Tough Mudder – New Jersey

photo 4 Decision time – head down to New Jersey to do Tough Mudder after an overnight wetsuit World’s Toughest Mudder training? Sure! How could I say no to this? So off I went to New Jersey for my second Tough Mudder, with two dear friends of mine, Josh Grant and Patrick Verrico.

Arrival & Parking
We arrived later than we expected, getting into the area around 9:30am. We hit the infamous Tough Mudder parking traffic. We didn’t park until after 10:15am, it felt like forever, silver lining – onsite parking. I met my Reload Fitnessteammate Stu Klaas, and we all picked up our bibs and headed to the start line. Stu and I were running the course together as Tough Mudder is untimed, and Stu upped the ante by wearing a 40lb weight vest.

The start was similar to the Tough Mudder I ran in June, in Gunstock, NH. Runners had to climb over a 6ft wall to enter the start line area. The motivational speech was good – I liked that they honoured US troops, which made the experience feel more special. “Shipping up to Boston” by Dropkick Murphys started and then we were off!

The Course

The course was predominantly flat with man-made hills, which made sense as it was being held at a racetrack.  I was wondering how Tough Mudder was going to fit 10 miles into such a small space, but they did it and did it well. They had us on the racetrack, on the immediate grounds, and on trails. The thing I probably enjoyed the most was the mud. There was so much mud and that made the trails and course 10 times harder. Everyone at the finish line looked the same, all brown and covered in mud!

photo 2
Just The Tip.

The Obstacles
The obstacles were typical of the Tough Mudder events I had experienced at previous events. The funky monkey (an incline and decline monkey bar over water) is usually my favourite, but there was competition this time. I failed the funky monkey, something I don’t usually struggle with, but all the mud made it so much more difficult. The traverse wall was fantastic. Tough Mudder calls it “Just The Tip” Basically a ledge you hung from by your fingers, nowhere for your feet to go, and runners had to shimmy along it and then transfer across a gap using just their arms.It was definitely a challenge! Instead of a tire drag, it was a tire carry. There was also a chance for runners to flip a tractor tire 3 times out and back to raise money for a specific charity. Volunteers kept count on how many runners completed this obstacle and a donation would be made according to how many runners completed it. I thought that was great. The arctic enema immediately followed the tire flip and was fun as always. The two obstacles I was least impressed with was the wheelbarrow and warrior carry. Runners had to wheelbarrow each other for a certain distance, and then carry each other for a certain distance. They didn’t really seem like true obstacles. There was an obstacle I hadn’t seen before, the Lily Pad. Runners had to cross a body of water leaping from one inflatable pad to the next. I enjoyed that obstacle, as I hadn’t really seen anything like it.

The Lines
Judging by the number of lines we stood in for obstacles, we must have hit the course during “prime time”. I hadn’t really experienced lines like that before. By my estimate, we probably stood in line for a total of photo 3 15 minutes, give or take. I stood in front of the electric eel for about 20 minutes, having a minor freak out about it (electricity isn’t my thing at all) before I finally did it. I ended up getting zapped about 6 times. I can’t decide how I feel about the electric obstacles. On one hand they really do get to me mentally, but on the other hand, there is no benefit from it and once you’ve done it, it doesn’t really change.

The aid stations were well stocked and there were plenty of them. The volunteers were fantastic, constantly shouting out words of encouragement and helping people up Everest. It’s definitely the people who make Tough Mudder so much fun. Overall, it was another well-run event that made great use of the venue.


Nele Schulze

Nele Schulze is an obstacle racer and endurance athlete in New England. Nele is a member of the New England Spahtens and previous Death Race competitor and Survival Run racer.
1 comment
  1. Good write up.
    Have yet to do a TM but hoping to do VT next year. I need mountains. All the standard aspects it seems from other reviews. I definitely want to try “Just the tip”.

    Interesting thing I read- “Shipping up to Boston” kicked off te race.. Hahaha classic JAB..

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