A 100 Mile Journey: A WTM Recap

This year, I came into World’s Toughest Mudder (WTM) with one simple goal; improve on my 80-mile performance from last year. I felt that 90 miles was a significant but attainable goal to reach. Coming into this years WTM, I felt better than I had in previous years, but knew things would have to go just right to reach my goals. With everything from stomach problems, to horrible weather, and everything in between, I felt that by aiming for 100 miles, I would give myself enough cushion to attain my goal of 90 miles. To be honest, I never thought I would be able to reach 100, but put it up there as a “Dream Goal”, so even when I did fall short, I would still be within my 90 miles that I wanted to get.

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One of the things I enjoy about these races is going into them free from anyone’s expectations but my own. Unfortunately, things changed a little bit when I was listed as one of the “top men to watch” (darn you Matty Gregg). I know the pressure got to me for a little bit, but I realized that I needed to just focus on what I had to do and what I had control of.

Thankfully, I was invited to join Team Goat Tough by Jim Campbell, who helped support me getting the prior gear I needed along with the support out on course that I would need throughout the 24 hour grueling race. I think Jim believed in me more than I believed in myself. It was awesome to have 12 other people out on course who I knew were there

I started out the race wanting to get as far as I could during the sprint hour without pushing myself too hard. I found myself keeping up with the leaders throughout the sprint hour, following Junyong Pak, Ryan Woods, and Nickademus Hollon. I settled into a comfortable pace, and found myself running faster than I needed to but was feeling good.

Laps 3-4 I was mostly running with Ryan Atkins and Jon Albon. It was hilarious hearing those guys run together, singing songs and laughing, like it was just another day on the playground. I knew they would eventually take off ahead, but it was a perfect couple of laps to keep the pace up and the mood light.

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After I finished lap 5, I decided to change into my Frogskins, since it was starting to get dark. I was about 45 minutes ahead of the pace I wanted to keep and was feeling pretty good. My pit crew was perfectly in sync and helped me get out of the pits in seemingly no time at all.

Lap 6 proved to be more challenging than expected as it was a little too hot for the Frogskins, and 2 of the water obstacles were closed that lap. I remember seeing Sharkbait that lap who was experiencing the same problem, but neither of us wanted to get caught in an extreme drop in temperature, something we were both too familiar with from years past.

I was keeping on the pace I wanted during miles 30-50 without any gear changes. My lap times were consistent and I was still getting through most of the obstacles just fine. I was still behind Pak and Woods, but wasn’t concerned with what they were doing. Even though each lap time was consistent with one another, I was encountering significant ups and downs each lap, due to some stomach problems. It was nothing terrible, but enough to slow me down for parts of each lap. I was sticking to what I had used in the past, mainly bars, Cliff blocks, and Tailwind. While there were many small problems, it was nothing out of the ordinary for 50 miles

I remember finishing mile 50 around 10pm and thinking “This is what I finished with the entire 24 hours 2 years ago.” I had obviously come a long way since my first WTM, but didn’t think I was ready for the big jump that was about to come.

It was pretty fun and a little nerve racking when the camera crews started rolling late into the night, and began to follow me on some of the obstacles (It makes Operation a little bit harder with a camera staring down at you). I knew I had to be near the top if they kept getting clips of me, which kept my spirits up.

I planned on slightly slower lap times for miles 50-75, but I was still keeping a steady pace. After completing Grappler on lap 12, I noticed the cameras shifted from me to the person who was right behind me. It was Trevor Cichosz! I was so excited to see him and knew he was going to make a late night push to the front. I have never been so happy to be passed up by someone and surprisingly; it gave me an extra boost of energy. I knew the race was on and I told him to go win this. I never thought I would be near the front like I was, but I wanted Trevor to breakthrough and finally win this event.

15042048_1118517344910222_1594517493638149194_oI hit the Cliff on lap 12 just after midnight and was ready for 12 hours of my least favorite obstacle of all. By this point, there was no way I would consider running the extra 0.6 miles and faced this necessary evil for the remainder of the race. Once I hit 60 miles around midnight, I began to believe that I could make it to 100 miles! While I created a plan to hit 100 miles, I never thought it was possible. Only the heavy hitters, the Ryan Atkins and Jon Albons of the world could make it to 100. I never gave myself a shot at it.

Even with a glimmer of hope at 100 miles, I struggled through lap 13 as I was still facing some problems with my nutrition and began facing a few extra penalties per lap. I could feel the race begin to wear down on me. I knew that it would be getting colder, so I decided to put on a thick wind-breaker. As far as my nutrition was concerned, my mom (aka awesome pit crew member #1) asked if I wanted hot chocolate after lap 13. This sounded like the perfect thing to keep me going. After lap 13 I began eating a steady diet of peanut M&Ms, Snickers Bars, and hot chocolate to keep me going. They seemed to do the trick for my stomach, as I continued the rest of the race without any significant stomach problems.

As I came in after lap 14 I really felt good. My stomach was fine, my body felt good, and I was ahead of the pace I needed to get 100 miles. On that pit stop, with 70 miles under my belt, I told my pit crew, “I am getting 100 miles!” Everyone was on board and they knew that from here on out, there was one goal in mind. I forgot about what place I was in, and focused on getting to 100 miles.

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Lap 15, I secured my silver bib and was pushing to get as many laps in before sunrise. I continued on the same pace through lap 18. As I was looking to finish up my last 2 laps, I knew that lap 19 would be a tough one to pull through. I aimed at starting my last lap by 11:00am, giving me 2.5 hours to finish my last lap if needed. I struggled through lap 19, and was able to get back to my pit in time. I decided to take off the windbreaker and carry my pack as usual. I had more than enough time to finish my last lap, I was over a lap ahead of 4th and 5th place, and 1st and 2nd were already locked. ALL I HAD TO DO WAS FINISH ONE MORE LAP! It was such a feeling of relief. A caught up with Mike Delanty, one of the first people I ever met at WTM, and we cruised on our last lap, taking our sweet time and enjoying each other’s company. We jogged the last little bit of the lap and I was never happier to be at the peak of the Cliff.

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As I finished that last swim, I got to the final stretch and decided to walk it and soak in the moment. I remember closing my eyes and felt the sun soak in. It was here! This was what all that training was for. I was the fifth person ever to reach 100 miles at WTM.

As I crossed the line, I was lucky enough to get my 100 mile bib from none other than Sean Corvelle. It was such an honor to get my bib from him as he always is such an amazing motivator, an awesome person, and his voice constantly reminds me to give it my very best.

Coming into this race, I put in a lot of hard work, but could have never imagined that I would be the 3rd Place Individual Male and reach 100 miles.

I couldn’t have done it without my amazing Pit Crew: Mom (Katie Mendoza), dad (Danny Mendoza), Tim Slaby, Kelly Druce, Melissa Morgan, and everyone else who was there. I also want to thank Jim Campbell, Dustin Partridge, John Fagan and the rest of Team Goat Tough who were so supportive throughout the entire time. Thank you to my friends, PJ Catalano and Reny Kaufmann (7th Place Woman), who I shared a tent with. Finally, thank you Trevor Cichosz (WTM CHAMPION), who told me before the race if I didn’t get 100 miles, he would take away my coveted Ground Pounder hat.

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I want to thank everyone I saw out on course that made this the most memorable WTM experience ever! There were so many people who constantly encouraged me and supported me throughout the event and I am so lucky to be a part of this great WTM community. I hope to see many of you out on course very soon and I love you all very much!

WTM 2016 – Drop it Like it’s Hot!

World's Toughest Mudder 2016 - Start

The 2016 World’s Toughest Mudder at Lake Las Vegas was epic! By showcasing to the world many new obstacles along with improving a few from the past, Tough Mudder was able to utilize the same Lake Las Vegas track while making the course feel new and even more exciting and challenging than 2015. The weather cooperated in 2016: minimal wind and this year’s mean temperature was almost 10 degrees warmer, with the lowest temp during the night 50 vs. 39 in 2015, a huge difference for WTM 2016!

Winners

OCR popularity continues to climb, and thanks to world class events like WTM continuing to push the obstacle limits, more and more competitors are getting into the races.  This year was no exception and the competition was fierce.   While everyone who tackled this event should be proud of stepping up to the plate, the winners really busted tail.  The winners of the team competition were “Team Goat Tough”, Ryan Atkins and Jonathon Albon, who logged 105 miles with “Team America”, 2015’s individual male winner Chad Trammell and Robert Killian, Jr.,  just behind logging 100 miles.  Trevor Cichosz won the individual male competition with 105 miles, while Austin Azar (2nd) and Kristopher Mendoza (3rd) each logged 100 miles.  Stephanie Bishop won the individual female competition with 85 miles followed by Susanne Kraus with 80 and Morgan McKay with 80, a mere 6 minutes behind Susanne!  There were some all female teams, although the team competition doesn’t differentiate, and “Lions, Tigers, Bears, Oh My!” logged 50 miles and “Bounce Squad 55” logged 50 miles a mere 10 minutes behind!

2016 saw 6 racers achieve the magic 100 mile mark…an honor that, until now, was held solely by Ryan Atkins.

Obstacles

World's Toughest Mudder 2016-Double Rainbow

Compared to only a year ago, this year’s WTM had a slew of new and absolutely E.P.I.C obstacles including Stage 5 Clinger, Funky Monkey Revolution, Double Rainbow (the new rendition of King of Swingers), and Kong. You can listen to Matt B. Davis’ podcast with Eli Hutchison of TMHQ here: Obstacle Podcast

World's Toughest Mudder 2016-Kong

If you completed those on every lap you should have come away with some uber extra satisfaction.  Those afraid of falling or heights had a hard time with these and all required solid grip strength and mental fortitude.  The Cliff was again the final obstacle, opening at Midnight.  Roughly the same height as last year, about a 1.5 second free fall, water just as soft for the landing (or hard depending on your technique).  Change this year was if you didn’t have a 50-mile bib on the final lap you were not allowed to make the final jump (which alleviated the back-up seen last year).

World's Toughest Mudder 2016-Funky Monkey Revolution

Only a few obstacle snafu’s that this author heard about while on the course.  Twinkle Toes was shut down in the early AM due to low water levels for safety reasons, so when you fell (and this author did a few times) you felt it where you didn’t need to.  Second, during nighttime ops, they changed Kong to overhead pipes and a slack line.  Apparently, someone jettisoned themselves off the slack line a bit too close to the edge of the crash pad so they took the slack lines away (which made the obstacle challenging again).  And third, grips.  Difficult to keep the bars dry but TM make a good attempt to do so on Double Rainbow by adding sticky tape – unfortunately, the tape came off of most of the bars throughout the event.  Not a big deal and to be expected.

WTM Experience 2016 vs. 2015

As a second year participant in WTM, this year was quite a different experience than last.  For one, last year I had no idea what to expect and was able to “just get out to Vegas and get it done”. This year, knowing what I went through last year, I was able to think about what I was about to undergo.  This “thinking” started shortly after Labor Day and occupied more and more of my thoughts up until Saturday.  Thoughts like “will I land wrong on The Cliff”, “will I be able to suck it up through the cold”, and “will my tent be in a good place” began to take up more and more of my thoughts.

There have not been many things in my life that have caused me so much anxiety.   Checking the Henderson temps on a daily basis somewhat dissipated my hypothermia fear, but The Cliff kept coming back.  Turns out, the only thing that really bothered me this year was the cold, and if I’m honest with myself that was mostly mental.  The obstacles, and The Cliff, after completing each one each lap, reminded me that people can overcome their fears if they just give themselves the opportunity.  One of the things I really love about OCR is, like life, once you get on the course, you can be amazed at what you can do if you JUST TRY.

Final Perspective

Few things I’ll likely do different next year (yes, I’m already committing to WTM 2017): 1) bring a pit crew, 2) not change my wetsuit/shoes/socks (if it’s working, why did I change? – bad idea), and 3) train a bit for long distance as my body this year didn’t handle it as well as last year.  I’ll also not sweat it as much as the WTM 2017 draws nearer.

This year’s WTM was a huge success and better than last year (although last year was darn good as well).  The camaraderie among the participants was exceptional, the pit crews seemed as awesome as ever, and the bagpipes kept spirits lifted throughout the event!

World's Toughest Mudder 2016-Bagpipes

Overcoming obstacles is something we all have an opportunity to do every day.  Most of the time, overcoming obstacles is easier than we think!

Tough Mudder Introduces New Obstacles for 2017

Tough Mudder has released details about the new obstacles for 2017, and it is clear that they will keep Tough Mudders wet, disoriented, and dangling in midair. Which is how Tough Mudder likes it.

Most of these obstacles will debut at World’s Toughest Mudder, which takes place this weekend outside Las Vegas, and those who are curious are bound to get glimpses of the new obstacles during the copious live feeds that will be broadcast.

In the meantime, you can also see many of the obstacles in this dramatic video: 

Once you have picked your jaw up off the floor, you might want to know more about the individual obstacles you just saw. The most impressive is called Augustus Gloop. Why is that name familiar? If Johnny Depp is your WIlly Wonka, then you will remember this:

However, if you go old school Gene Wilder, try this instead

Sadly, this obstacle does not involve a river of chocolate. Rather, Mudders will climb up a tube while water rushes down at them. I spoke to obstacle designer Eli Hutchison, who explained that while the tube itself will not be difficult to climb, the force of the water flowing down will make it feel like you can’t breathe. “Just keep your head down”, he advised. Thanks, Eli.


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Another brand new obstacle is called Reach Around, which requires participants to climb almost 20 feet in the air to a point which requires some problem-solving to get past a point before climbing back down. This obstacle combines both the need for upper body strength as well as the need to overcome a fear of heights.

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The remaining two new obstacles are the latest updates on successful obstacles from the past. Arctic Enema was originally just a dumpster full of ice water separated by a fence, requiring you to dunk yourself completely to emerge at the other side (and originally it was called “Chernobyl Jacuzzi”, but that’s another story). Version 2.0 introduced in 2015 forced Mudders to slide into the ice under wire fencing, preventing you from hesitating on your way down. The latest version, Arctic Enema – The Rebirth, replaces the fenced-in slide with a tube, reminiscent of the old obstacle “Boa Constrictor”. The catch? You’re supposed to go down the tube head first, which means you get more submersion, more cold, and a greater element of fear. Well played, Tough Mudder.

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Also updated is Funky Monkey. This was originally just a monkey bar climb over water, and it was updated to add a transition from monkey bars to a pole. If you have finally mastered this skill, in 2017 you get to try Funky Monkey – The Revolution, which adds moving wheels to the mix of items you need to grab to get across. This innovation may or may not have its inspiration from the American Ninja Warrior courses.

Legionnaires, those who have already completed a Tough Mudder, will have more options this year as well. Three obstacles will feature Legionnaire Lanes, where an obstacle has been adapted to be just that much tougher (and get an even more aggressive name). You might call these versions “enhanced”, with the same meaning as “enhanced interrogation”. Augustus Gloop will become Snot Rocket, and Legionnaires will have to approach the entrance to the tube through a wire covered pool of water, reminiscent of Cage Crawl, with only a few inches of water between you and the fencing. The Legionnaire Lane for Reach Around is called Stage 5 Clinger and will require you to climb to the top at an even steeper, more technical angle. Birth Canal has been adapted as Black Hole, requiring you to crawl under heavy bags of water, but this time in complete darkness (WTM insider alert: this obstacle will not be present at Vegas this weekend. Now you know!). Finally, instead of Electroshock Therapy, Legionnaires will be able to opt for something called Kong, which will require you to swing from ring to ring high in the air. The twist is that the rings are spaced farther and farther apart as you cross the obstacle.

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Tough Mudder has shown that it can innovate by introducing new obstacles and keep the event fresh by updating old ones. The focus is on making obstacles that are challenging, but entertaining.I know that I can’t wait to give Augustus Gloop a try. Even if no chocolate is involved.

Bonus: You can hear the podcast with the entire conversation between Eli, ORM’s Matt B. Davis and myself, here.

Tough Mudder Press Release:

BROOKLYN, NY (November 10, 2016) – Tough Mudder Inc., the leading active lifestyle brand, announced today its new obstacles for the 2017 event season which feature four new challenges – a new Legionnaire finish obstacle (for participants who have completed at least one Tough Mudder event) and three Legionnaire-only features. Select new obstacles will debut at World’s Toughest Mudder, the grueling 24-hour extreme endurance race presented by Cellucor, on Saturday, November 12 at Lake Las Vegas at 12 p.m. PST.

Fans can watch the world’s leading ultra-endurance athletes take on these new challenges for the first time and compete for a $100,000 grand prize by viewing the Tough Mudder/CBS Sports’ World’s Toughest Mudder Livestream at ToughMudder.com.

The new 2017 Tough Mudder obstacles are:

New Extreme Obstacles:

  • Augustus Gloop – Participants must enter into a chest-deep pit of water before ascending up a vertical tube. As they attempt to ascend through the confined tube, they must fight off a cascade of water gushing down on them from above.
  • Funky Monkey – The Revolution – A literal “spin” on Tough Mudder’s classic Funky Monkey obstacle. Participants test their upper body strength to complete this challenge while transitioning from monkey bars to traverse a series of revolving wheels – all while dangling over a water pit.
  • Arctic Enema – The Rebirth – Participants slide down a confined, dark tube head first into an icy pool of water, navigate across one section and must submerge themselves yet again under a wall to escape this freezing vessel of ice water.
  • The Reach Around – Playing upon one’s fear of heights and one of the most challenging obstacles on the course, this nearly 20 feet tall obstacle forces participants to climb up and go beyond vertical in an inverted 45 degree angle to overcome it.

For those who have completed a Tough Mudder event, known as Legionnaires, Tough Mudder is providing new challenges – in the form of special Legionnaire-only lanes to enhance their experience in 2017. The lanes will be new twists on classic challenges, as well as an all-new Legionnaire-only finisher obstacle that will test participant’s upper body strength and fear of heights.

Enhanced Legionnaire Lanes:

  • Snot Rocket (Augustus Gloop Legionnaire Lane): Before attempting to enter the vertical tube of this kicked-up Augustus Gloop, participants must pull their way through a steel fence-topped trench while floating on their back with only a few inches of air between water’s surface and the fence.
  • Black Hole (Birth Canal Legionnaire Lane): Participants must crawl and push their way through a confining gauntlet of 100 lb water-filled barriers suspended above them in total darkness.
  • Stage 5 Clinger (The Reach Around Legionnaire Lane): In addition to scaling one of the tallest and toughest obstacles on the course, Legionnaires will have to come up with a new strategy to navigate across a now 90 degree angle to reach its peak.

Legionnaire Finish Obstacle:

  • Kong: Taking Legionnaire finish obstacles to new heights, literally, this giant, 30-foot obstacle will have participants swinging like Tarzan, traversing from one floating ring to another with increasing distance between them.

“The 2017 enhancements set a new standard of excellence in obstacle innovation and showcase the physicality and intensity which makes Tough Mudder unique,” said Will Dean, CEO and Co-Founder of Tough Mudder, Inc. “The mental and physical challenges participants experience is ­­­­what makes Tough Mudder the industry leader. We remain committed to exploring and engineering ways to present new challenges and increase obstacle difficultly to keep our events fresh and exciting. We look forward to welcoming thousands of new and returning participants to Mudder Nation in 2017 to face these challenges together.”

Deemed as “probably the toughest event on the planet,” Tough Mudder tests teamwork, while pushing pushes one’s physical abilities and mental grit limits. With more than 2.5 million participants to date across four continents, Tough Mudder events challenge people across a 10-12 mile course featuring 20-25 signature obstacles.

In addition to the Live Stream of World’s Toughest Mudder, CBS Sports will premiere its series of programs on the World’s Toughest Mudder in December. Viewers can tune into Road to the World’s Toughest Mudder on CBS Sports Network on December 15 at 9:00 PM EST for a behind the scenes, in-depth look at the obstacles, the competitors and preparation leading up to the grueling 24 hour competition. On December 25 at 2:00 PM EST on CBS, viewers will get to experience all the excitement, drama, agony and joy from the 2016 World’s Toughest Mudder. Immediately following the World’s Toughest Mudder program, CBS Sports Network will host a post-event roundtable World’s Toughest After at 3:00 PM EST, featuring the winners and top competitors.

For more information on the 2017 Tough Mudder obstacles, World’s Toughest Mudder, the Tough Mudder CBS Sports special or to register for an event, visit ToughMudder.com. Join the conversation by following Tough Mudder on Twitter at @ToughMudder or Instagram at @Tough_Mudder.

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About Tough Mudder, Inc.:

Founded in 2010 with the launch of the Tough Mudder event series of 10-12 mile obstacle courses, Tough Mudder Inc. has since grown to become a leading active lifestyle company. The brand includes Tough Mudder Half, an obstacle challenge bringing the thrills of Tough Mudder to a 5-mile course; Mudderella, an obstacle course series created by women for women; Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder, a custom event for children ages 7-12; Toughest Mudder Series, the eight-hour, overnight competition series; World’s Toughest Mudder, a grueling 24-hour endurance competition; and an extremely vibrant engaging social and digital destination for leading fitness, nutrition and wellness content delivered across multiple platforms. The Tough Mudder family of brands and online community is united by a commitment to promoting courage, personal accomplishment and teamwork through unconventional, life-changing experiences. With more than 2.5 million participants to date, Tough Mudder Inc. will produce more than 120 events worldwide in 2016 across five continents, including Asia through its partnerships with Seroja and IMG. More than 20 of the world’s leading brands are sponsorship and content distribution partners, including Merrell, Old Spice, Shock Top, Cellucor, Volvic, Jeep, Britvic, L’il Critters, US Army, Virgin Active, Olympus, Bosch, Live Stream, The CW and CBS. To join the conversation, follow Tough Mudder on Facebook at facebook.com/toughmudder, on Twitter @ToughMudder, and on Instagram @Tough_Mudder.

World’s Toughest Mudder

Known as one of the most extreme endurance events in the world, the World’s Toughest Mudder event, presented by Cellucor, is the only competitive event that Tough Mudder, Inc. hosts in 2016. Competitors are eligible to win a total of more than $170,000 in prizing, including a grand prize of $100,000 for teams that complete at least 100 miles together. Like all Tough Mudder events, World’s Toughest Mudder encourages Mudders to work together, help one another overcome obstacles and push past their physical and mental boundaries. While competitive in nature, World’s Toughest Mudder is about finding one’s personal limits and putting teamwork to the test, and hundreds of participants take part in the event as a team. The course is a grueling, five-mile loop featuring diverse desert terrain, steep hills, mud pits and more. Prizes are awarded to participants who complete the most miles within 24 hours, and the team of two or more that completes 100 miles together wins $100,000. Competitors take on 20-25 of Tough Mudder’s most challenging obstacles including The Cliff, Human Operation, and Gut Buster, in this 24-hour, timed event to be deemed the toughest man, woman and team on the planet.

Tough Mudder PR Contacts:
Angela Alfano
(703) 447-5629
[email protected]

Jodi Kovacs
(732) 597-2094
[email protected]

WTM Preview…Here’s What We (don’t?) Know

WTM 2016 - Operation is teed upWTM is only 2 weeks away, and with November 12th rapidly approaching, the World’s Toughest Mudder Community is hungry for information…we aren’t close friends with patience. Since the Las Vegas Tough Mudder is this weekend (October 29-30), I seized the opportunity to do some investigating on behalf of all the restless WTMers who are anxious to feed the anticipation monster.

Revelation #1
The Pit will be in the same location as the previous 2 years. It’s convenient, flat, and easy for planning and staging.

Revelation #2
The course will be 5 miles long…not surprising, it was in the rules. However, they are hiring an independent company to measure and certify the length of the course. $100,000 is a lot of money at stake and lessons have been learned.

Revelation #3
There will be 3 obstacles at WTM from the Tough Mudder Obstacle Innovation Lab. No – I can’t tell you which ones, but you probably know someone who was at the Innovation Lab…pick his or her brain. Arctic Enema 3.0 was the only Innovation obstacle on the Las Vegas TM course and construction was attentive to performance of the obstacle and obtaining feedback from racers.  This, of course, does not mean Arctic Enema 3.0 will be on the WTM course.

WTM 2016 - Arctic Enema 3.0 (Feel the Burn)...will it make an appearance?

Revelation #4
Expect the registration and pit assignment process to be more regulated and monitored. The past two years have caused TMHQ a lot of headaches in this area, and they are looking to make the process more controlled. We’ll know specifics on Wednesday, November 2, when the official athlete guide is released.

Revelation #5
There will be at least one (possibly 2) never before constructed, seen, or tested obstacle(s) at WTM. Read this as mad scientists on the loose for the next 2 weeks at Lake Las Vegas (my words, not TMHQ’s). TMHQ always brings their A game to WTM, and Eli Hutchison has a lot of people to please: Will Dean, CBS, and the WTM Community. Brady Archer left some big shoes to fill as far as WTM is concerned. Eli has always been involved, but it’s been Brady’s ballgame the last 3 years…Eli is certainly preparing to pitch a no hitter.

Revelation #6
Water crossings/submersions should be about the same as WTM 2015. Certainly no water crossings any longer than what we’ve seen in the past.  WHEW!!!!

WTM 2016 - THE CLIFF - Look out below

Lastly, TMHQ wants to honor the camaraderie of Tough Mudder and World’s Toughest Mudder. Everyone should be ready…because the race doesn’t start until November 12, but that doesn’t mean TMHQ isn’t coming for you sooner.

Hunter McIntyre Interview

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Hunter McIntyre Interview

Episode 195 – Believe it or not, we have never dedicated an entire show to Hunter McIntyre. The closest being a 20 minute sit down back in April of 2014 as part of the USOCR episode. On today’s show, Hunter and Matt discuss:

  • The Boundless episode where he took on a French 140km bike race (and lost)
  • Why he is training to be an “endurance athlete” and not necessarily a “Spartan Racer”
  • His new World’s Toughest Mudder 2016 teammate (and why he was chosen)
  • The recent Spartan DQ’s and what Spartan can do better
  • Much, much more

Today’s episode is sponsored by

KitBrix – Get your KitBrox bag for schlepping your stuff to races.

Obstacle Guard – Code ORM gets you 10% off all orders in the U.S.

Show Notes:

The USOCR podcast from May 2014

Boundless on Esquire Network

Click the play button below or click the iTunes or Stitcher links at the top of the page.

Best Wetsuit For World’s Toughest Mudder

We asked ORM contributor Keith Allen to answer some FAQ about the best options for wetsuits for World’s Toughest Mudder. Keith completed 50 miles at the 2014 WTM, 55 miles at the 2015 WTM, and 60 in 2016. He was known as Pit-Daddy in 2017, where he supported several WTMers to help them reach their goals.

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Greetings! If you are reading this you are most likely interested in being a participant at World’s Toughest Mudder. Congratulations! This is a big decision, but I’ve got some unfortunate news for you, if you thought the entry ticket was expensive, just wait until you realize how much gear you need to purchase to make it through the night.

The gear list for World’s Toughest Mudder is extensive even if you merely settle on the bare essentials. Rather than writing Moby Dick 2: World’s Toughest Mudder Edition, I’m going to answer a few frequently asked questions about the best options for wetsuits for World’s Toughest Mudder.

What Do Those Numbers Even Mean?

Should I Buy New Or Used Gear?

Fullsuit or “Shorty”?

What About Layering?

What Do Those Numbers Even Mean?

The first number represents the thickness of the neoprene of the wetsuit in the torso area. The second number represents the thickness in the arms and legs of the wetsuit.

The whole deal here is balancing this question: How warm do I want to be versus how much mobility do I want?

Bigger numbers mean thicker, but less flexibility. Smaller numbers mean less warmth, but more flexibility. Make sense? Good. Let’s Mo Vaughn with the next question you probably have.

New Versus Used?

One way to save some money on your gear list is to scour the internets for used wetsuits at places like eBay or craigslist. There is one positive to buying used: Saving money.

Really, that’s about it. One positive.

The negatives to buying used are as follows:

When buying used it is rare to know the exact type of neoprene that the suit is made of. The stretchier the neoprene the easier it will be to run in and the less it will tax your system. I’ve had a random medium O’Neill 3/2mm that I grabbed on eBay for $32 that I promptly relisted on eBay as it was very uncomfortable. I have no idea what model or year it was from, but I do know that it did not work for me. For comparison sake, my medium 3/2mm Hyperflex Cyclone 2 suit fit me perfectly and the 100% super stretch neoprene was extremely comfortable.

****Editor’s note*** Hyperflex replaced Cyclone with VYRL.  Same idea (stretchy and value conscious.)   

https://www.wetsuitwearhouse.com/wetsuits/category/hyperflex-vyrl-wetsuits.html

People pee in wetsuits. People also clean wetsuits, but that is not a given.  If you want a suit that only you will pee in it is best to look at new options!

Worlds-Toughest-Mudder-Wetsuits-2

Should I go Full Suit or “Shorty”?

If you are going to bring one wetsuit to World’s Toughest Mudder then that wetsuit should be a full suit. The water isn’t extraordinarily cold (in Vegas), but there is no humidity in the desert and it gets chilly, especially if you aren’t moving quickly, which most people aren’t during night ops.

A shorty can be a good early evening option if you can maintain a fast enough pace that allows your body to generate heat to stay warm. You can layer over or under a shorty to make it warmer, but unless you are a really strong competitor you will most likely wish you had a full suit at some point.

In short, if you can afford multiple options then get multiple options, but if you can only afford one, go with a full suit. Here are some examples of reasonably priced comfortable suits that you can buy.

My Very Favorite And First Choice :

Best Wetsuit For World's Toughest Mudder

I fell in love with this wetsuit last year after a recommendation from Ryan Cray. I previously used a 5/3/1.5 Xterra Vortex TriSuit in 2014, but I felt too restricted and it took too much damage from the Vegas terrain for someone as OCD about equipment as me. This particular suit is made of 100% 4-way Stretch Quantum Foam construction, which translated into:

“Holy smokes this thing is comfortable. Is this really a 3/2? The 3/2 I bought on eBay was waaaaay more restrictive!?! This is really comfortable”

Additionally, it has knee pads which provided extra protection against the rocky Vegas terrain. I was ecstatic when the event ended last year and there were no holes in it. Last but not least, I felt like the sealed seams allowed me to stay warmed and get away with wearing a 3/2mm suit instead of going thicker, which many World’s Toughest Mudder participants recommend.

For those that feel more comfortable going thicker, here are the links for the 4/3mm and 5/4mm versions of the suit, along with women’s options.

The thicker suits have the same features as the 3/2, just with thicker neoprene, and they are not sealed.

Men 

My choice:  3/2mm

Thicker choices:

4/3mm Wetsuit

5/4mm Wetsuit

Women

My choice:  3/2mm

Thicker choices:

4/3mm Wetsuit

5/4mm Wetsuit

Why/How Should I Layer?

Personally, I prefer using layering options to add warmth as opposed to buying a thicker suit. Using the 3/2mm as my base and adding one piece layers on top gives me more flexibility than if I was in a thicker suit.

World's Toughest Mudder Layers 2
This also allows me to quickly adjust my layers as I get colder or warmer without having to do a full suit changeout (which is very time consuming).
Unfortunately, these layers do not have a unisex or women’s option but if one becomes available I will add the links. However, if you look at the Men’s size chart and fit within the sizes then I would definitely pull the trigger on these layering options.

Here are my favorite two pieces of layering gear:

Hyperflex Polyolefin 50/50 Top Longsleeve 

This top is extremely versatile as you can layer it over a shorty or full suit while also using it by itself over a regular running top. The chest section is made of 1.5 mm neoprene and the arms are made of polyolefin. Polyolefin has the highest insulating capacity of any fiber, natural or man-made, which makes this top a good option for creating more warmth. The fit is tight in the arms and looser in the chest, as it does not fit like compression gear or a wetsuit would. I’ve used this top in both 2014 and 2015 World’s Toughest Mudder and plan on using it again this year.Wetsuit For Worlds Toughest Mudder Layers

These polyolefin bottoms can be used as a base layer under or a layer above a wetsuit. They do fit tight, however, they are not as tight as compression pants. These add a layer of warmth without restricting movement. I wore these above my 3/2mm full suit last year and as a layer over a shorty in 2014 and was very pleased. The only wear on them is slight scuffing on one of the knees. Another plus is that these are a great base layer for snow shoveling in the winter.

Other stuff we recommend:

Use our discount code ORM15SAVE at checkout to save some dough!

 

Wetsuit Wearhouse