The Tough Mudder Interview
Pittsburgh’s leg of the Tough Mudder is slated to occur August 24th and 25th in a small Ohio town an hour west of the city. This is the first time the mudder has produced an event in the Pittsburgh region, and expects about 13,000 participants over the course of the weekend. They’re currently seeking event volunteers, which can be a great way to get acclimated with the Tough Mudder aside from participating. If you’re on the fence but still want a taste of the action, consider volunteering. Check out the list of volunteer perks at the end of our interview with one of this year’s “Ambassadors of Tough”, Nicholas Ceraso. It’s time to get tough.
Kymbo Slice: How did this event come about and why was the Wounded Warrior Project selected as a beneficiary? What is the relationship there?
Nicholas Ceraso: Tough Mudder was started in 2010 by Will Dean and Guy Livingstone. Will came up with the idea while at Harvard Business School. He entered his plan for Tough Mudder into the Business Plan Competition, but his professors told him it wouldn’t work because Tough Mudder is not a race; it’s a challenge. Tough Mudder has been working with Wounded Warrior Project since its first year, and in that time, Tough Mudder participants have raised over $5.8 million for WWP.
KS: What types of responsibilities do volunteers have during the event?
NC: Volunteers are responsible for many things, including manning obstacles, keeping the ice baths freezing cold, pumping up participants, and handing out the coveted orange headbands at the finish line.
KS: What can participants expect besides the obvious physical challenge the event poses?
NC: Participants can expect “Probably the Toughest Event on the Planet.” They can expect obstacles that will challenge them physically and mentally, and they can expect to finish with a sense of accomplishment and a big smile on their faces. Keep in mind that, on average, only 78 percent of people who start a Tough Mudder event actually finish.
KS: What can one expect as a spectator of this event?
NC: Spectators can expect a front-row seat to all the action. They’ll get to cheer on Mudders as they jump into dumpsters filled with ice, scale 12-foot-tall walls, and run through fields of dangling live wires.
KS: Have you participated in a Tough Mudder before?
NC: I have not. While I have been a fan of the event as a spectator, I have grown closer to the Mudder through my time on board and am looking forward to taking part! Learning more about the Mudder and being a part of it has absolutely gotten me excited to take on the course!
KS: Have the tattoos caught on? Do many participants actually end up getting them on race day?
NC: Yes, over a thousand people have had the Tough Mudder logo permanently tattooed on their bodies.
If you want to get muddy, cold, and tatted, or watch 13,000 people from the region do so, consider making the journey to this year’s Tough Mudder as either a participant, volunteer or spectator. Click here to discover all the perks you’ll receive as a volunteer. Registration for participants and spectators is still open, so visit their website for more information.