Canada’s Toughest Mudder

By Jade Belzberg | June 15, 2017

 

What: Toughest Mudder Whistler
When: June 17-18, 2017
Predicted Weather:  High of 62°F, low of 42°F with showers
Format: 5-mile loop with 17 obstacles
Total Elevation Gain Per Lap: It’s a surprise
Runners on Course: 292
Live Overnight Coverage: Facebook and Instagram
For Live Race Standings:  click here

Plan for Toughest Mudder Whistler to live up to its name. For one, it’s located at Whistler Olympic Park, home to the 2010 Winter Olympics. Featuring double-diamond-steep and root-strewn trails, cold alpine air, and plenty of thick mud, Toughest Mudder Whistler will be no joke. Black bears native to the area will provide plenty of excitement, (though all participants are asked to leave food off the course to prevent bear/human run-ins) and cold temperatures will challenge even the  Look for this to be the Toughest Mudder yet.

The Course

Canada’s Toughest Mudder will feature technical trail running, notable elevation gain and loss, and a challenging line-up of obstacles. Look for the course to change at 4 a.m. as the famous Olympic Whistler Park ski jump opens up. Participants will be required to run up the jump at the start of each lap.

Obstacles

  • Balls to the Wall
  • Funky Monkey The Revolution
  • Hangtime
  • Augustus Gloop
  • Black Hole
  • Stage 5 Clinger
  • Mud Mile 2.0
  • Arctic Enema: The Rebirth
  • Operation
  • Skidmarked
  • Pyramid Scheme
  • Shawshanked
  • Lumberjacked
  • Everest 2.0
  • Kiss of Mud 2.0
  • The Blockness Monster
  • Kong

Women’s Preview

The women’s race includes one half of the Webster-Atkins power couple, Lindsay Webster, who finished first at Toughest Mudder West and Toughest Mudder South. While Webster wasn’t present for Europe’s Toughest Mudder or Toughest Mudder Northeast, it might mean she’s actually better primed to take the win at this weekend’s race.

Stefanie Bishopcould be a likely contender for the win depending on her goals for the race. While she ran Toughest Mudder Northeast, a late winter injury has left Bishop with the desire to run, but not yet race, Toughest Mudder Whistler. “I’m going out there to push a little harder than I did in Philly and race my own race,” she says. “6 laps would be great, 7 may be a stretch given the terrain, but as long as I’m having fun, it will be successful.” As many competitors have noted, dressing appropriately for the forecasted low temperatures will make or break both the enjoyment, and ability to complete, the course.

Allison Tai and Kayla Kobelin, previously expected to compete, will not be attending this weekend’s event.

Men’s Preview 

The men’s race is shaping up to be the most competitive in the Road to World’s Toughest Mudder series. With current leader Ryan Atkins–winner of Toughest Mudder West and Toughest Mudder South–slated to compete, along with Austin Azar, Trevor Cichosz, Kris Mendoza, Chad Trammell, and Wesley Kerr, Toughest Mudder Whistler is guaranteed to be a challenge.

Ryan Atkins was notably out of Toughest Mudder Philadelphia following an injury, but it’s unlikely that he’ll be any less primed to win. Though he’s only admitted to going in without any expectations, the steep, rough course and cold weather is well suited to Atkin’s strengths.

Both Chad Trammell and Trevor Cichosz have the potential to outrun Atkins here, with Trammell placing second at Toughest Mudder West and Europe’s Toughest Mudder and Cichosz taking the win at Toughest Mudder Northeast following a return from injury earlier this year. Says Cichosz, “Whistler is going to be a big question mark for me.” While he’s familiar with the terrain, having run the venue twice before, the technical trails could pose a challenge. “I’m always hoping to improve on my last performance but I don’t think I’ll be setting record mileage at the Whistler venue.” Having made the elite contender status for World’s Toughest Mudder in November, the added pressure of a mileage goal should keep Cichosz calm and controlled during the race.

Austin Azar has had a solid reason this spring with a fourth place at Toughest Mudder West and a third place at Toughest Mudder Philadelphia, finishing 40 miles only 20 minutes behind of race-winner Cichosz. While Azar is currently dealing with some hip issues, if he recovers before the race, he’s aiming for at least 45 miles. “The distance was obtainable for me at the first two Toughest events, but I didn’t have very good days,” says Azar. “I expect [Toughest Mudder Whistler] to be hilly and very cold...maybe even some snow?”

Kris Mendoza has been absent from the Toughest Mudder podium this spring, but is well prepared for Toughest Mudder Whistler. Aiming for 40 miles with a reach for 45 miles, Mendoza, like most of the competitors going into this race, has reservations about the cold temperatures forecasted for Saturday night and early Sunday morning. “The cold will make it very difficult to complete grip strength obstacles,” says Mendoza. “Maintaining body temperature will be much more difficult and I plan to see people wearing much thicker layers compared to other races as well.”

While Wesley Kerr doesn’t have the podium results from the Toughest Mudder series so far, he does have the drive for endurance. “I've heard that the course will be like [Toughest Mudder West] with more obstacles and less hills,” says Kerr. “It's being billed the hardest Toughest. If you look at past performance, I shine when the suck gets turned to 11, so I'm happy about that.” Kerr is aiming for 45 miles, but ultimately feels, but the great decider will be the course itself. Look for this one to be tough.