You have to be one tough mudder to compete in the Tough Mudder event that has been catching on like wild fire across the globe. And that is exactly what a local fitness group out of Trail’s Pride Gym have become since tackling the grueling course in Whistler last weekend.
About six months ago, Pride Gym trainer Corey Colwell challenged a dozen individuals to commit to training and losing weight. As a reward they would all participate in the first Tough Mudder event in Canada.
“It was the second largest in the event’s history,” said Colwell. “14,000 people on the Saturday alone – it was a life altering experience.”
Originated by a Harvard business student to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project, Tough Mudder participants tackle a unique 19-kilometre obstacle course originally designed by British Special Forces to test strength, stamina, mental grit and sportsmanship.
Swimming through ice-water, running through snow, crawling in mud under barbed wire, climbing walls and monkey bars, and traversing intractable terrain are just some of the pleasant challenges on the way.
“It wasn’t really something I was going to tackle myself, so I conned all these people who I knew were struggling with their weight or whatever, so I said, ‘Lets set this goal, let’s do this event.’”
The team of nine that traveled to Whistler consisted of Kari-Lee Campbell, Amber Kosiancic, Tom Hummer, Julie Crispin, Chris Reid, Donal Park, Niki Lord and Corey and Angela Colwell.
The biggest difference between the event and most extreme contests is that it is not a race. The organizers don’t even keep time.
More than anything it’s about teamwork and supporting everyone around you not just your own teammates, said Colwell.
“The really amazing thing about the whole event other than the journey . . . is that there is no religion, no racial, or socio-economic status, there’s none of that, you just have a bunch of people helping each other over walls and pulling each other out of the mud.”
Since beginning training Colwell’s Mudders have lost close to 600 pounds, and by tackling the challenge have gained confidence and much deserved pride from the experience.
“This was a totally different vibe . . . the most rewarding thing is that some of these people struggle with self-esteem issues, but I don’t think they ever will now, there is no way,” said Colwell.
“I mean you finish that and you think, ‘What can be harder ever again, I mean I just moved a mountain?’”
A rigorous training regimen prepared the team, that finished the race intact, uninjured and supremely satisfied with their accomplishment.
Colwell looks to enter another team next year and is looking for more Tough Mudder candidates.
““I hope to bring the biggest team I can next year, make it the best ever,” said Colwell.
Call Pride Gym at 364-3031 to enlist for next year’s challenge.