Competitive Series Update: The Holy Grail

By TMHQ | March 7, 2017


Dear Mudder Nation,

We had a lot of great feedback following the last blog post detailing the Toughest Mudder format updates and wanted to use this forum to address TMHQ’s most exciting new announcement: the Competitive Series. We know that there’s been speculation on TMHQ’s expanding set of competitive events following the initial launch of Tougher Mudder at a few of our events early in the season and the launch of Toughest Mudder for 2017. We’re very excited to now announce that Tougher Mudder will be making its way to all Tough Mudder events in 2017, joining Toughest Mudder and World’s Toughest Mudder in our competitive event portfolio, and wanted to take this opportunity to provide some more details on why we’re launching the Competitive Series, how it’s going to work, and why you should be excited.

For those that are worried about change, rest assured: the things that you love about Tough Mudder, its courses, and its community will not be changed ; in fact, the expansion of a separate Competitive Series is intended to provide a brand new set of unique challenges to our most diehard Mudders, while preserving our classic Tough Mudder events as the untimed challenges that you’ve grown to love over the past 7 years. Read on for all of the juicy details.


What is the Competitive Series?

The Competitive Series is the official name for the 3 competitive formats that Tough Mudder is offering for the first time in 2017 – with each format offering progressively challenging features, longer timeframes, and higher difficulty. The official progression will be:

Tougher Mudder + Toughest Mudder + World’s Toughest Mudder = The Holy Grail...

Tougher Mudder: The first step in the Competitive Series, Tougher Mudder is designed to both introduce new athletes to the way that Tough Mudder does competition and to give existing diehards more opportunities during the year to push themselves to their limit.

  • 10-12 miles, 3-5 unique course challenges or obstacle variations

  • Early, exclusive course access in the first start wave of the day

  • Mandatory obstacle completion (athletes unable to complete an obstacle after multiple attempts, they may opt to finish the course and will receive their Tougher finisher tee, but will be ineligible for prize money)

  • Unique finisher tee & headband

  • Prize money for top 3 Male/Female

Toughest Mudder: The middle tier in the Competitive Series, Toughest Mudder is designed to bridge the gap between a Tough Mudder and World’s Toughest Mudder. Many athletes have trouble conceptualizing what running for 24 straight hours is like and are deterred from giving it a shot. With Toughest, we hope to grow and strengthen the incredible community that already surrounds World’s Toughest Mudder , by giving an 8-hour taste of what’s ahead – while also giving the existing WTM community the opportunity to dust off their wetsuits more than once a year.

    • 8 hours, two 5-mile course loops, unique course features

    • Combination of must-complete and penalty loop obstacles (like WTM)

    • Unique finisher tee, bib, and headband & Prize money for top 5 Male/Female + 50-mile bonus prize

    • Qualification for Contender (25+ miles) and Elite Contender (Top 5) categories at WTM

World’s Toughest Mudder: There’s not much that needs to be said for World’s Toughest Mudder – it’s the biggest show around. WTM serves as an epic gathering of the Tough Mudder community, an end-of-year celebration, and – most of all – the toughest competition on the planet. Those who have run it already understand; in 2017, we hope to introduce even more athletes to the craziest weekend they’ll ever have.

    • 24 hours, One 5-mile course loop 6-8 unique features and 6-8 obstacle modifications

    • Combination of must-complete and penalty loop obstacles

    • Unique finisher tee, bib, headband, & Prize money for top 5 Male/Female, and Top Teams +  New bonus prizes (see below)

You mentioned a Holy Grail?

With the expansion of the Competitive Series to three unique event types, we’ve created a new challenge to target and reward the die hard community for pushing themselves to the absolute limit over the course of an entire season. The Holy Grail is the official term for completing one of each event type – Tougher, Toughest, and World’s Toughest – in a single season. Athletes will be officially awarded an official  “Holy Grail” (yes, we’re talking about an actual grail, as in a chalice or “very important cup thingy”), and we’ll also be giving out a pretty sweet official “Holy Grail” finisher tee for completing all three within season. Performance and completion will be tracked through the year, and will award Holy Grail finishers at the Awards Brunch at World’s Toughest Mudder ‘17. Stay tuned for more info.

Why is TMHQ creating competitive events?

Since launching the original Tough Mudder event in 2010, Tough Mudder has been synonymous with untimed, teamwork-oriented challenges. So why are we introducing two new competitive formats at Tough Mudder event sites? There are three main reasons for the additions – and most of them originate with the things we’ve learned at World’s Toughest Mudder over the past 5 years.

  1. The Community: The Tough Mudder community is capable of maintaining its core values of teamwork and camaraderie, even in a competitive setting. We design many of our obstacles to necessitate this, but it’s the strength of our community that reinforces it. Our goal is to continue to grow the global tribe of Tough, Tougher, and Toughest Mudders through innovation and updated challenges.

  2. New Format Options: Different people require different challenges. For some, just finishing a Tough Mudder Half is an important step in their journey. For others, 24 hours of abuse at World’s Toughest is where they find their limit. At TMHQ, we’re striving to create an ecosystem that can meet our Mudders at each stage of their fitness journey.

  3. New & Enhanced Challenges: Mudders are capable of incredible things and will always rise to the challenge. Over the years at World’s Toughest , we’ve seen how the community has continually crushed barriers, pushing to hit the 50, 75, and 100 mile challenges that we’ve put out there. With the Competitive Series, we’re aiming to create a progressive set of challenges that will provide Mudders the opportunity to push themselves in different ways throughout the year – while having a heck of a lot of fun

Is there anything else cool and unique about the Competitive Series?

We’re excited to announce that for the first time, Tough Mudder will be implementing a system for annual mileage tracking for all Toughest and World’s Toughest Participants. What does this mean?

  • Following each Toughest event and World’s Toughest, your total miles completed will be added to your profile

  • On an annual basis, participants can track their mileage and see how they rank against others in the community

  • A $10,000 cash prize will be awarded to the participant that completes the most cumulative miles at their best 3 Toughest Mudder events – to be awarded at the WTM Carb Load Dinner

Where can I compete in 2017?

  • Tougher Mudder

    • Offered on Saturday at all Tough Mudder events in 2017. Find an event here

    • Already purchased a ticket? No problem – you can register for Tougher Mudder as either a standalone ticket or as an add-on to your existing Tough Mudder participant ticket.

  • Toughest Mudder: (6) events in 2017

    • America’s Toughest - West – March 25th, Los Angeles | America’s Toughest - South – April 29th, Atlanta | Europe’s Toughest Mudder – May 13th, Midlands UK | America’s Toughest - Northeast – May 20th, Philly | Canada’s Toughest – June 17th, Whistler | America’s Toughest - Midwest – August 26th, Chicago

  • World’s Toughest Mudder: As always – there can only be one World’s Toughest Mudder

    • November 11th-12th

    • Lake Las Vegas, NV

Additional Updates to 2017:

  • What the heck does “RTM” mean, it was mentioned in the last post?
    • In the last post, we saw a lot of chatter around the use of “RTM” in the post. This simply is the internal TMHQ code for the “Toughest Mudder” series since TM refers to “Tough Mudder”, thought we ought to clear that up

  • Timing
    • Participants at each Tougher, Toughest, and World’s Toughest event will be chip timed to ensure accurate timing and competitive fairness. Timing chips will be provided during check-in for each event

    • Participants at normal Tough Mudder and Tough Mudder Half events will not be chip timed

  • World’s Toughest Mudder
    • **More details on World’s Toughest Mudder Team prizing and categories in the next blog post***

    • Lots of big changes happening here, new team formats, new prizes and awards, new challenges to Las Vegas 2017. Get Excited.

  • Series Prizing: Please Note:
    • Performance Bonuses only available at the Individual level for World’s Toughest Mudder 2017

      • *[NEW] $50,000 Performance Bonus now available in both the Male and Female categories at WTM (see mileage targets below)