Medical experts are alarmed at the injuries arising from the growing popularity of Tough Mudder races. Over three years, the event has expanded to 35 locations and 750,000 participants worldwide, which means an untold number of serious injuries.
These endurance races are known to be particularly grueling. Participants must complete a 10- to 12-mile course that consists of up to 30 military-style obstacles. The Electric Eel is one common obstacle that forces people to slide on their bellies through frigid water with live wires just above their heads, threatening to inflict what The Tough Mudder organization describes as a “brain reboot,” or 10,000 volts of electricity, if someone doesn’t remain close to the ground.
Last April, the race experienced its first death when a 28-year-old participant drowned while attempting Walk the Plank at the Mid-Atlantic Tough Mudder. The obstacle required racers to jump down 15 feet into a 12-foot-deep pool of cold, muddy water.
In a recent study, doctors from Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network in Allentown, Pennsylvania, reported the diverse cases that a single Pennsylvania hospital saw after a two-day long Tough Mudder event last June.
In their study, lead author, Marna Rayl Greenberg, and colleagues, reported that the burden on emergency medical personnel during this event was unexpected, as more than 100 advanced life support responses were activated.
- Injuries From Tough Mudder: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? A Lot (eurasiareview.com)
- Study Reports on Growing Injuries in Sport Dubbed the ‘Toughest Event on the Planet’ (medindia.net)