Photographing your Tough Mudder: Tips from the Pros

Tough Mudder is sort of like a fancy wedding: If you don’t get great photos, what was the point? Not to mention, whether from the booze or the electrical shocks, you’re likely to only remember half of it and describing how cool it was afterwards will bore the pants off of most people. In short – you’d better take the opportunity to take some photos and videos.

Whether you’re running the course or tagging along as a spectator, here’s everything you need to know to ensure that the suffering wasn’t in vain. After all, as a prophet once said: “Pics or it didn’t happen”. 

Come prepared:

In case the name didn’t give it away: the conditions at Tough Mudder can be rather rugged. From monsoons to muddy pits, we recommend planning ahead to make sure that your phone’s impeccably framed photo isn’t its last. Here’s what we’d suggest:

  • Get a waterproof pouch – Many phones are waterproof these days, but a little insurance never hurts. Inexpensive pouches made for snorkeling are a great option – and usually come with a handy tether.
  • Bring an action cam – Fancy yourself more of a Spielberg than an Ansel Adams? Capture video at Tough Mudder with one of these bulletproof cameras (such as a GoPro). Just remember to hold onto it when jumping into the water. 
  • Get a grip – All of the waterproofing in the world won’t save your gear if you drop it into the murky depths of a water pit. Tethers, straps, and zippered pockets are helpful ways to secure the goods.
  • Think ahead – Tough Mudder isn’t timed, so there’s no need to rush. When you get to a gnarly obstacle, consider tucking your precious electronics to the side. Go get your requisite suffering in, then come back for your gear before continuing on.
  • Bring a friend – Want the safest way to navigate the course with your camera? Hand it off to your teammates or spectator while you complete the obstacles. It’ll make for better photos anyway.

Nail it:

Selfies are fine for your night out at the bar, but the Tough Mudder experience is best when it’s captured in action. Save the posed smiles for a photobooth and enlist a spectator, teammate, or friendly Mudder to snap the genuine article.

And while we think TM makes for some pretty killer content from start to finish, keep your eyes out for special photo signage at the start line and certain obstacles. They’ll tell you a little bit more about how to catch the perfect shot at some of our more…memorable moments. Including:

  • The Start Line – Once upon a time, we called this the “Braveheart Charge”. Now we just call it the “Before” pic. Either way, your fresh first steps through the smoke are worth remembering.
  • Arctic Enema – We’ve found that there are woefully few opportunities for Jack Frost cosplay in daily life, so take advantage of the chance at Tough Mudder. When you emerge from the pit of ice, show us your best “O” face.
  • Cage Crawl – If a Mudder panics while pinned under a fence panel, but no one takes a picture, did they ever really panic?
  • Cry Baby – We generally advise against smoking, but generations of rebellious teens have proven that it does look cool. So save your health and your street cred by simply taking a good photo in our proprietary tear gas chamber.
  • Kiss of Mud – Keep those photos from your roll in the hay private; instead, get the perfect shot of your crawl in the mud. The barbed wire pinning you down adds a nice ambience.
  • Electroshock Therapy – Situated just before the finish line, this is the perfect opportunity for your battered “after” photo. Your inimitable face when the first 10,000 volt shock connects is just icing on the cake.

Win Friends & Influence People:

In a world full of staged pictures, Tough Mudder offers the rare opportunity to do something so intense that no touch-ups are required. In this case, truth really is stranger than fiction. So don’t waste away the experience by letting those photos rot in your photo reel – spread them far and wide.

Tag @toughmudder for a chance to be featured on our social channels. We’ll even hand out free prizes from time to time for content that really wows us, so don’t be shy about hitting us with your best shot: muddy, bloody, and having a ball.