8 Reasons why you should AVOID the Tough Mudder

Many people believe the Tough Mudder to be the toughest endurance event in the world.  However, before you throw on your wife-beater, short-shorts and headband; you should get to know the course and it's pitfalls a little better.

Here are eight (8) pretty compelling reasons to stay away from the Tough Mudder:

1) Feces

There have been outbreaks of Campylobacter and E. coli after racers inadvertently swallowed muddy water contaminated with cow and/or pig feces.  We’re not talking about small numbers here either, in one Michigan race, over 200 people contracted norovirus from swallowing crap.  

The CDC advises participants to seek appropriate medical care for post-competition diarrhea, especially bloody diarrhea.

tough mudder feces

2) Drowning

In West Virginia a man drowned while attempting an obstacle called "Walk the Plank" — a 15-foot drop into cold, muddy water.  In the same race, 19 other people were treated at a hospital for injuries ranging from heart attacks to electric shock to hypothermia.

tough mudder drowining

3) Electrocution

You can train yourself for a marathon, but there’s no safe way to prepare for being shocked with 10,000 volts.  While the amperage from the obstacle course may be on par with getting tased, the fact that Mudders are usually wet when running through the wires reduces their body’s resistance to the electric shock.

Of the 38 Philadelphia racers treated in the emergency department, about half suffered electrical injuries. One of the patients had burn marks and heart inflammation after receiving 13 electrical shocks.

tough mudder electrocution

4) Paralyzation / Permanent Disability

Paralyzing injuries are becoming a new trend due to the combination of dangerous obstacles and the contestants inexperience of how to deal with them.

In 2011, two people were paralyzed after diving into the mud pit of a Warrior Dash race.  In 2012, a Georgia man was paralyzed when he tripped in a cargo net and fell 15 feet to the ground. A Texas woman was also paralyzed after she fell headfirst from a wall. After completing 20 out of 22 obstacles, a man developed seizure-like activity and was unable to move his entire right side. Six months after the injury, he still had lower right leg disability.

tough mudder paralyzed

5) Increased Risk Due to Lack of Training

Credited with designing the Tough Mudder obstacles - British Special Forces go through a series of physical tests before continuing on to more difficult challenges. 

The majority of the Tough Mudder contestants have no special training which is one of the reasons the Tough Mudder Organizers put insane warnings on their website and make racers sign “death” waivers.

tough mudder accidents

6) No Protections

Do the organizers know just how dangerous this race is?  They sure do! Both participants AND  (believe it) spectators are required to sign a liability waiver, which holds Mudder harmless from risk or negligence.  My only guess as to why the spectators need to sign waivers is in-case they witness death, they can not sue for the mental and emotional stress.

tough mudder death waiver

The risks? 

  • inadequate first aid and/or emergency measures
  • errors in judgment by personnel working the event
  • contact or collision with persons, objects, participants, motor vehicles, machinery, man-made fixed objects or obstacles
  • encounter with thick smoke and open flames, barbed wire, pipes, and electric shocks
  • equipment related hazards such as broken, defective or inadequate competition equipment, unexpected equipment failure, imperfect course conditions
  • weather-related hazards such as extreme heat, extreme cold, humidity, ice, rain, fog

See full waiver here:  Tough Mudder Death Waiver

7) May Not Receive Medical Attention

Hospitals have had to turn patients away because Tough Mudder participants overloaded their resources.

tough mudder heart attack

8) The Advertising is Not Fake

While Tough Mudder claims to care about the safety of the participants - much of the advertising shows injured and bloody people.  The sign below is not a warning, it is an ego-boosting ad.

tough mudder advertisement waiver
Ok, we've listed 8 reasons NOT to do the Tough Mudder, there are 3 reasons you may actually want to do it:

1) Cool Mudface Photo

tough mudder faces

2) Bragging rights!?

tough mudder hospital

3) It Will Never Be This Tough

tough mudder easy meme
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