The second of the six Toughest Mudder series went down outside of Atlanta, Georgia this past weekend at Bouckeart Farms. Instead of the high elevation gains and dropping temps of America’s Toughest Mudder West (Los Angeles), Mudders were given warm weather (high of 77°F and a low of 51°F) and rolling hills – but that didn’t mean the course was easy. The inclusion of several double obstacles–where participants went through the obstacle, took a U-turn, and did the obstacle a second time–resulted in a tough course, with Mud Mile 2.0 and Block Ness Monster particularly hard.
Three women and three men came out on top, with dynamic duo Ryan Atkins and Lindsay Webster taking the overall wins for 50 and 45 miles, respectively. Both Atkins and Webster took home $5,000 for their first-place finishes, with Atkins winning another $5,000 bonus for reaching the 50-mile mark. This is their second win in the Toughest Mudder series.
The terrain at Toughest Mudder South, while not as steep as Toughest Mudder West, included several technical sections, and several obstacles like Berlin Walls, Birth Canal, Reach Around and Kiss of Mud 2.0 that were twice as long in an effort to even out the Toughest Mudder playing field. The thick Georgia mud added to the difficulty of the course as expected with several competitors describing Mud Mile 2.0 as the crux of the course.
The first sprint lap rushed by quickly, with eventual top 5 men coming in within 33 secods of one another. Atkins completed the first lap in 47 minutes, 36 seconds. Ultimate women’s champion, Webster, completed her first lap in 50 minutes, 22 seconds with second-place Allison Tai in 49 minutes, 39 seconds. Third-place female Alex Roudayna completed the lap in a fast 47 minutes, 52 seconds.
In the women’s race, Webster and Stefanie Bishop kept a conservative pace early on in the race, while Tai and Roudayna raced ahead. Says Webster, “I tried to run a pace I knew I could maintain for the whole race. At first, it was really hard because I felt like I could run faster and wanted to hunt them down, but by the end it was all I could do to keep running that speed.” Webster ultimately caught and passed Tai and Roudayna, finishing a full loop ahead of Canada’s Tai and two loops ahead of Mexico’s Roudayna.
Tai had what she calls a “really fun but really hard race.” “The terrain was far more runnable than L.A., but the obstacles were far more draining,” she says. “I held the lead until 6:30 a.m. when Lindsay passed me. She was sweet to run with me for a couple of kilometers before she took off, strong all the way until the end.”
While Webster ultimately prevailed in the women’s race and placing 6th overall, Tai managed 40 miles while Roudayna got in 35 miles over 7 hours, 40 minutes. Expected podium placers Sara Knight ran 40 miles in 7 hours, 55 minutes, while World’s Toughest Mudder 2016 Champion, Bishop, stopped after 2 loops due to a lingering illness following an attempt to climb the 46 High Peaks of the Adirondacks earlier this year.
The humidity may have played a role in several top competitors complaining of stomach upset and digestive problems on course. Says Knight, who ultimately placed fourth female, “Stomach problems got the best of me and running (especially downhill) caused sharp stabs in my gut with every step. I stopped multiple times at the porta-pottys and every half a mile or so I vomited or gagged on nothing.”
In the men’s race, expected podium-placer, Trevor Cichoz, dropped to 8th place overall following digestive problems in lap 2. Cichoz did, however, move from 15th place to 8th place in the late stages of the race following a comeback from his stomach problems.
The men’s race was as tight as the women’s until the later stages of the race when Atkins moved ahead, ultimately finishing 50 miles in 8 hours, 16 minutes. Second-place Ryan Woods completed 45 miles of the Atlanta course in 7 hours, 43 minutes, with third-place, Luke Bosek, coming in roughly seven minutes behind. Says Atkins, “I think Tough Mudder did a great job slowing down the athletes, with doubling up most obstacles and a BRUTAL Mud Mile 2.0. The terrain we raced on was varied and hillier than people initially expected.”
Toughest Mudder South was the second event in the Toughest Mudder Series and already athletes are racking up high mileage totals for the Annual Mileage Awards. The male and female with the most annual miles for their top 3 performances will be awarded $10,000. As it currently stands, Ryan Atkins and Lindsay Webster lead the way for two solid performances at Toughest Mudder West and Toughest Mudder South.
Currently in the lead for Annual Mileage Totals
Men: Ryan Atkins–100 miles
Women: Lindsay Webster–85 miles
Next up: Europe’s Toughest Mudder in the United Kingdom
May 13th, 2017
Pre-Race Course and Athlete Preview Coming Soon
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