Tough Mudder | DrumhellerMail
Last updateWed, 29 Mar 2017 5pm

A stroll through the mud

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Many of Drumheller’s locals have participated in Tough Mudder. One of them being DVSS high school teacher Cindy Sereda. 

Sereda volunteered for Tough Mudder in its first appearance in Drumheller in 2014.

“Seeing the atmosphere and seeing everyone have so much fun made me kind of think, ‘I think I can do this,’ so I signed up for the next year,” says Sereda. 

Sereda, along with her husband, sister-in-law, and friend took on the challenge in one of the rainiest Tough Mudders to date. 

“It was pretty cold, the obstacles were pretty fun but the weather made it a lot more challenging. A little chilly for sure. The weather changed the atmosphere. When I volunteered the year before, it was sunny, dry and hot and the weather last year definitely made it harder.” 

In terms of training for the event, the group was more focused on having fun. 

“We didn’t do a lot of training. Maybe we should have done more. We kind of came to enjoy it and get through it. There was no need to beat anything. We did it to finish it.”

Among the many obstacles in Tough Mudder, each participant has their favorite, along with their most dreaded climb. 

“The hardest part for me was the weather. The mud and the hills  made it fairly challenging with all the rain. The electric shock was an interesting one. I definitely got hit a couple of times on the way back. The ones that go through the mud pit and bring you back to your childhood when you would play in the mud were my favorite,” explains Sereda. 

The group left with some pretty memorable stories while taking on the mud. 

“My sister-in-law was a trooper and completed the race in bare feet because her shoes got so heavy with the mud. So that was a pretty weird thing to happen.”

Drumheller Tough Mudder offers a great view of landscape and scenery to participants making their way down the course. 

“I think the whole course and scenery is amazing. I got to get a new view of Drumheller and the badlands that I would have never gotten to see any other way. It was definitely worth it. It’s a challenge of the terrain and the bentonite clay and how slippery it was. It was completely different and I don’t think many participants expected it.”

Lacher loves mud

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 As Tough Mudder draws closer, many past participants are reminiscing about their time spent mucking around in the mud.

Local Brad Lacher, who is the son of Linda and Tony Lacher, participated in the 2014 Tough Mudder in Drumheller. 

Lacher decided to do the run in the mud in a group for his sister’s wedding party. 

“I don’t know why my sister picked Tough Mudder. It was its first year in Drumheller, and my wife and brother really wanted to do it. We are from here and they thought it was a good idea. So we did it as a wedding party, with 6 in total,” explains Lacher. 

Lacher is now a police officer in Edmonton. He made the trip down to Drumheller again for the event. The group did a slight amount of training.

“We did some running but that was it. I am in okay shape from work so I didn’t do much. I didn’t run any half marathons for it or anything. We were more set on completing it rather than time limits.”

In Lacher’s opinion, the race is better with a group of people. 

“There is a lot of teamwork. We ended up helping guys that were doing the challenge by themselves. There are some obstacles where you can’t do it by yourself. Even when you come up to an obstacle, people are already there and willing to help you out. Some participants stay and wait to help people. The more people, the better. It is more fun. You can do it individually because people will help you but it is more fun in a group.”

The biggest part of Tough Mudder is the obstacles. The race would not be the same without them. 

“The half pipe obstacle was one of the most challenging ones. The most shocking one was the arctic enema one. You have to jump into a pool of ice water. I had been in cold water before but it was such a shock to just jump into it,” says Lacher. 

Among the many great qualities of Drumheller, the landscape, played a huge part of Tough Mudder.

“There are the hoodoos, the bentonite and the hills. The hills themselves are an obstacle. The hills aren’t that steep but they kept hosing it down and the bentonite turned right into dinosaur snot. You couldn’t even get up the hill. You were slipping down the whole thing. BC is scenic and all, but Drumheller is as unique as it is scenic and when you are running it, there is no other terrain like that in Alberta,” says Lacher. 

When inSide Drumheller asked Lacher if there was one thing that stuck out in his mind the most about participating in Tough Mudder, he simply responded with, “the snacks along the way were pretty great.” 

Do you even mud, bro?

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There are Tough Mudder participants, and then there are Tough Mudder fanatics. 

Ryan Hatch is a teacher at Drumheller Valley Seconadary School, a father, and loves to participate in Tough Mudder.

Hatch has run the Tough Mudder in Drumheller since the beginning in 2014. He is now set to run a third time with his group named ‘Do You Even Mud, Bro?’

“I am just excited to do it again. I have been doing lots of running and weight lifting to prepare. I am ready to get back out there.” 

There isn’t much that Hatch doesn’t love about Tough Mudder. 

“The gas chamber is neat because you are in a foggy area and climbing through mud. The first year, I enjoyed the warped wall you have to run up. I love jumping off the plank into the water. My least favourite is getting electrocuted. I mean, I don’t mind it because it is at the end and it isn’t that big of a deal. It was over quickly. It never really bothered me,” says Hatch.

This year, Hatch is leaving everything to chance. In previous years, he researched to see what the courses would look like. 

“This year I am just going to run it and deal with whatever comes up.” 

Hatch has run Tough Mudder every year with a group, and he recommends that it is better that way. 

“That is  a cool part of it too, you can’t do some of the obstacles on your own, so you need someone helping you out. Last year, there was one, we had to climb this mud hill, and it is made of bentonite so you are slipping all over the place, and people were creating human ladders to climb up to get over. It is really neat.” 

Last year’s cold weather affected the atmosphere of Tough Mudder, but Hatch is hopeful that the date change of the event will bring sunshine. 

“It should be nice and warm. Even if it’s raining and warm, it would be better than last year because it was so cold. It was one of the coldest days of the year, I think. I didn’t complain that much because I was having a blast. I have fun with anything I do. I am just excited to do it again,” says Hatch.