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"Tough Guy" guys in the mud

Tough Guy claims to be the world's most demanding one day survival ordeal.

The original, held in Perton near Wolverhampton, is organised in England by Mr Mouse, who claims nobody has ever finished all the course according to his extremely demanding rules.

Taking place at the end of January in Perton near Wolverhampton, Tough Guy Race consists of a cross country run followed by an assault course. Running the course involves risking barbed wire, cuts, scrapes, burns, dehydration, hypothermia, acrophobia, claustrophobia, electric shocks, sprains, twists, joint dislocation and broken bones. Before running the course one must sign a "death warrant" which states that one acknowledge the risks and dangers the course brings along, and that one can not claim in the case of injury. Due to the risks first aid is provided by St. John Ambulance.

Nettle Warrior which came later in 1998, is the summer version of "Tough Guy", and is run towards the end of July. Though the course is essentially the same as Tough Guy, there are notable differences. Nettle Warrior involves two laps of the killing fields, a log carry and some rafting as part of "The Lake" obstacle.

The Tough Guy event has raised money for the Horse Sanctuary at "Mr Mouse Farm for Unfortunates" since 1986.

The winner of Tough Guy 2009 was Cambridge University's James M. Appleton. Appleton went on to claim number one finishing time in Nettle Warrior 2009.


The Course


Tough Guy / Nettle Warrior

The race consists of a cross country run, followed by an obstacle course, also referred to as the "Killing Fields".

Obstacle Description Killing Field
Country Miles A 6 mile cross country run.
Slalom An up and down slalom, consisting of running up a hill and back down.
Ghurkha Grand National A series of fences, ditches and jumps with cargo nets to scramble under.
The Tiger (followed by Sting in the Tail) A 40ft A-frame, crossing through hanging electrified cables and another 40ft A-frame. K1
Scaffold Bridge This is traditionally the location of a water break. K2
Colditz Walls Three progressively higher walls - 2, 3 & 4m high. K3
Behemoth Four tall platforms with ropes stretching between them. K4
Battle of the Somme K5
Fiery Holes A series Muddy water ditches, followed by burning bales of hay. K6
Tyre Crawl Tunnels created from tyres. K7
Swamp Knee deep mud crossing with a vacuum that will suck in the strongest of men. K8
Vietcong Tunnels Underground tunnels created from concrete pipes. K9
Sky Walk & Paradise Climb A cargo net which leads out to ropes draped across a pond. K10
Splosh Pool A recreation of walking the plank. K11
Underwater Tunnel 3 poles to duck under, leading up to the underwater tunnel. K12
Brandenburger Gate 40ft Vertical wall climb. K13
Deux Chevaux Island K14
Death Plunge Planks of wood extending out over a lake. K15
Jesus Bridge A bridge of barrels and planks of wood. K16
Dans Deceiver A vertical cargo net, followed by a declined cargo net. K17
Dragon Pools Series of ropes stretched across the pool. K18
Somme Surprise Barrel rafts tied together to form a bridge. K19
Stalag Escape 20ft crawl through mud, under barbed wire. K20
Tyre Torture A path of randomly laid tyres to stumble across. K21
Pedestrian Bridge K22
The Anaconda A series of large concrete pipes. K23
Viagra Falls A steep muddy hill K25

Last Man Standing

There is a smaller course for participants of that day's event. It consists of;

  • 15 metre underwater swim
  • Scottish Thistle Hill roll
  • Lassoed Legs Lake Lope
  • Highwire Brandenburg Bootlace Struggle
  • Highwire TG bootlace Blaney Kiss
  • Bite electric wire

Sources and references

  • episode of Beste Belg ('Best Belgian') program on VTM (Flemish commercial TV), 2005, entering presenter Staf Coppens's brother Matthias


External links


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