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Tough Mudder

By SHERI RADFORD

Participants take their first leap at the start of the race (Photo: Touch Mudder)

Participants take their first leap at the start of the race (Photo: Touch Mudder)

It stretches over 16 km (10 mi) of rough terrain. It contains challenges that our ancestors tried hard to avoid: fire, electricity, water and heights. And it’s probably the only competition in the world with both an official pain reliever and an official beef jerky. (Advil and Oberto, respectively, in case you were wondering.)

In other words, this is not your father’s obstacle course—unless your father happens to be an athletic adrenaline junkie.

Designed by British Special Forces, Tough Mudder pushes weekend warriors to test their strength, stamina and endurance, all while emphasizing camaraderie and teamwork. Nothing is timed; there are no winners or losers, just those who complete the course and those who don’t (about 22 percent of registrants).

This month, what has been dubbed the toughest event on the planet returns to Whistler for a third time. More than 20,000 risk-takers are expected at Whistler Olympic Park to tackle hair-raising obstacles such as Arctic Enema, Fire in Your Hole, Ladder to Hell and Electroshock Therapy. The innocuous-sounding Funky Monkey involves steeply inclined monkey bars greased with mud, high above a mud pit; true Tough Mudders do it backwards.

To test your mettle—or just watch all the insanity—head to Whistler Jun. 21 and 22. Life-changing experiences are guaranteed. 

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