This is a photograph of the cliff hanger obsta...
This is a photograph of the cliff hanger obstacle at Tough Mudder Tri-State 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With names like the Warrior Dash, Tough Guy, Spartan Race, Muddy Race, Total Warrior and Tough Mudder, mud-run races and obstacle course events have become extremely popular among exercise enthusiasts. These races and events typically consist of an off-road running race that includes navigating a variety of challenging obstacles to complete the course.

Whilst these races and events are not new, there has been a recent explosion in the popularity, arguably due to fitness enthusiasts being offered a unique experience and a sense of toughness and accomplishment. For example, in 2009, the first Warrior Dash attracted just 2,000 participants; it now has 33 separate events worldwide with an estimated 650,000 participants. In a similar vein the Tough Mudder series of races has evolved from 14 events in 2011 to 36 in 2012, with an estimated 500,000 participants.

The contemporary popularity of mud runs and obstacle course races presents training providers with a unique business opportunity to design SGT programmes “that will not only help improve client fitness levels, but will [also] provide an experience that cannot be easily replicated”(McCall, 2012).


McCall, P. (2012) Train Your Clients to Get Down and Dirty. Available from World Wide Web: <> [Accessed: 10 November, 2012].


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