Whistler is many things but boring is definitely not one of them. So when grabbing a group of your friends and scrambling through freezing water, mud and full-voltage electroshock obstacles starts to become “just another weekend” it’s time to really step things up.
After five years of incredibly fun and successful Tough Mudder races, Whistler will host Canada’s first ever Toughest Mudder on June 17, 2017 for anyone looking to prove their grit and step up their overall toughness levels.
“If you’re a glutton for epic experiences this is it,” says Wesley Kerr, an 30-year-old endurance athlete/PhD Scientist from Los Angeles who has completed 40 Tough Mudders AND accumulated 280 lifetime miles at Worlds Toughest Mudder events. “Tough Mudder is great at innovative, fear-inducing obstacles that challenge your skills and wit. Toughest Mudder is no different, the obstacles are just harder in ways that will challenge you to learn new things constantly.”
While a regular Tough Mudder sees participants running a 16-20 km (10-12 mile) course with 20+ obstacles, a Toughest Mudder is designed as an 8-hour endurance event. Athletes will start at midnight and run circuits on two 8 km (5 mile) loops as many times as possible before 8am.
“The obstacles are supercharged,” explains Kerr. “Darkness plays a role—running by headlamp can feel eerie if you are not used to it—and you’re in and out of icy water throughout the event. As well, after three hours of exercise you need to eat calories to maintain your energy and avoid hitting the famous ‘wall’. If you hit the wall less than halfway through the event, it’s not going to go well.”
Obstacles on previous Tough Mudders are named to inspire trepidation (Arctic Enema anyone?) but Kerr explains that the course is well laid out and easy to follow so orienteering is not required. “You can mindlessly move yourself forward within the course,” he says. “Which is a pretty accurate description of what happens for some people right before sunrise. After the sun comes up and temperatures rise spirits brighten and the pace quickens as we approach the finish.”
Toughest Mudder, like regular Mudders, is an individual event that require you to work together and find a team on the course. Elite athletes like Kerr will likely be able to handle any obstacle solo but even he says many aspects of the event are easier with a helping hand or companionship. “Endurance racing is more a race against the course and nature than a race against each other.”
Toughest Mudder Whistler is the first Canadian Toughest Mudder and part of the overall Toughest Mudder series, which culminates this year in Las Vegas for a 24-hour supercharged World’s Toughest Mudder event.
“I’m excited to come to Whistler,” Kerr says. “I’ve heard its beautiful and breathtaking and I love exploring new trails. As well, in some Mudders the legionnaires (veterans of the course) are given the option to skip the Electroshock Therapy obstacle. My policy is “every obstacle every time” and I’ve been told by some that this is known as “Canadian Style”, so I think I’ll feel right at home.”
The Tough Mudder weekend also contains a regular Tough Mudder and a Half-Mudder and a post event recovery and celebration period called Basecamp Whistler. Find more info at Whistler.com