tough-guy-challenge

I found an amusing article for those who want more challenging physical experiences. It’s aimed at exercise junkies who really want to make it hard for themselves. Impossibly hard. Painful and life threatening, in fact. Which is what makes it so interesting. It summarizes 10 events that I will describe over a number of days. I have to leave in the article’s opening sell copy.

Is your daily routine at the gym boring you? Is your jogging route not giving you the same satisfaction it once did? And are you tired of athletic events that only last a couple of measly hours? Then it sounds like you need more pain and suffering in your life! Luckily, there are numerous sporting challenges that have been designed for the sole purpose of torturing their participants with insane demands. Taking part in any one of the following events should be enough to ensure that you never want to exercise again!

10. The Tough Guy

The founder claims that it is the safest most dangerous event in the world.

The Tough Guy is a 12km foot race, but don’t let the short distance fool you. The creator of the course, believing that nature can’t provide a racetrack that’s hardcore enough for him, has built a series of obstacles that combine aspects of American Gladiators with the Vietnam War. Competitors climb up log walls, shimmy up poles to slide across high ropes, run through fire pits, navigate through sewer pipes, wade across chest deep water and crawl under barbed wire while smoke bombs go off over their heads. Oh, and it takes place in the middle of January. Sounds fun, right?

The event, which is held on some crazy British guy’s private land, can attract up to 6000 people each year. Injuries are common, and two people have even been killed, which is why you have to sign a “death warrant” before taking part. All in all, it sounds like an amazing competition to sign your friend up for while you heckle him from the sidelines.

Here is ESPN’s segment on the 2007 race.

Here are more details. Tough Guy claims to be the world’s most demanding one-day survival ordeal.

First staged in 1986, the Tough Guy Challenge is held on a 600-acre (2.42 square km) farm in Perton, Staffordshire, near Wolverhampton, England, and is organised by Billy Wilson (using the pseudonym “Mr Mouse”). It has been widely described as “the toughest race in the world”, with up to one-third of the starters failing to finish in a typical year.

After 24 stagings of the winter event, Wilson still claimed nobody had ever finished all the course according to his extremely demanding rules. The race, and its summer equivalent, has suffered two fatalities during its history.

Taking place at the end of January, often in freezing winter conditions, the Tough Guy race is staged over a course of between seven and eight miles (about 12 kilometres). It consists of a cross-country run followed by an assault course. The organizers claim that running the course involves risking barbed wire, cuts, scrapes, burns, dehydration, hypothermia, acrophobia, claustrophobia, electric shocks, sprains, twists, joint dislocation and broken bones.

Although the course is adjusted each year, its features have included a 40-foot (12.2 meters) crawl through flooded underground tunnels, balancing planks across a fire pit, and a half-mile wade through chest-deep muddy water. Marshals dressed as commandos fire machine-gun blanks and let off thunder flashes and smoke bombs over the heads of competitors as they crawl under a 70-meter section of barbed wire. Until 2000, some runners took part in the event carrying heavy wooden crucifixes.

Entry fees range from £80 to £1,000, depending on the sign-up date. Entrants have to be 16 years old or older. The event regularly attracts fields of up to 6,000 competitors, many from the United States and more than 20 countries around the world.

Before taking part, entrants must sign a “death warrant”, which acknowledges the risks and dangers, and which the organizers claim absolves them of any legally liability in the case of injury. First aid is provided by St. John Ambulance.

In case you want to see more, here is a video that is a bit hard to understand, but the visuals and interviews of the participants are terrific.

Tough Guyâ„¢ Intro from Mr Mouse on Vimeo.