What: America’s Toughest Mudder South (Event 2 of 6 leading to WTM)
Where: Bouckeart Farms, Fairburn, Georgia
When: April 30 (12 a.m. to 8a.m.)
Predicted Weather: 83/58 Scattered Thunderstorms and Showers
Format: 2 Unique Courses, 8 Hours – As Many Laps as Possible
Predicted Numbers: 500 Athletes
Live Overnight Coverage: Facebook and Instagram 4.29 11pm – 4.30 9am EST
For Live Race Standings: Click Here
Held at Bouckeart Farms, 40 minutes from Atlanta, Georgia, and voted best course in North America by mudrunguide.com, boasts some of the best views (which include rolling, green hills, forested trails, and picturesque ponds) and mud east of the Mississippi. The red clay is so thick and so deep that volunteers reportedly had to assist participants out of the mud in 2016.
Among top competitors to watch face off this weekend throughout 8 hours of gnarly, in-the-dark obstacles are: Ryan Atkins and Trevor Cichosz for the male category and Stefanie Bishop and Sara Knight for women.
Top 10 Toughest Mudder Athletes
Men’s Athlete Preview
Ryan Atkins is slated to be running Toughest Mudder South, the second of the Toughest Mudder event series leading to World’s Toughest Mudder. Atkins took home the win at last month’s America’s Toughest Mudder West, finishing in first place with 50 miles and the according $5,000 50-mile bonus prize.
Trevor Cichosz, who won World’s Toughest Mudder 2016 with a winning 105 miles (that’s 21 laps) on a brutal course, has been nursing an injury but is back and ready to compete, starting at America’sToughest Mudder South. Cichosz expects this course to be less competitive than America’s Toughest Mudder West with favorites Austin Azar, Kris Mendoza, and Chad Trammell sitting this race out, but doesn’t have high expectations for himself going into the race. “I have not run at all in the last four weeks and have been mountain climbing and cycling to train,” he said in a pre-race interview. “I am just coming off injury and do not want to go out super hard in re-injure myself.” Mileage-wise, Cichosz hopes to get in a minimum of 40 miles, but his past-performances show that he’s more than capable of that.
Matthew Hanson, a five-time WTM Competitor with a two-time top 5 finish (4th place in 2014 and 5th place in 2016) most recently completed 95 miles at last year’s WTM. Don’t count him out to go for a podium spot.
Women’s Athlete Preview
Stefanie Bishop had an impressive performance at World’s Toughest Mudder 2016, her first ever showing at WTM. Completing a staggering 85 miles, leaving the second and third-place women far behind, Bishop will likely be a force to be reckoned with at Toughest Mudder South and every every thereafter. That said, her recent attempt to climb the 46 High Peaks in the Adirondacks in March would have made her the first woman to do so. Unfortunately, bad weather derailed her efforts and she was forced to stop, having covered 27 Peaks over some 240 miles. “I resumed normal training about two and a half weeks ago,” says Bishop, “so I honestly have no clue where I’ll be at. My goal is to see where I need to turn my focus to for the next few months. It will be a good baseline race for me.” Even so, it’s safe to say her level of mental grit surpasses that of most. Expect to see Bishop in the lead on Sunday.
Look for Sara Knight, who placed a strong second behind Lindsay Webster at Toughest Mudder West, to be a strong contender for the win, too. Knight hopes to get in at least 40 miles, with a stretch goal of 50 miles–depending on the expected mud at the event. “I heard there’s a lot of mud,” says Knight. “I’m pretty sure the main difference between Toughest Mudder West and Toughest Mudder South is the elevation gain; it’s going to be an even faster race and we will see even more miles being accomplished.”
Allison Tai, who most recently placed 3rd at Toughest Mudder West, and Alex Roudayna de la Huerta Susila of Mexico, who placed 5th, are possible contenders for the win, as well. While Tai has numerous strong performances behind her name, Susila is a relatively new contender but has already made strides in the sport.
Toughest Mudder South will have participants running two loops of the expansive course. Don’t let the map fool you. The equestrian area is much larger than it looks with hills and trails to match. The course is broken into two loops: One will run from 12-3:45, while the second will run from 4-8a.m.
LOOP 1: MIDNIGHT – 4:00 AM
Follows a 5-mile route through forested trails and equestrian fields.This course will feature trail running in heavily forested areas to create an eerie feel–who knows what lurks in the shadows! Expect to run 585 feet of elevation gain during this course, with obstacles that include:
- Berlin Walls
- Pyramid Scheme
- Devil’s Beard
- Hold Your Wood
- Block Ness
- Kiss of Mud 2.0
- Everest 2.0
- Mystery obstacle alterations
LOOP 2: 4:00 AM – 8:00 AM
No less forgiving, the second 5 mile loop of the 8 hour race will feature more obstacles and more water–right in time for that 4 a.m. low. The highest point on the course, situated just after Ladder Hell, will offer terrific views of the entire course, and the sunrise. Loop 2 offers just slightly more elevation gain than 1: 615 feet of thigh busting fury. Expect to see these obstacles on the second loop:
- Balls to the Wall
- Augustus Gloop
- Stage 5 Clinger
- Arctic Enema
- Hold Your Wood Dos
- Funky Monkey
- Ladder to Hell
- Black Hole
- Mystery obstacle alterations