The second big race in the Tougher Mudder Championship Series (5 events throughout the year – Philly, Whistler, London, Chicago, Seattle) kicked off on Saturday, June 16th at Whistler Olympic Park. The weather matched the spectacular scenery that this venue delivers, crisp and cool as competitors launched from the start line with steep elevation gains that warmed up your screaming quads quickly.
To ensure a cleaner, and more competitive, race in 2018 the men’s only heat took off at 7:45am. “From the second they were released, these guys shot up the first climb like rockets,” said Johnny Little, TMHQ Race Director. “The terrain of the course was mixed with gravel trails to mud bogs to dirt tracks, so mindful footing was key.” It was no surprise that pro-team member and Canada’s own, Ryan Atkins was part of the 3-man breakaway after a few kilometers into the course. “These three—Ryan Atkins, Kristopher Swanson and Shaun Stephens-Whale—appeared to be attached at the hip throughout the majority of the course. Never more than a minute apart,” Little recalled. The three cleared through obstacles, brush, tremendous inclines and descents and finally detached from one another at the final climb. Throughout the event intense climbing obstacles, Cliffhanger and Devil’s Beard, challenged everyone who attempted it. Coming into Happy Ending, Ryan Atkins was just 25 seconds ahead of Kristopher Swanson. Rounding out the podium was Shaun Stephens-Whale. Less than a minute separated our Top 3 Males.
Ryan Atkins – 1:13:12
Kristopher Swanson – 1:13:37
Shaun Stephens-Whale – 1:14:09
Staring 15 minutes after the male heat took off, the female competitors followed suit, shooting up the first climb all together. A few familiar faces reached the apex first: Pro team members Lindsay Webster (Atkins) and Allison Tai. “They quickly broke away early from the main pack,” said Little. Both knowing that the higher prize purse (Championship Series) and country pride was on the line. Prizing for our Championship Series is as follows: $2500 for First Place, $1000 for Second Place and $500 for Third Place Male and Female winners. At the midway point of the race, the Canadian female duo expanded their lead and our 3rd female, Michelle Ford, was creating space between herself and the rest of the ladies out on course.Eventually, Lindsay pulled further away from Allison and took home the win, setting the scene for a family photo-op atop the podium with her husband, Ryan Atkins.
Lindsay Webster – 1:32:06
Allison Tai – 1:37:11
Michelle Ford – 1:49:42
Next Tougher Mudder Championship Series race: Tougher Mudder London North, 7/7.