One tough mudder: Unique course challenges competitors

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Mud-caked competitors wallowed in the boggy water, keeping their bodies as submerged as possible.

Live electrical wires hung above them. On a rotating circuit, the wires could deliver a shock of 10,000 volts to an unlucky competitor who touched them.

The challenge was called the Electric Eel, and it was part of the fun of the Tough Mudder races.

“It gets your attention. It won’t knock you out, but you’ll notice that you got shocked,” said Joe Villanueva, a local Tough Mudder competitor.

Electric shocks, ice-filled abysses and barbed wire are just part of the game for participants in Tough Mudder. The competitions are conducted in wilderness areas throughout the U.S., where people run 11 miles while conquering walls, mud pits and other obstacles.

Villanueva, a Bargersville resident, completed his first Tough Mudder in September. He plans to organize teams to participate in at least two more events next summer.

“Adrenaline takes you a pretty long way,” he said. “It’s crazy, but I got it in my head that the only way they’re taking me off this course is in a body bag.”

Tough Mudder is a hard-core obstacle course series designed by the British Special Forces. The purpose was to test physical prowess, stamina and mental toughness, while forcing teams to work together so everyone finishes.

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