This year, World’s Toughest Mudder is giving out more money and prizes for more places than they ever have before and is fast becoming the biggest money event in obstacle racing in the process, ironic as it is, considering TMHQ’s pledge (and every TMHQ member that has a chance tells us) that “Tough Mudder is not a race but a challenge”.
Back in December 2011, about 800 “crazies” showed up to toe the line at the first World’s Toughest Mudder. Very few survived more than 2 laps of the 8-mile course, and TM guesses about 40 “finished”. Junyong Pak and Juliana Sproles were the first place man and woman. There were no team awards, and Pak and Sproles both went home with $10,000. Back then, that was it; win or go home with nada.
Each year, Big Mudder has raised the stakes, and this year’s event will be the biggest yet. This isn’t even including next year’s WTM Qualifying Toughest Series, which we hope to have lots more information on soon.
Let’s start by taking a closer look at the most recent two years prizes and payouts. (All info sourced from official TMHQ emails and web pages)
*In addition, in 2015, there was a $100,000 offer on the table for any team that completed 20 laps (100 mile/$100k Challenge)
This year, along with keeping the $100k/100 mile Challenge and the previous bib awards, Tough Mudder is paying deeper in the field than ever.
For the men’s and women’s categories, 6th – 10th place now received automatic WTM 2017 entry and 2017 TM season passes (Over $1,000 in value). This change is important because it means that placement can weight more than laps. So, for example, last year only one woman, Amelia Boone got 75 miles and earned a Season Pass. If this year’s rules applied to last year’s finishers, 5 additional women, who all got between 55-60 miles, would have earned those awesome goodies.
Another massive change is in the team category. The previous rules meant 4 members per team, and all must finish within a minute of each other. With that many participants, any number of things could go wrong and usually did. There were only 10 total team finishers last year, as many had to DQ or disband when 1 or more got injured. This year, as few as 2 participants equals a team, which is bringing out some big guns vying for the $100k/100 mile challenge.
Two-time individual champ, Ryan Atkins is teaming up with three-time OCRWC champ, Jon Albon. In addition, last year’s WTM winner, Chad Trammel has joined forces with 2015 Spartan World Champ Robert Killian.
Hunter McIntyre, hungry for revenge from recent Spartan and OCRWC disappointment, has teamed up with BFX24 winner, Austin Azar. If all of these teams are still alive as the race closes, it’s going to be awesome to watch. Especially if one or more teams is near 100 miles.
We will, as always, have tons of live coverage from this year’s World’s Toughest Mudder. So stay tuned here and on our social channels as the event nears.
Bonus: See Archived World’s Toughest Content 2011-2015 Here.