rings to hold on to. Fall into the water here, and you’ll be forced to endure a frosty five-minute penalty on the shore.


Hold Your Wood:



Time to show off those biceps you’ve been moulding in training. Put them to use carrying a big chunk of wood up and down a set of muddy hills. Try not to fall. This obstacle is all about upper body strength. Needless to say, your back, arms and shoulders won’t be your friends after you reach the end of this ordeal.


Mud Mile:



It’s actually only a quarter of a mile (0.5 km), but that’s where the good news ends. To beat this Tough Mudder obstacle you’ll have to wade through several waist high mud pits – each 15 yards (13.5m) wide. Once you get to the end of each pit, there’ll be a five foot high mud wall for you to scale, and the final stage will force you to crawl through a short area of thick mud, before you can be on your way.


Spider’s Web:


Thought the Berlin Wall was high? Add another three feet and you can gauge the scale of the Spider’s Web. Made of steel cables that love to sway, it will force you to use every muscle in your body, in order to reach the summit and scale back down.


Trench Warfare:



A battle for the mind as well as the body. Very claustrophobic, and very very muddy! Mudders will have to drop down into a mud pit before negotiating through a labyrinth of underground mud-filled pipes twisting from left to right, before emerging into a muddy pit on the other side.


Birth Canal:



Sounds pretty gross, and is very tough. Birth Canal forces Mudders to crawl underneath a water-filled red liner, imitating a baby’s path to birth. The pressure from the water above makes crawling through the mud underneath exhausting.


Cry Baby:



This one’s a real tearjerker. Mudders face the prospect of crawling through an enclosed chamber filled with tear gas-like smog. This is a real grin and bear-it obstacle. We guarantee you won’t face anything like this anywhere else.


Tough Mudder X


Tough Mudder X is a mix of Tough Mudder, strength-based Cross-Fit exercises and road racing to determine the “Fittest, Fastest Athletes in the World”. The event has 200 selected athletes (one must apply to be considered for the event) competing in heats of 12 on a one-mile course that includes 10 Tough Mudder obstacles and 10 “Functional Fitness Workout Zones” with such exercises as pull-ups, box jumps, and wall balls. All obstacles and workout zones must be finished. The top 24 male and female finishers of preliminary heats move on to the finals. The winning purse is $50,000—the men’s and women’s winners each take home $25,000.

Tough Mudder X presented by Kill Cliff is the most insane race around, created to disrupt the sports industry. This is the ultimate race to determine the fittest, fastest athletes in the world. This pulse-pounding competition pits the world’s elite athletes against a one-mile course built to put speed, agility, and strength to the test with world-class obstacles and challenging workouts. Tough Mudder X will push good to great, better to best, and the Toughest Athletes on the Planet beyond their limits.



Mini Mudder


In 2015, Tough Mudder debuted Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder, an obstacle course challenge for children. Mini Mudder events are designed for children aged five to twelve (as of 2019), and are about a mile long, including four laps of a loop that has 10 obstacles.


Urban Mudder

Urban Mudder is a spin-off from the popular Tough Mudder series aimed at bringing in the city environment to the racers. The plan for these races is to be held in major cities across America and eventually globally along with the rest of the Tough Mudder brand. The initial event that took place in July 2015 had an estimated 7,000 participants signed up to run the inaugural race on Randall’s Island, NY.

Urban Mudder Obstacles consist of:

Mafia Blocks:

Head Rush:

Heavy Metal:

6 Feet Over:


2nd Ave Subway:

Under Pressure:

Laser Minefield:

Ape Shit:

Rock and a Hard Place:











The competition consists of a 5-mile (8.0 km) looped course, which participants continuously run through for 24 hours. The participant who completes the most laps is declared the winner. The winners receive the title of “World’s Toughest Mudder” and a $10,000 prize for the winning solo male and female and a $12,000 prize for the winning team.

World’s Toughest Mudder in 2014 was held at Lake Las Vegas in Nevada and was a 5-mile course with obstacles such as a 35-foot drop into a lake during the day and swimming 300 yards while keeping a torch lit at night.

In 2016, about 1500 competitors from around the world converged on Lake Las Vegas for the third year in a row to compete in the World’s Toughest Mudder. New to the 6th annual running of the event was a $100K bonus prize for the first team to pass the 100-mile mark. In addition, all three men’s finalists surpassed the 100-mile mark (another event milestone) with first place going to Trevor Cichosz who also completed 105 miles. Stefanie Bishop, who signed up for the event at the last minute, took the Women’s lead early and never lost it, taking the Women’s crown by completing 85 miles.

The final event of the Tough Mudder season is the World’s Toughest Mudder. This is a 24-hour event in which competitors will run a shorter Tough Mudder course that has much more intense obstacles than a normal Tough Mudder and is designed to be more gruelling as well. The goal for a participant in World’s Toughest Mudder is to complete as many laps as possible within a 24-hour period. The athletes (solo male, solo female, team) who complete the most laps are declared the World’s Toughest Mudder. The top male and female each receive $10,000 and the top team receives $12,000 (total).


World’s Toughest Mudder is the most extreme, insane, imposing, pulse-pounding, heart-stopping 24-hour obstacle course challenge on the planet. The man, woman and/or team (2+ participants) that completes the most 5-mile (8km) course laps at this outsized event in a 24-hour period will be crowned champion. Individuals and teams who complete 25, 50, 75, or 100 miles will be honoured for their efforts. World’s Toughest Mudder is open to athletes of all levels. However, to be a contender for prize money competitors must be a top finisher at a 2018 Toughest Mudder event.


World’s Toughest Mudder 2018 is a 5-mile (8km) circuit race peppered with 20-25 of Tough Mudder’s biggest, baddest, most insane obstacles, including never-before-seen 2018 obstacles and a handful of World’s Toughest-only obstacles, at a rate of 4 tougher-than-you-ever-thought-possible obstacles per mile. “The Pit” is where competitors set up camp in order to rest, recharge, and refuel during the event, aided by up to 4 “Pit Crew” members per participant. Event winners will be the man, woman, and/or team that complete the most laps in a 24-hour period.


The course is designed by the same mad (sadistic is a little strong, but it’s close) minds that deliver Tough Mudder’s world-class obstacles and events every season. However, whether you’ve completed one Mudder or 200, you’ve never encountered obstacles like the ones you’ll find at Worlds. In addition to debuting out-of-this-world obstacles that’ll be found on the course at 2018 Tough Mudder events, this insane course features exclusive obstacles tailored to the harsh landscape and 5 unique miles of the World’s Toughest Mudder.


Please note: I do not take any responsibility for an accident, disability, death, public liability, third party, medical costs, destruction of property, damages to self or others, destruction of all equipment, disability, personal liability, general liability, self-harm, suicide, harm to livestock, harm to animals, harm to children and intentional bodily harm, for using any of the listed products and suppliers. Please consult with the manufacturers and instructors, when buying the equipment that is suitable for you.

If you wish to learn more about this sport and its history, just pop me a mail and I will send the information to you: info@tanyasworldofsports.co.za

When you are ready to take on those mounts, Please take a moment and bow to people that are disabled, that cannot take part in such sports.

My views, comments and content are strictly of my own opinion and research and are not governed or influenced by any marketing of companies or brands. It is of my own free will to mention companies and brands that supply sporting equipment pertaining to the sport in the discussion.