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 Great Northeast, Colorado, North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany), and Alberta, let’s meet the motivating Mudders of Wisconsin, UK-North West, Perth and Utah.
Nick Clinebell - Tough Mudder Wisconsin Finisher
I was in seventh grade the day I realized I was extremely overweight. I got a physical and weighed in at 230 pounds. Fast forward to the spring of 2014. I’m a 33-year-old guy who has never ran more than three or four miles. However, I always wanted to be able to say, “I did a Tough Mudder.” I wasn’t getting any younger, so against a great internal struggle, I signed up. When I started working out, I couldn’t even do a pullup, but I wouldn’t give up. I trained before work and ran on my lunch break. I was eventually running up to 25 miles per week. I was so nervous at the start gate, but after half a mile, I loved every minute of it. The camaraderie of the event will always stick with me. I hope to celebrate my 35th birthday doing World’s Toughest Mudder.
Gemma Antell - Tough Mudder UK-North West Finisher
At Tough Mudder North West, I couldn’t let anyone down, as I was running for Life After Loss, a wonderful charity that supports families after they lose a baby. Most importantly, I was running in memory of the baby I lost ten years ago, Gabriel. I had already completed one impossible task, the London Marathon, in memory of my baby and to raise vital funds for Life After Loss, and if I had to hop around the course on one leg, I would do so to finish Tough Mudder. However, at mile five, my knees started to go, and I began to feel like an utter failure in the pit of my stomach.
When I saw the finish line that I was in a state of complete euphoria.
I thought of the possibility of letting the charity, my family, my team and my baby down. I told my team they might have to carry on without me, but they refused. We approached a Red Cross station, and I got my knee bandaged. Moral picked up. I could barely handle it when a kind stranger reached out an arm to pull me out of a mud pit. I was so emotional when I saw the finish line that I was in a state of complete euphoria. The atmosphere on the course is unlike anything I have ever seen, and I’ll be back next year to raise money for families and their losses once again.
Karen King - Tough Mudder Perth Finisher
After moving from New Zealand to Australia in 2009, I decided to sign up to my local health club. I had become grossly overweight, and I wanted to lose some weight and gain some friends. I struggled to get to the gym due to mental struggles and insecurities. In February 2013, I accepted a 12-week challenge the gym was running. I did lose weight, but I wasn’t in the right frame of mind. My trainer pushed me, and in August 2013, I signed up for another 12-week challenge. I did this again in February and August of 2014. At one point I got so excited because I looked in the mirror, and all of the sudden, I could see the change.
I hope my story can inspire just one person to get out there and give it a go.
I was like a kid in a lolly shop. Overall, I lost 45kg (99 pounds). I started to go to boot camps and met up with some other people. We all clicked, and someone suggested we sign up for Tough Mudder as a group. I had no idea what it was, but I signed up anyway. Can you imagine the horror when I started looking at the website? Somehow, I finished the event. I overcame my fear of the Leap of Faith obstacle. It took me 10 minutes to get the courage to do it, but I did it. I had people coming up to me saying I was an inspiration to them. As a mother, grandmother and great grandmother, I hope my story can inspire just one person to get out there and give it a go.
Katrina Coles - Tough Mudder Utah Finisher
I have an autoimmune disease called psoriasis. It affects you inside and out. It is triggered by stress, anxiety and coldness. One effect of psoriasis is chronic fatigue. I have to nap after every workout. It is stressful and exhausting to leave the house, so I tend to stay home a lot. Attempting something like Tough Mudder was beyond me--or so I thought. I joined the gym to get healthy, and after a few months, one of the instructors invited us all to join her Tough Mudder Utah team. I resisted at first, but I finally took the plunge. We trained for four months doing cardio and heavy lifting; going to playgrounds and bridge jumping. I met many new people and had the best time of my life. My fatigue did affect me, and I stressed the entire time, but with the encouragement of my team of 13 and others on the course, I completed my first Tough Mudder. It was hard, I cried and I was completely exhausted, but I overcame.
Having previously featured the inspiring Mudders of Great Northeast, Colorado, North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany), and Alberta, our month of inspiration continues tomorrow, as we highlight the motivating Mudders of Michigan, Seattle, Capital Region and Süddeutschland, Germany.
To share the story of your own Mudder journey, visit the official Mudders of 2014 page.