Toughest Mudder Europe brought the wind, rain, and cold–as expected–but Mudders still lived up to their reputation by bringing in close to 1000 participants, with one-third of those completing 25 miles or more. The UK’s own Jonathan Albon completed 10 laps of the five-mile, one-loop course, in 7 hours, 55 minutes while top female, Susanne Krauss completed 35 miles in 8 hours, 10 minutes in the third event of the Toughest Mudder series.
Beginning at midnight on May 13th, Europe’s Toughest Mudder was expectedly cold, with Mudders battling hypothermia throughout the night due to the incessant rain, wind, and obligatory Arctic Enema obstacle. Toughest Mudder Europe differed from Toughest Mudder West and Toughest Mudder South due to the single course format: Mudders enjoyed an obstacle-free sprint lap to start before obstacles began to open.
The course at Europe’s Toughest Mudder sure was brutal. At its peak, 19 obstacles were open over the 5-mile course. Several obstacles were made especially difficult due to the weather, with King of the Swingers - Hang Time especially hard following the lack of a cargo net underneath–which meant an instant drop into icy water for those lacking the upper body endurance. Along with this new version of King of the Swingers, Operation made its European debut and was at its shocking best in the early hours of the morning.
As the sun started to rise, the rain started to fall and obstacles such as Kong, Funky Monkey - The Revolution and The Liberator saw an ever increasing fail rate. However it was the double up of Birth Canal and the Black Hole, one straight after the other, that was consistently named as the most demoralising and draining obstacle out on the course. With no way around, it increasingly sapped the energy from participants as the morning wore on.
Second-place at World’s Toughest Mudder 2016, Susanne Kraus made a consistently focused effort for the top spot at Toughest Mudder U.K., beating out Sara Knight and Ulrikke Evensen in the process. Kraus rallied early on, for a fast 42 minutes, 25 seconds on the sprint lap. Knight, meanwhile, completed the first loop in 44 minutes, five seconds with eventual fourth-place Beth Albon in 48 minutes, 27 seconds. Evensen was a minute back in 49 minutes, 11 seconds. Just before the halfway point at 4 a.m., Kraus held almost an hour lead on Knight, Albon, and Evensen. Knight, however, battled late in the race and gained substantially on Krauss, with many spectators agreeing that if given an extra loop, Knight may have been in contention for the top spot. Look for Knight to be a strong competitor from the back at World’s Toughest Mudder 2017.
Jon Albon took first place from the start, completing the sprint lap in 37 minutes, 18 seconds. Chad Trammell came through roughly thirty seconds behind. Albon held onto first throughout the race, ultimately completing 50 miles and taking home the $5,000 bonus for doing so. Trammell hung onto second place, completing 45 miles in 8 hours, 2 minutes and third-place Michael Schjutt coming in with 45 miles just ten minutes behind.
The Race to The Holy Grail & World’s Toughest Mudder
As we progress further into the season and head towards World’s Toughest Mudder, the results from Europe’s Toughest certainly have some interesting implications. Will Jonathan Albon continue to push to take over the most Toughest miles from Ryan Atkins? Will they team up again for World’s Toughest or will they battle it out head to head? In the Women's category, we are interested to see if Susanne Kraus take the next step and grab top spot at Worlds?
Now almost halfway through the Toughest season, there are still lots of questions to be answered. Stay tuned as we start to find out exactly how the quest for the grail and the World's Toughest contenders are shaping up. You don't have to wait too long, we will start to find out as soon as next weekend in Philly.
May 20, 2017
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