The Origin of Tough Mudders

Tough mudders are intense, physically and mentally challenging races that are becoming more and more popular all around the world.  Each one varies slightly, they are different in lengths and in what obstacles they have. Where did these interesting and increasingly popular events originate though? Let’s look into the history behind it all.

Tough Mudder was co-founded in 2010 by two men, both British citizens living in New York, Will Dean and Guy Livingstone. Will Dean had come up with the idea while studying at Harvard Business School. The idea was the semi-finalist at the school’s annual business plan competition. The first event was held that year, 2010, in New York. The event was promoted solely through Facebook and word of mouth, even so it drew over 4,500 participants! From the start it was clear that Tough Mudder was going to be a success, I don’t know if they saw it being the amazing success that it is today though.

The event is usually 10–12 miles long and takes the participants through various obstacles that test mental and physical strength. The obstacles play on common human fears such as fire, water and heights. The main idea of the race is very positive though, the main purpose of the event is team work. If teams successfully work together and play on each other’s strength they will make it through the event. Not all who enter complete the course, recent statistic shows that about 78% finish the course due to being unable to get through some of the obstacles. There are monitors along the way to make sure that no one is injured or hurt in the process, but if they are unable to complete the obstacles than they do not get to say they completed the course.

The course has grown in popularity and now more than 3 million people around the world have competed in a Tough Mudder. It first spread across America, then to Europe and most recently has made its way to Asia. It is one of the fastest growing athletic activities in the world. Due to this the company is now worth over $70 million. And they have shown no signs of slowing down either.

Since their expansion across the globe Tough Mudder has now announced that they will be opening fitness clubs and boot camp franchises. Giving Tough Mudder enthusiasts all around the world an opportunity to be a part of the company and also to help fellow competitors to train and improve.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND – AUGUST 24: Participents take part in the Tough Mudder endurance event at Dalkieth Country Estate on August 24, 2013 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The world-famous Tough Mudder is military style endurance event over 10-12 miles with various obstacles around the course designed by Briish Special Forces. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Now that you know the origins of this fun new sport why don’t you find an event near you and start training to compete in one of the world’s most popular new events. We are sure you will feel a great sense of accomplishment when you make it across the finish line, having faced your fears, worked with your team and pushed yourself to your physical limits, there is no greater feeling than crossing a finish line, even if you are covering in mud when you do!

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