Race Recap: Toughest Mudder West


Bookmark this one if you’re running the Toughest Mudder. This is very thorough rundown by Mud Run Guide of the Toughest Mudder West, one of the first events held in this new category.

The purpose of this recap is many fold: to share insight into this new event type for future competitors, to let people considering this event-type know what they’re getting into and what it feels like to do these types of crazy events.

On the importance of getting there on time:

We arrived at roughly 9:00pm, and there already was a moderate line of cars on the side of the road to get into the venue. They opened the gates at 9:25pm and parked us so that we had access to our trunks. We formed a line in front of registration and started they let us go in around 10pm.

People who started lining up their cars at 9:30pm or later faced a significant delay getting into the venue. Some were bringing their stuff into the venue at 11pm. There weren’t enough pit spots for all the participants, so some opted to use the tables open to the air outside the tents.

On the strategy for running the first loop, which is an open sprint with no obstacles.

All obstacles were open by 1am, but certain obstacles like Kiss-of-Mud at mile 4 were open for almost all competitors whereas others like Blockness Monster at mile 2 opened at 12:30am. Therefore, there was extra incentive to take advantage of the free miles. However, as a student of endurance racing, you may know that for every 1s too fast you start, you lose at least 3s to your final mile.

Interesting to learn that there were two separate courses, an A and a B and they shifted from one to another about halfway through… and it was harder.  TM basically uses their standard course, which typically split at the base camp, and shifts from one half to the other.

Course B: 3:45am to 8:30am – The Ridiculously Hard Course. This included the main full-Tough Mudder signature obstacles like a modified King-of-the-Swingers, Funky Monkey the Revolution, Arctic Enema, Kong, and, of-course, Electroshock Therapy.

Finally, on a comparison of Toughest Mudder to World’s Toughest Mudder:

The prevailing take home message from many participants is that Toughest Mudder West was harder than WTM. The primary reason for this was the hills. Since this was not WTM, the obstacle density was diminished compared to WTM, but it was similar to a regular course.

I’m running the Chicago Toughest Mudder in a few months. Should be a fun time.

Source: Mud Run Guide