Earlier this summer, I saw a video that Tough Mudder posted of a very special competitor who took on the Tough Mudder Half on Long Island. Tough Mudder prides itself on opening up its challenges-not-races to people of all ages, but I was surprised to see that their newest Mudder was someone I had thought had been extinct for over 65 million years: Tyrannosaurus rex.
Apparently I was wrong. Our friends at TMHQ hooked us up with their dinosaur pal for an interview. Here’s how it went:
ORM: So, T Rex, when did you first try obstacle course racing? Was your first race a Warrior Dash, or was it something earlier, like jumping over stegosauruses and dodging that giant meteor that wiped out all the other dinosaurs?
T. Rex: My first event was surviving extinction and that was just preparation for Tough Mudder Long Island this year at Old Bethpage in New York. I’m used to extreme climate changes and it was HOT at the event so I was prepared for that and definitely hydrated beforehand.
ORM: What sort of training do you do for races? Is it trail running with velociraptors plus a little CrossFit?
T. Rex: I train with my fellow dinos; it’s the only way to get through it. We do a mix of cardio and circuit training leading up to events and partner workouts so we can get ourselves into the teamwork mindset. Trail running is our favorite because it helps you prepare for the Tough Mudder course — plenty of hills, mixed terrain, mountains and deep woods.
ORM: Do other dinosaurs team up at these races? I think I saw you posing with a brontosaurus once, but maybe you just bumped into each other in the festival area.
T.Rex: I could be wrong, but I haven’t seen many other dinosaurs at other events besides Tough Mudder, and that’s the first obstacle course I’ve done. [editor’s note: oh really, my dinosaur friend? See below] Any dinosaurs are always welcome to join my team at Tough Mudder though; that’s what those events are all about. I’m happy to give a hand (claw?) to any fellow dino or fellow Mudder. It’s actually more difficult than you’d think to drink a post-Mudder Shock Top with these short arms though. Funnelling is best.
ORM: Are there any obstacles where being a dinosaur really helps?
T. Rex: I’m not that graceful of a dinosaur, and with my short arms, King of Swingers was pretty tough to grab hold to and reach that bell. I’ve been training though, so next time I’m going for it. My favorite obstacles were Everest and Pyramid Scheme; my height made it a fairly easy climb and I was able to help a lot of people. Being cold-blooded is obviously an advantage for that infamous Arctic Enema obstacle. Don’t get me wrong; it’s still a terrible mental challenge — I’d almost rather face another meteor…
At this point, T. Rex got distracted and started running after what I think was prey, but maybe he just spotted another survivor of the late Cretaceous period and wanted to say hello. The crowd of people who ran away screaming probably just misunderstood his enthusiasm. Either way, great training, right?
I wanted to ask a few more questions, because, as with so many OCR athletes, getting a taste of the sport at Tough Mudder seems to have led him to try other races. I’m pretty sure I spotted him in a YouTube video at a race in New Jersey this summer (can any reader find the video?). And perhaps you saw him on American Ninja Warrior? ). As the announcer said: “this predator is eating up the course”.
And yet, Spartan Race published this photo.
But that’s probably a fake. It looks like he’s posing with a healthy young racer and Godzilla. And we all know that Godzilla is totally made up.[toughmudderrate]
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