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Overcoming Obstacles: Meet the Inspiring Mudders of Dallas, Dublin, Hamburg & Missouri

By Matt Alesevich | 18. December 2014


Tough Mudder's 10-12 mile military-style obstacle course is about much more than overcoming on-course obstacles-- it's a chance for people around the world to test their fitness while bonding with friends and fellow Mudders and overcoming physical, mental and personal obstacles along the way.

Faced with conditions ranging from broken bones to broken hearts, countless 2014 Mudders and their teams stepped up to the Tough Mudder start line with a mission to turn their scars into stars, and in the end, found that beyond the finish line awaited a new beginning.

So to honor the everyday men and women who, in true Mudder spirit, overcame seemingly-insurmountable obstacles both on course and off to become 2014 Tough Mudder finishers, we’ll be recognizing 57 motivational Mudders throughout the month of December--one from each Tough Mudder event this year.

Moving down the event schedule from Michigan, Seattle, Capital Region, Süddeutschland, let’s meet the motivating Mudders of Dallas, Dublin, Hamburg and Missouri.

Kelsey Kosik - Tough Mudder Dallas Finisher

By January 2015, I will have received no less than 54,000 injections for type 1 diabetes, my “invisible” disease. I've stabbed my finger to check my blood sugar close to 73,000 times. And I still smile-- my favorite thing to do. I completed TM Dallas wearing my insulin pump covered in a neoprene band to keep the tubes inside my arm and my blood sugar steady. Throughout October and November, I raised funds for Wounded Warrior Project with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. I want a cure type 1 diabetes more than anything, and we're getting close. I am tougher than type 1 diabetes, and Tough Mudder let me know that.

Roisin Oloughlin - Tough Mudder Dublin Finisher

At 18 stone (252 pounds), I was extremely obese. I wouldn’t run for a bus. I would lose weight then put it back on, lose it and put it back on again. I wanted so badly to be the girl jogging down the street like she owns the pavement. I started with an army training regime. I cried with the pain of moving my bulk around, feeling trapped in my own body.

I own myself and my body, and I’m no longer trapped in it.

Why was it so hard for me? But I wanted it so much, I persisted. Flash forward one year, and I’m a mini-marathon finisher. Flash forward another year, and I’m stumbling over the Dublin City Marathon finish line. Flash forward another year, and I’m dragging myself up a wall with the help of a random stranger. I am slipping through 23km of mud with another random stranger. I’m smiling and laughing, but it’s not just the pavement I own. I own myself and my body, and I’m no longer trapped in it.

Thomas Koch - Tough Mudder Hamburg Finisher

I am 54 and used to be great at sports. Over the last few years, however, I was always sitting down, so my weight and blood pressure started to creep up. Suddenly I was 107 kg (236 pounds) and had to take medication to protect my heart. Then I heard about Tough Mudder, and I knew that it was something I had to do, not only for me, but to prove to my son and stepson that I was not just an old grandpa, but a fit and strong dad who could take care of business. I lost 7 kg (15 pounds) while training for Tough Mudder, and we had an amazing time running together. We will definitely run again, and this time around, I'm planning to lose another 10 kg (22 pounds). This experience has changed my life, and I feel better than ever before. [German to English translation by David Gordon.]

Katherine Rutsch - Tough Mudder Missouri Finisher

I ran for my loving husband, Nick, who died three months after the birth of our second child, Ruby, in 2012. Like many of our military men and women, Nick suffered from mental illness. He was an avid runner, and while I never took up the sport while he was alive, after he passed, I was called to it.

Training and completing the event was a very healing experience.

I ran Tough Mudder in honor of my husband, and when I talk about his life and death I continue to raise awareness for mental illness and suicide prevention. Training and completing the event was a very healing experience. It allowed me to be surrounded by camaraderie and positive energy. As I ran through all that thick Missouri mud, Nick was right there with me telling me I could do it, and he’ll be there when I get my rematch with Funky Monkey next year. Tough Mudder gave me the opportunity to talk about Nick and his struggles openly and help stop the stigma that surrounds mental illness.

Having previously featured the inspiring Mudders of Michigan, Seattle, Capital Region, Süddeutschland, our month of inspiration continues Monday, as we highlight the motivating Mudders of Tri-State, London South, North Carolina and SoCal.

To share the story of your own Mudder journey, visit the official Mudders of 2014 page.