5 Real Dangers of Mud Runs And How to Prevent Them.

As fun as mud runs can be, there is also a big reason why they all have you sign consent forms: There are 5 very real dangers in all of themmud run dangers and injuries and the more advanced the race, the more likely one of them can happen. 

I actually had 1 major one on a Tough Mudder I did in 2017 and will explain that accident plus the other common dangers these events pose.

But many of these risks are preventable! 

1) Exhaustion/Dehydration: 

People who are are in decent shape who have never ran through a mud run before will find this problem hits pretty quick and it can happen during ANY season the race takes place. Here are ways to prevent yourself from being exhausted and dehydrated:

  • Take frequent breaks when you’re on the course, especially when you’re a beginner to mud runs.
  • If you’re doing one of these events when it’s hot and sunny, try to wear a hat and pick areas to run through where there’s shade or when you take a break, sit in a nearby shade.

2) Diseases.

There is a huge danger of diseases on mud runs.

Imagine running through dirty water with an open wound or scratch. Then think about all the people before you who ran through there who may have also had that.  Then that’s mixed in with the water you’re now running through. You can catch different diseases that can cause diarrhea, sickness and skin infections. To prevent those problems:

  • Don’t ever drink or swallow any of the dirty water. Only drink clean water at water stations or from your hydration pack! Should you accidentally get any of this in your mouth, use clean water to get it out. Keep hydrogen peroxide in your hydration pack and rubbing alcohol pads or a bottle just in case.
  • You’re going to have to have a strong immune system! You may not always be able to avoid getting scratched, but if you have a strong immune system (drink vitamin C, ginger tea if possible and eat garlic!), any dangerous dirt that touches your skin or potential diseases won’t be as likely to hurt you if your immune system is strong. 

3) Injuries (slips, falls).

Other than diseases and exhaustion (dehydration included), injury is the most likely thing that can happen on mud runs if you’re not careful. Sprained joints/muscles, any typical injuries or serious ones are all possible. This is what happened to me on the Tough Mudder I did.

  • Before any mud run, warm up your body and make sure you stretch it well! Also make sure to do it several times during the race. You are going to get tired throughout the course, especially on very long ones like the Spartan Super and your muscles will stiffen up so keep stretching them on breaks. 
  • Wear trail running sneakers! The most common injuries happen on these events when people don’t wear the right shoes. Slipping on the dirt AND the obstacles is very common and these can easily lead to sprained ankles or worse. Trail running sneakers like these can help you maintain a good balance in the most dangerous areas and if you also add in socks that are safe for mud runs, you’re going to have less injuries.

4) Losing expensive equipment like cameras!

There are many people who go through these events with things like GoPro cameras that are attached to their head and chest. Most of the time, the equipment that’s meant to hold these cameras works, but on mud runs, there are times where you can fall on the ground and break it or lose it if you’re going underwater. 

I actually had this happen on the first 5K Spartan Race I did where I had to dive underneath dirty water while with a camera on top of my head. When I came out, it was gone! Luckily the strap that was attached to my head which also fell of caught onto my foot, but if it didn’t, it would have been very difficult to find it because it’s impossible to see anything in that water! 

  • If you’re diving underwater while keeping this camera, I really recommend you take it off and either hold on to it as well as tie the strap onto your hand or put it in a backpack. 
  • If you’re going through an obstacle where it can fall of, pay attention to your safety first. If it falls of, remember where it fell and then when you finish the obstacle, then go and pick it up.

I even remember an obstacle on a Tough Mudder I did where I was waiting in line to complete an obstacle that involved falling into water and the person in front of me was recording himself on his GoPro giving his email and address in case he lost his.

5) Death in a mud run. Can it actually happen?

I have only heard of 1 case where someone died on a mud run and it was on a very advanced course and those places are where the biggest risk is. You may be climbing a large obstacle and fall or you may slip the wrong way. Unfortunately there is a risk of this happening if you’re not careful, but you shouldn’t let this freak you out:

  • Typically the biggest risks are at obstacles but every obstacle has supervisors standing by just in case someone needs help.
  • Risks of injuries and even death are more likely to happen when people aren’t properly prepared. When you’re going through dangerous obstacles, make sure to take your time. The worst injuries happen to people who aren’t flexible or try to rush through obstacles. If it rains, expect the course to get a lot more dangerous. In that case, be even slower on every obstacle and even during the regular course. Avoid stepping on rocks especially when it’s wet!
  • Wear protective gear like elbow and knee pads. While they don’t protect your whole body, if you fall from a height, these joints take the most damage. 
  • Do regular races (MudmanX) that don’t have dangerous obstacles like the Spartan Race or Tough Mudder if you’re very worried about injury. There’s very small risks there.

All these races have dangers in them.

Even advanced and experienced athletes can get injured. From doing many of these races, I have found that the safest way to prevent them isn’t just to stretch and hydrate, but to also be slow. Rushing in these races is very risky.

The faster you go through the courses means the less likely you can see where you’re stepping or jumping and a lot of the more experienced athletes actually make that mistake. Try not to make a certain time on these courses, but instead try to have fun while making sure you pass the course without any injuries! 

How to Climb The Rope in The Spartan Race.

how to climb the rope in the spartan race

The rope climbing obstacle in the Spartan Race is one of the most difficult, one I’ve seen some of the strongest people fail at in these events, including myself.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing regular about this obstacle. Not only do you have to have crazy upper body strength to climb it, but here are:

4 very real risks you have to conquer to beat the rope climb in the Spartan Race:

  • Risk 1: There’s also cold and very, very dirty water you have to enter. 
  • Risk 2: It’s also incredibly wet because throughout the day, with the different waves of people passing through it, a lot of them fall into that water, then try to re-climb it, falling again, but the way the rope is designed, it almost absorbs all that water, making it constantly slippery.
  • Risk 3: This obstacle isn’t the first one on the course. Chances are you’ll run into it around mid way or close to end of the race by which time, you’re exhausted from the other parts of the race.
  • Risk 4: And of course there’s also the danger of falling from a large height, something which I have witnessed and depending on how you can reach it, if you slip, obviously you can fall very fall. Some Spartan Races like the Beast I ran, have begun to use mats instead of water to soften falls, but it’s still dangerous.

That slipperiness plus the grip strength you need and the exhaustion you’ll accumulate are all going to make this a very tough challenge so if you want to beat it, you have to be ready to face those 4 things and that’s how you’re going to beat this challenge! 

Mastering the climb and reducing the risk of injury: 

Risk 1’s solution: 

The cold, dirty water isn’t really a problem if you’re doing a Spartan Race in the Spring or Summer because in those seasons, when you get to it, you’re going to be overheated and sweaty so entering anything cold will feel great despite is being super dirty.

The only risky thing is catching a cold if you’re doing it in the cold seasons or catching some sort of infection if you’re cut. To avoid that, you need to try and not be cut during the race but that’s VERY hard considering how difficult the Spartan Race is. So to beat this risk:

  • Make sure you’re carrying supplies in something like a hydration pack that are anti-septic so when you finish this obstacle, if you have a cut, you can quickly reduce any risk of infection. 
  • Wear gear that protects your skin! More protective gear means less chances your skin gets cut! See the best protective gear you need to wear for the race!

Risk 2 solution: Tips on how to actually climb the rope! 

  • You won’t be able to avoid the slippery rope problem so you need to be ready to beat it:
  • Learn to climb a regular rope at a local gym. Every obstacle you do in the race should be prepped for beforehand. If you don’t have any of these at your gym, practice ANY upper body exercises, especially pull ups!
  • When actually doing it, make sure your elbows are tucked in. Many people climb it with their elbows out, looking as though they are some kind of fitness model posing. This puts tremendous strain on your elbows! You can really injure them doing this so tuck them in, when you practice and when you’re doing it on race day.
  • For beginners, use your feet to give your hands a break. Even advanced people are going to get tired from just using their hands. Your feet will provide an extra “lift” when you try it.
  • Since it will be slippery, you should get a pair of gloves that will help maintain your grip (grab excellent gloves especially designed for mud runs!). When practicing this outside the race, learn to climb it without gloves so you improve your grip strength! 
  • The J HOOK will save you…

How to do the J Hook when you climb the rope (I will include real pictures soon):

how to climb the rope in the spartan race

  • Begin by holding onto the rope with your hands as high as you can so when you let your feet go, your body will be slightly hanging off the ground.
  • Then take one of your feet, move it behind the other, and then swing it underneath it. So if my right foot and put it behind the left, that right foot would also swing underneath the left. 
  • That same right foot that swings underneath has to also grab the rope and tuck it above the left foot. 
  • Then take the right foot that’s holding the rope and tuck it between it and the left one. Now it’ll be tucked in place and all the weight is on your left foot.
  • This is the J hook and when you have this position, you can ease up on the pressure on your hands, giving them a rest.
  • Then, when you’re ready, let go of the J hook, and pull yourself up higher, then secure the J hook again. Every J hook is like a checkpoint until you reach the top and even when you go down.
  • All you’re doing with this J hook is each time you get higher and higher on the rope and get tired, this technique helps your body and hands relax before you’re ready to keep going.
  • Practice the J hook at the gym if possible to see how it feels when you have it secured correctly. Then you can feel out how much grip you can ease up on so you can do it during the race.

The J hook isn’t as easy to secure on a wet rope vs a dry one, so be ready to depend on your grip strength while you try securing it. My uncle had that issue on the Spartan Race where he tried to get it, but couldn’t because his foot kept slipping. You need to keep calm if you slip and patiently try to re-secure it.

Risk 3 Solution:

Since you will probably be tired when you reach this obstacle, the best thing to do is make sure you relax your shoulders when you’re not going through obstacles that require that upper body to work as well as your hands.

If you are tired when you get to this challenge, you should relax for a few minutes, stretch out your hands, feet, and shoulders before going through it.

Risk 4 Solution:

The best prevention from falling of this challenge is really having a secure, strong and long grip (with gloves) and keeping it secure with the added J Hook in place. 

If you do fall, the depth of the water isn’t that deep so make sure you fall with your feet first and when you land bend them and fall backwards or forwards. That will depend on where the momentum pushes you. If it pushes you forward, go forward, if it pushes you backwards, fall backwards and you will be fully submerged in the dirty water!

If you’re doing this obstacle completely vertically, this is how you’ll fall if you lose your grip. I have seen people do this challenge upside down and sideways. It is very risky. If they fall at that kind of angle, they can hurt their backs. Fall vertically and feet first if it happens and don’t forget to bend your legs! 

Note: Sometimes the rope can be dry and hard to hold on to as well.

With the last mud run I did, which was the Spartan Beast, I had a very difficult time climbing the rope. I had expected it to be slippery and in the water, but was met with a surprise:

It was the last obstacle on my event, but it was in a totally dry environment with mats. Not only that, but the actual rope wasn’t wet at all. Instead it was dry but felt as though powder was covering it. And it was nearly impossible to hang onto it. MOST of the people who were trying to climb it fell. 

Grip strength is definitely the #1 thing you need to train for the rope climb, but I would also add you need reps on obstacles like this before the race begins to get used to the feeling of what it’s like to hang onto the rope. It’ll mentally prepare you, which I did not do, and this was why I did not complete this obstacle.

How to Throw a Spear For The Spartan Race.

how to throw a spear for the spartan race

I’ve successfully completed the spear throwing obstacle in the Spartan Race twice and would like to share the technique I used to do it.

You may not be able to become the perfect spear thrower overnight, but these tips will definitely make your technique much better and I encourage that you practice the actual throw (which I’ll show you) so you can become better at it.

Update: Finally have some great pictures up to show how to throw the Spear for the Spartan Race.

Before I explain the technique I used to succeed on this obstacle in the Spartan Race, I want to give a very basic tip that has nothing to do with the actual throw, but rather the mindset when you encounter it.

1) Be patient when you do the Spear obstacle on the day of the race:

The spear throwing obstacle itself isn’t going to be your first challenge but by the time you get to it (if you do), you’re going to be tired and probably irritated. You’re going to also be very impatient when you’re waiting in line to try it and when you’re up, you’re also going to try and finish it quickly.

Most people fail this challenge in the Spartan Race not just because they lack technique, but also because of impatience. When it’s your turn to try it, walk up, pick it up, get comfortable holding the spear and take your time before you throw it. The people behind you can wait and rest and you can do it too if you’re waiting for your turn!

The art of using this weapon is being able to concentrate and relax. It doesn’t take a lot of energy to use it and hit the target and it only weights about 4 pounds.

Note: The distance to hit the target is about 15-20 feet. 

2) Here’s my technique for throwing the spear…

Do you remember making paper airplanes and flying them? Well that’s actually how I throw a spear, except you pull your hand back a little bit more and use more energy to LAUNCH the weapon (the pictures will show this).

My first spear challenge happened on my second Spartan Race and I did it very successfully because I automatically assumed it was like launching a paper airplane. Other people were just tossing it at their target and that’s not how you’re supposed to wield this weapon.

If you don’t know how to use paper airplanes or use this idea for the weapon, then here’s another:

  • Your body’s position when throwing the weapon must angled diagonally with your power arm behind.
  • I am a lefty, so when I did this challenge, my left foot was behind my right and I held the weapon with my left hand as well.
  • My feet were positioned about 2 feet away from each other. Make sure you have a good distance between your feet.
  • Now you’re ready to launch the weapon.

The power and precision of the throw comes from:

  • The whipping motion of the hand and aiming the tip of the spear at the target.
  • Pivoting your body and back foot when you’re ready to toss it. Think of the same paper airplane or when you toss a baseball.

3 steps to setting up the perfect spear throw for the Spartan Race:

1) The hard part is getting your hand used to letting go of the weapon at the right moment when you do launch it. Before you begin, position yourself like this:


Basically it should be right above you, in your power hand.

2) However if you launch it from that position (90 degrees), it’s going to miss. That’s what the black dashes are.

Instead you have to pull the angle of the spear back a little bit more so when you launch it, you will get more distance to set up the power and it will also get more distance in the throw:


Ok now a REAL life view of it:

how to throw a spear for the spartan race

Notice how just like in the illustration image, I am pointing the spear at an angle.

However, this is still not the position where you’re going to launch it yet! If you do it from there, it’s going to still miss and land hitting the back (the stick end). This is actually the same angle most people do this challenge from and fail.

You’re not going to throw it from there, but you are going to set up from there.

3) Now THIS is the position where you launch it. After you started at 90 degrees, angled it back a little bit to set up power, you are going to WHIP it back close to the starting point and let it go:

Your hand has to let go of the weapon right before it gets to 90 degrees otherwise, it’ll miss.

  • The hard part is letting go after you set up the launch like this. Many people go beyond the 90 degree angle before they let go and the spear ends up hitting the dirt before it hits the target.
  • Letting it go too early (under 90 degrees) makes it hit the dirt and land on the other end.
  • Your hand and the tip of the spear are the guide. Your hand sets up the tip and the tip then carries the rest of the weapon to the target.

Practice the motion before the race:

  • This tutorial is not going to be enough for you to become the perfect tosser.
  • No YouTube video on tossing them is going to do it.

You have to go out and practice it before race day. You don’t want to end up at this challenge and try to remember everything you read and saw. The best way to do it is to practice it so your body remembers how it feels.

Find a backyard, a park, any area where you have some space and practice the throw.

Practice it with a stick and use one tip of it as though it’s the actual tool. If it hits your target right at that point and in a straight line into the target, you made a good hit. If you didn’t or the angle was pointed too far in different directions (not straight), re-practice it. 

Remember to be patient with each turn you take doing it and make sure to remember how the whipping motion feels: When you set it up, when you pull it back and whip it before launching it.

Also make sure to remember to let go at the right angle. Try to look at when your hand lets go and for this you need to do it slowly.

If you have problems hitting your target, start from a shorter distance to the target, and do the techniques slower.

Always remember, using this tool is like throwing a baseball or airplane. You can practice with those before you try using it! 

Finally, here’s how it should look:

spartan spear throw step by step

Again, practice that motion, get the feel of this before you do it on the race. It’s honestly not that difficult, you just really have to imagine throwing a paper airplane. You can honestly practice with THAT if you don’t have space to practice with an actual spear or stick. Read more on the obstacles of the Spartan Race.

Also the pictures used to show my technique were taken when I ran the Spartan Beast

Spartan Super Race Review. I Was Not Prepared For This.

I finished the Spartan Super Race in 2015 and went through all of it’s obstacles. Let me tell you, if you’re not prepared, like I was, do not do it. I barely finished this Race because I greatly underestimated it and I suffered massive consequences including not being able to walk right for several weeks.

I also made some huge errors in wearing the wrong shoes and by a miracle managed to come out without twisting anything.

Let me cover all the details of my Spartan Super experience, help you prepare for one if you decide to try it. This review is going to help you learn from my mistakes!

Let me talk about the insane obstacles on The Spartan Super first…

spartan super race review and obstacles

If you’re wondering why I would take such a tough mud run so lightly, it was because my 3 previous mud run experiences, one of which was a Sprint and 2 other 5 km events, Survival Race and Mud Man X were pretty easy, so I didn’t expect this one to be that different.

The Spartan Super Race is 8 miles long.

When I did it, I was 3 other people and it was on a ski resort called Blue Mountain. I would later find out this specific location had some of the hardest obstacles and overall challenges.

Although there are more than 20 obstacles on the course, the most difficult parts of this race are the:

The uphill walks…

We had to walk almost to the very top of the mountain 3 times. This was the hardest part of the whole event.

My thighs were killing me. So you’d better prepare them because even though this isn’t an official obstacle, you’re going to remember it. When we had to stop, it was because we couldn’t walk up anymore.

When I tell people what to expect on Spartan Races, I tell them that the uphill climbs make up MOST of the event, so practice for them using these tips.

Walking downhill then uphill while carrying weights.

The designers of the Spartan Race basically troll you with this obstacle. No only are you walking and in pain, but they also make you carry weights.

In the event we did, there were 3 obstacles involving weights and taking them down hill, then uphill:

One of the first involved carrying a heavy sandbag that weighted about 30-40 pounds. Carrying it downhill was no problem, but when the terrain suddenly shifted upwards and we had to walk up about 200 feet on what felt like a 70 degree angle, it was torture. I had to stop at least 4 times to take a break.

The next challenge like this took place a few miles after that one. We had to carry pieces of logs the same way (down and then up). They didn’t weigh as much but they were very uncomfortable to carry. There was also someone who dropped one of those logs and they rolled downhill very quickly. That can be deadly if it hits someone.

The last challenge like this was close to the end of the event, after mile 7. We had to take a bucket, fill it with gravel and do the same thing. This one had the easiest slope, but it was also the longest and the weight was much, much heavier, around 50 pounds. You weren’t allowed to carry it on your shoulders, otherwise they’d have you restart it.

The other obstacles you’ll see:

Unfortunately, the Spartan Race (all it’s versions) appears to be the only event whose site doesn’t actually show all of it’s obstacles. Typically most events have a whole list available so you can prepare but in the Spartan Race, most of it is a surprise so I will do my best to describe each area we passed and tips on how we were able to do it.

When we started the event, we had to jump over a few logs. They were about 3 feet above the ground, but you had to roll over them to get over. You won’t be allowed to go around, of under it.

Obviously, the walls. There’s going to be walls you’re going to have to jump to reach the top and then pull yourself upward to get over them. There’s about 5 of them on the course. Some are about 10 feet high, but they do have smaller ones if you’re short.

There were 2 challenges where we had to carry a small, but heavy boulder about 20 feet, drop it, do push ups, pick it up again and bring it back where to it’s spot. The other one had us carrying logs with chains attached to them which we held onto.

There is a challenge where you have to climb about 20 feet on this net looking obstacle, then over on the other side to get down.

There are a few challenges which aren’t difficult but where it’s easy to slip where you climb a wooden wall that is vertically facing you, then when you get to the top, it slopes diagonally. There are a few others that are shaped like triangles, which you climb from one side, then out the other. There was a metal one with nets we had to go over. That one was about 40 feet high and about 70 feet long.

One obstacle had us swing across horizontal poles, but they were in mixed levels where the first pole was higher than the next, then after, it was high again so you were swinging up and down while going horizontally through this area.

There was also a lifting area, where a sandbag was attached to a long rope which stretch about 40-50 feet high. You are supposed to lift the sandbag by pulling on the rope and this part is very difficult. If you drop the sandbag or let go of the rope, you have to restart. I finished this challenge by using my foot to hold onto the parts of the rope I’d pull on, that way if I let go, I still had my foot holding onto the rope and holding the bag.

Of course, there’s always a spear throwing area with Spartan Races. The distance to hit the target is about 20 feet and they do something which makes it a lot harder which is they tie the spear to a rope and have you stand behind a gate to prevent stealing, but when you do this challenge, make sure to pull the rope entirely and then put it over the gate where you’re not allowed.

Then when you throw the spear, you won’t have the rope pulling it back:


Update: Instead of this horrendous picture, I’ve got my own spear throwing photos and techniques here to help you complete it!

There was also several rope climbing challenges.

One was where you have to hang either upside down or over the rope and pull yourself from one metal end to the other and the next was just a regular rope climb. 

That one was about 30 feet high and above very cold and muddy water. The rope was also very wet which made it very slippery. If you have gloves that can help your grip here, wear them. Also if you use a j hook when climbing the rope, it’ll be easier.

Several areas of the event also had a steep hill you had to climb by holding onto a rope and using it to pull yourself up.

Swimming is also a part of this race. We had to swim across a small lake that about 150 feet long. There were inflatable boats in parts of it where you have to dive under them. If you can’t swim, there is an alternative area next to the lake where you just walk through the water.

There is also a monkey bar type obstacle where you have to use rings to swing to the next one. This one was very difficult and it was towards the end of the event.

One balancing area is in this race too, where you have to walk across a wooden pillar that is horizontally above ground but about 2 feet. 

There is also several walls with bumps in them you have to climb on the side of. 

Update: It’s called Z Wall. This part is extremely difficult especially if you do it after a swim because it becomes very slippery. Although the rules of the Spartan Race say you can’t hold onto the top of the walls, I’ve had to do it or else I wouldn’t be able to finish this area. 

The final hard obstacle in this event is a LONG, rocky and muddy area…

Where you have to crawl or spin under barb wires. Spinning is easier to do but you will get dizzy. Crawling is slower but you should wear knee and elbow pads here. 


When training for the Spartan Super Race, train for the length of the race. That is the most difficult. Happy racing!


Our finisher photo! If you’ve done of these races, how was it for you? The three of us (plus a new member) recently also did a Tough Mudder. Let me say, it was quite different than the Super!

3 lessons taken from my Spartan Super experience:

1) I wrote really bad sneakers, wear these ones. I fixed that mistake with the next race I did (The Beast) and it truly changed things!

2) Never underestimate a Spartan Race. I stumbled onto the one which was in hindsight known to be hosted in one of the toughest environments.

3) This was the first race where I saw hydration packs being used and for later events, I got myself this one and it made dealing with the hot environment so much better!

Tough Mudder Review. New Obstacles, And a Terrible Accident.

2017 marks the year that I did 2 mud runs: The Spartan Beast and most recently Tough Mudder. While the latter race was much easier than the Beast, I underestimated it and because of that, I almost broke my foot.

In addition to that there were new and familiar obstacles that I had to relearn and change my approach to in order to beat them in the future. Here are my experiences, what I learned, and what you need to take from this so you have a great time.

tough mudder review

1) This was my second Tough Mudder, at the same location.

I originally did this race last year at a racetrack in New Jersey. While I enjoyed the event, I found it to be very easy, so when I was invited to do it again, I expected the same difficulty. 

What ended up happening was that, while the event’s location was the same, the order of obstacles and the way the map was shaped was totally different and in most cases unfamiliar to me. Some new challenges came up…

2) Here were some of the new/same obstacles I went through:

I actually wrote about the new obstacle because Tough Mudder’s site did announce them, but nevertheless going through them was a lot different than reading about them:

Mud mile was different.

Usually, in this challenge, you have “cliffs” of slippery mud to climb and in between is very dirty water. While my first run through this challenge a year ago was easy, the mounds were small and good enough to get a grip on, this time around, it was way harder.

The mounds were higher, more vertical and more slippery. Without having a helping hand, I was not able to climb any of them. Also some of the mounds has breaks in them, meaning if it was underwater and you couldn’t see the breaks, there was a big risk in putting your foot into one of these things and twisting it.

So if you do mud mile, please be very careful and slowly plant your foot down when you step into the dirty water so you can feet the ground and make sure it’s stable and there are no breaks.

Birth canal was awful. 

I really don’t know why they continue to use this obstacle, it has no taste or creativity. You just crawl underneath these bags filled with water. The only difference this year was that I did the “legionnaire” version of it which wasn’t that different, you just crawled through dark bags, but otherwise, the rest was the same, and it was boring.

Augustus Gloop (actually snot rocket).

Ok, this obstacle was cool, and even somewhat scary. This is still a legionnaire challenge (regular one is called Augustus Gloop, but the advanced is Snot Rocket), but I had to dive underneath these barrels, surface with my face up against a cage (there was only enough space for my nose), work my way backwards into a tube, then scale the tube upward and I did it all with my GoPro, so I was basically 1 handed.

I’m not trying to show off, but you should also be able to do this with one hand. This obstacle isn’t really difficult, it is just a little bit scary to dive into the water where you can’t see anything and then climb the tube. And also, there is water falling on you inside that tube. 

augustus gloop obstacle tough mudder

I did enjoy this obstacle.

Pyramid scheme required a minor adjustment.

I posted a strategy on beating the pyramid scheme in Tough Mudder here  tough mudder pyramid schemebut when trying to execute the plan this time around (for the first time), we failed. 

It wasn’t that the idea I had didn’t work, it just required one additional tip. Basically my plan for pyramid scheme was having one person (the strongest) be at the bottom, then have up to 3 other people climb him/her, and stand on each other’s shoulders. 

Then the strongest would make his way up the other 3, then the others would also work their way up, but putting all that energy one the bottom person for so long is incredibly difficult as I had personally found out since I was that person.

While I could have possibly held out with 3 other people standing on me, time was limited and so was my strength, so the ONLY adjustment I would make to my strategy is to have 2 people stand at the bottom, not 1, and then have the other 3 climb the rest. 

The thing is, my team consisted of 6 people so we had to adjust to this, but odds are, you may have other people offer to help you (and use you) to climb up the pyramid, so if you adjust the strategy and have more people at the bottom of it, you’ll have better leverage to hold onto the people on your shoulders. 

None of us could complete Kong because of the long lines…

tough mudder kong obstacle

Kong was actually one of the last obstacles my team and I were looking to do (well just my team since I got injured…). But the problem was so many people were scared to do it and the wait time they had amassed had slowed down the people behind them, so we just elected to skip that obstacle altogether.

There was NO king of the swings! 

I was VERY disappointed as this was my favorite obstacle the first time I did Tough Mudder. I was very much looking forward to flying across the air and hitting the bell. Yet unfortunately, it wasn’t part of the obstacle list this year 🙁

There was literally almost a mile of mud crawling.

One of the sections of the race had us going through a forest, that was “littered” with thick, deep mud. I elected to go around it as much as I could because it stunk bad and it was also very draining. This was not around last year.

tough mudder mud mile

And finally, the accident I suffered on Tough Mudder…

This happened on the “Stage 5 Clinger” obstacle. While climbing the monkey bars, I swung to one of them, slipped and the slip caused me to fall at an angle right on my right foot onto a skinny piece of wooden board, which as I landed on, twisted, made a bad cracking sound and forced me out of the remainder of the race.

tough mudder accident

While there was little of the race remaining, I had to opt out of the next and final obstacle which was electroshock therapy because I could BARELY walk. Luckily, my foot, though swollen and badly hurt was not broken. 

Things I learned:

-What I got absolutely right again was the shoes I recommend people wear and the clothing people wear for these things. They have not failed me yet and I felt very protected.

-Even if you do an event in the same location, do NOT expect the map to be exactly the same, they WILL flip it around, change the obstacle list and adjust/remove certain aspects of it.

-I would exercise a TON of caution on the Stage 5 Clinger. I was extremely unlucky to fall in the way I did, but learning to climb monkey bars better would have prevented that. Please be careful with this one, these challenges sometimes have us think less, act faster and that puts us at bigger risk.

-I consider myself a high level athlete, but accidents can totally happen and looking back at my accident, I can’t believe how lucky I was to fall so badly and come out with a major sprain, not break.

-While I enjoy Tough Mudder more than the Spartan Race, this New Jersey location is one I will not be doing again, because at this point, I feel like I’ve done all I can with this event, at that location. The next one has to be different and more difficult.

– Stretch out at multiple times throughout the race (especially your quads). I didn’t do this last time and had tremendous aches the next day. Because I did not make this mistake on this race, I woke without a single pain in the body, aside from my foot…

– Do not expect professional help from the staff. If you need a bandage, anti bacterial cream, you will not get it on any of the obstacles/water stations. All these people do there is simply call in help to get a truck to carry you to the medical tent that does have it. In short, the staff, if you need help, are pretty useless, so carry your own safety supplies for mud runs when you’re there.

I find this to be extremely ridiculous, risky and lazy on the part of the Tough Mudder organizers, yet easily correctable. So fix this Tough Mudder people.