Building The Tough Mudder Tribe

By Will Dean | September 12, 2017


It Takes A Tribe isn’t just a book about a business. It’s a book about a community that grew from the shared belief that working together is better than working alone, and that teamwork makes anything possible.

Our mission from day was clear: Grow Mudder Nation into a global tribe that lives courage, personal accomplishment, teamwork and fun. We used the words “nation” and “tribe” purposefully, because we had the idea that our obstacle event would be a means of creating lasting bonds between our Mudders, forged in the belief that they had been through something challenging, an adventure, a rite of passage, and survived to tell the tale. Tribes share a set of ideas about the world and a means of communicating them; the values cut across geography and gender, class and culture. We believed that the gritty nature of the challenge would emphasize those values we had identified. And that the tribe would gather around them to take on a life of its own.

Seven years later, our collective Mudder nation has surpassed all those original ambitions. In those years, more than 3 million people across five continents have signed up, run the twelve-mile course, and overcome the challenge. That these Mudders have become a movement and a tribe and not just an anonymous customer base can be demonstrated in many ways, but the measure I enjoy most is this one: thousands of those Mudders wear our tattooed logo; hundreds more have the entire Mudder pledge inked on their skin.

Beyond that, if I am proudest of anything about the last seven years, it is probably this: in a world where many of us spend most of our days staring at our computer screens, half-engaged, we have drawn people together in the real world, gotten them muddy, and given them a sense of shared achievement.

If nothing else, Tough Mudder is a better answer than most to that perennial Monday-morning question: “Did you do anything interesting at the weekend?” It has acted as a factory for storytelling. There have been many Tough Mudder love affairs and countless new friendships, several marriages, and a few Mudder babies. There have been stories of genuine hardship overcome, as well as innumerable tales of everyday courage and commitment and fun. These stories have been both our currency and our inspiration. This book, between its main chapters, highlights just a few of the stories that have meant the most to us and the lessons we have learned from them.To read these storie, order It Takes A Tribe: Building The Tough Mudder Movement written by Tough Mudder CEO and Founder Will Dean.