Competitors run their way through a course that includes obstacles with names as daunting as Arctic Enema and Electroshock Therapy. New obstacles are added each year to test just how tough racers are, and teamwork is not only encouraged, but completely necessary to complete the course.

Obstacles

The Arctic Enema puts the ice bath recovery method to the test, with competitors jumping into an ice-cold skip to swim to the other side. Swim through ice, under a plank and pull yourself up to continue on your journey. Physical strength is tested at Everest, a quarter-pipe obstacle which teams must climb over to continue the race. Coated in mud and grease, the pipe is difficult to get a hold of but worth it for the views on top.

Electroshock Therapy has participants running through a field riddled with live wires, complete with hay bales and sinkholes for additional obstacles. Teamwork is put to the test at the Berlin Wall, which consists of three-metre high wooden sections placed strategically around the course when you are the most exhausted. Fellow Mudders help each other out to get over these walls, and according to the Tough Mudder website, 80 per cent of competitors need a helping hand to get over this obstacle.

Not all participants complete every obstacle on the Tough Mudder course. In fact, less than half successfully complete the Funky Monkey challenge, which is made up of greased bars on a steep incline and decline with a pit of muddy water underneath. The Hanging Tough rings are only completed by 30 per cent of participants, which is the lowest completion rate. The hanging rings are spaced between 1.2 and 1.8 metres apart, suspended over muddy water.

Australian Tough Mudder Events

Australia has plenty of upcoming Tough Mudder events, and Melbourne's will take place on March 21 and 22, 2015. The event will be held at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, which is just short of two hours away from Melbourne, and the 2015 event is set to challenge racers to a new course route and fresh obstacles.

Included in your entry fee is an official Tough Mudder t-shirt, headband and a beer at the end of the race, and there are early bird discounts along with different prices of late entries. Assemble a team beforehand or turn up on the day and find others to run with - teamwork is all part of the event, and there will often be someone around the obstacles willing to help you out. If you'd rather watch the action take place than get muddy yourself, spectator passes are available.

Bear in mind Tough Mudder is considered to be a personal challenge rather than a race, and the goal is to simply complete the course. Times are not recorded, adding to the friendly atmosphere on the day.

Tough Mudder is sure to challenge you physically and mentally!

Photo and banner image courtesy of The 621st Contingency Response Wing via Flickr Creative Commons