Around 1200 seriously badass individuals (including 100 women) took part in World’s Toughest Mudder on November 17-18 at Raceway Park in New Jersey. Quick refresher: Unlike a “regular” Tough Mudder event, where participants complete a 10-12 obstacle course and which is explicitly not a race, World’s Toughest is a competition, with cash prizes for top male, female, and team finishers. The other difference is that WTM goes for 24 hours straight. Completing the course circuit counts as one lap. The mudder with the most completed laps at the end of the 24 hours wins.
Junyong Pak, last year’s winner, took the top prize again this time, completing 9 laps total. The top female finisher was Amelia Boone, who also completed 9 laps and at one point was only a couple of minutes behind Pak on their final lap. Just to reiterate: 9 laps – that’s a total distance of 90 miles, plus 32 obstacles each lap. “Nine Inch Males” took the team prize.
I was shooting from 7AM on Saturday until about 5PM, at which point I went to HQ to warm up and post the first gallery on Tough Mudder’s Facebook. Then it was back out for the night shooting. I caught some Zs between midnight and 2AM but excitement and hearing updates over the walkie soon had me back out trying to track down the leaders for some night shots before the final push Sunday morning. So I was preeeeetty tired by the end of it, but possibly not as much as Pak, Amelia, and the hundreds of determined athletes I saw powering through all day and all night.
Tough Mudder has a great recap of the event here. I’ve got pictures below.
Each participant had access to a tent in the pit area where they could recharge/sleep/eat/change after each lap.
The view from HQA team from the Wounded Warrior Project carried the banner A blend of competition and camaraderie unique to Tough Mudder
I caught up with Pak in the middle of the night.
Amelia, the female winner, going through Electric Eel for the 9th time.Yeah, that’s a layer of ice on the ramp from Arctic Enema.Pouring hot chicken broth on their teammate’s feet to warm them up
“Nine Inch Males” study the leader board and try to decide whether to turn in their chips or start another lap.
fAmelia and Pak cross paths at the tire drag. She was about 9 minutes back at this point.