A wide shot of the Andes Mountains with a snow covered Mt. Ausangate in the center. The 2020 team of eleven are hiking in the foreground on a beautiful day.

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The Great Northeast Tuff Mudder!
22 Aug
By 2020
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By Randy Pierce

I’ve undoubtedly earned the reputation that’s at the source of this week’s post and yet I still find amusement in the three typical reactions to my August 23 undertaking:

  1. “Of course you would do a Tuff Mudder.”
  2. “Are you crazy?”
  3. “What in the world is a Tuff Mudder?”

The last is the easiest to answer: initially it was a 10-12 mile, intensely difficult obstacle course designed to test the metal of British Special Forces. As the competitive challenge was brought a bit more mainstream, it has been adapted as a fundraiser for projects such as the Wounded Warrior Program. The team approach eases the challenge somewhat, but for many it is the ultimate test of determination, perseverance, and perhaps sanity!

The Tuff Mudder youtube video will show you better than I could ever reasonably describe.

Greg, Randy, Peter, & Christine check out an obstacle

Greg, Randy, Peter, & Christine check out an obstacle

In my own defense, of sanity, I was entreated to undertake this by a couple of good friends who thought our teamwork to achieve this together would set the bar as high as any of my undertakings. I thought it was an ideal way to wreak havoc with my Marathon training. Of course I said yes, but only after being shown that at least one other blind person undertook, survived, and blogged about his experience.

Surprisingly, that made it easier to say yes because I knew I wasn’t doing it to achieve a first, but rather to support the goals of friends and attempt to take teamwork yet again to a very high level. For me that experience and demonstration is worth the challenge, struggles, and risks I’ll experience in the event.

As I write this blog, I have not yet undertaken the event but by the time of publishing it will have occurred. Whether I succeed, fail, or walk some form of middle ground to the above, I am confident we’ll have come together and given our very best attempt to do each challenge fully. Our team will come together in some incredible ways with me providing as much to the team as I’m certain to get from it. I hope to have more words for it when it’s complete but I reserve the below space for a few picture highlights of our team at work.

Up and over an obstacleRandy mugs for the camera with Greg on top of an obstacle



Randy works on monkey bars


I want to give special thanks (blame?) to the two people most responsible for getting me into this muddy mess: thank you Laura Mountain and Greg Naeult. In the follow up I have no doubt a full team of thanks will be owed as Pete, Christine, Tom 1, Tom 2, and a few others are sure to be essential to the rewards within our reach!

2 responses to “The Great Northeast Tuff Mudder!”

  1. Randy says:

    Greg, out Captain, Christine, Pete, Tom 1, Tom 2, Al and Billy were my immediate day of event team! The number of encouraging words from fellow mudders and spectators was also fantastic. A little over 10 miles of generally muddy and/or otherwise ‘interesting’ terrain led to an incredibly rewarding experience. I was successful in every single obstacle with our entire team having the team together mantra necessary for such best success. Hearing a team member accomplish the “Walk the Plank” plunge which had previously held him off or watching a team member unable to jump initially but making a return trip in a show of fierce determination was absolutely a highlight of the day. Listening to a crowd pause and cheer for my run at the quarter pipe of “”Everest” while Al, Tom and Greg were there to clasp my hands and haul me into success on my first attempt…just many wonderful moments. Greg virtually vaulting over the Berlin wall or Tom 2’s surprise solo leap onto Everest…. whether running together, crawling together the key was there was a lot of together. Feeling the shocks make your legs buckle and having the team grab you in support even getting shocks through you. It’s intense what a set of challenges can do for any of us as we build those bonds with the folks with wwhom we share experience. Thanks to the “For the Love of Mud” team and all the other people who encouraged us! Is there a Tuff Dark Chocolate or Tuff Hot Fudge Sundae event somewhere?

  2. Teresa says:

    If you ever find the Tuff Hot Fudge Sundae event, let us know. That might get Himself and me to take part. Or Tuff Red Wine. Wait, I think I’ve done that one… 🙂

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