In a break between weather systems 14,000 people swam through ice cold water, dodged electrified wires, carried logs, climbed over walls and climbed through culverts over a 16km course at Whistler Olympic Park Saturday, June 23.
After a storm Friday night, the first wave of some 600 competitors in the Tough Mudder (TM) burst from the start chute at 8 a.m. and every 15 minutes through the rest of the morning and the early part of the afternoon.
Competitors waiting for their start chanted the TM mantra that emphasizes teamwork over individual results and the challenge of the event while overcoming fears.
“I say tough, you say mudder,” the start line announcer called out with each new group of competitors entering the start chute after climbing a two-metre tall wooden wall.
“I help my fellow mudders complete the course,” he said after instructing the participants to chorus the phrase back.
Through the day the competitors covered the course under clouds and sunshine with temperatures around 17 Celsius.
Lindsay Durno, the Director at Whistler Olympic Park said near the end of the day as the final group of event participants scaled a wall at the biathlon stadium that he was very happy with how the day went. He said it was looking very likely that the event organizers will bring the Tough Mudder back again next year and then again in 2014.
Day one of the Tough Mudder weekend ended with an evening storm that included thunder and lighting. By morning and the start of the second day of the event the wet weather had passed for the smaller number of participants that signed up to do the event on Sunday.
Highway 99 was busy throughout the weekend and Tourism Whistler reported the hotels in the resort were fully booked. The Whistler Farmer’s Market was filled with shoppers wearing Tough Mudder shirts and the headbands given to all the people who completed the event.
Market Manager Chris Quinlan said he worked long hours at Black’s Pub, where he is the general manger, because the pub was busier than usual. He said his pub was filled with Tough Mudder participants.
“Tough Mudder took the tough out of June,” said Quinlan.
Twins Hailey and Ashley Melvin of Port Coquitlam said they came up for the weekend as part of an eight-member team made up of a group of co-workers with the City of Port Coquitlam.
“We thought it would be a bonding experience,” said Ashley.
Their teammate and co-worker Peter Burn said he loved it despite how tough it was.
Check back for more on the impacts of Tough Mudder.