By Thomas Brakstad

Queensland will see it first Tough Mudder race at the Sunshine Coast in August, and so far almost 15,000 Queenslanders have signed up for the challenge.

Tough Mudder is known to be one of the hardest races in the world. Competitors confront as obstacle course of more than 20 kilometres which contains more than 20 obstacles to overcome along the way, designed by soldiers in the British Special Forces.

Everyone up the wall
Everyone up the wall. Picture: Tough Mudder

The event was first held in 2010 and for the first time in history it’s making it way to Queensland August 17-18.

This year four Tough Mudder races will be held in Australia and managing director for Tough Mudder Australasia, Drew Ward is impressed with Australians’ interest in the race.

“We’ve been blown away by the response we’ve had from Australians – our previous events in Australia have been some of the biggest events we’ve ever held and we often find that Mudders come back and do the event again,” he says.

Tough Mudder Sydney, 2012. Uploaded to YouTube by Tough Mudder

Team play

Tough Mudder is a team challenge and it is not possible to finish the race as an individual.

“Tough Mudder is not a race; it’s a challenge, which also entices people,” says Ward.

“It’s not about being the first past the post; it’s about making it through the obstacles with your mates and coming together to celebrate with a cold beer at the end of the event. As mateship is very much viewed as an Australian quality, I think this may be another reason why so many people have been signing up for the challenge.”

A helping hand
A helping hand. Picture: Tough Mudder

Tough Mudder is a race that appeals to both genders and all ages.

“People from all walks of life are drawn to Tough Mudder. In terms of gender, male participants make up 76 per cent of total participants on average and female participants make up the remaining 24 per cent. The average age of our Mudders is 29 although we also get people in their 50s and that participate,” says Ward.

Show up prepared

Tough Mudder is a race for everyone, but Ward says it is important for contestants to do some training before entering.

“We don’t call it Tough Mudder for nothing. You need to be fit and you need to prepare yourself, both mentally and physically, before taking on the challenge. Tough Mudder events are designed to test all round fitness, so you should prepare by training before the event,” says Ward.

It's hard to avoid the shock
It’s hard to avoid the electric shock. Picture: Tough Mudder

He says contestants should be able to run five to eight kilometres two to three times a week, do 10-15 push ups and swim 25 metres non-stop.

Tough Mudder have also designed a training program contestants could follow.

Jon Einar Handeland from Norway is one of the almost 15,000 people who have signed up in advance.

“I do a lot of running, since the course is 20 kilometres long. I also do some basic weight training to prepare myself for the obstacles,” says Handeland.

He finds the challenge of the race most appealing.

“It is a test of endurance as well a team race. We liked the challenge of finishing a course designed by Special Forces and it gives you an impression of what they go through,” says Handeland.

MORE INFORMATION: Tough Mudder will be held on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 of August, 2013, at Caloundra Downs, end of Racecourse Road, Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

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