Global Mudder Exclusive: TMHQ Q&A with Tough Mudder’s International Course Builders

Published on August 12, 2014 by Matt Alesevich

With Global Mudder just days away, hundreds of our course builders are working around the clock (and the globe) to bring you the muddiest weekend in mud run history. This coming weekend, August 16 and 17, 60,000 Mudders will cover damn near one million miles of mud-caked terrain in five events spread across four countries and 19 time zones.

Needless to say, our mad-minded course designers and builders in Australia, the UK and North America have their hands full this week. Literally. However, three TMHQ course guys, one in each region, offered to take a break from getting their hands dirty to field a few questions about their plot of Mudder Nation real estate.

What are the keys to building a challenging, kickass course in your country?

Jeremy in Australia: The key challenge for building a course in Australia is that all states are very different in terms of climate, terrain, soil types and mud. The great thing about that is that all of our courses in Australia are all very different. We encourage all Mudders to try a different course in a different state each year. It is an exciting and rewarding challenge to keep our courses fresh, making the most of the natural terrain of each location.

Nate in the UK: Making good use of terrain. Each venue has its own personality and natural features. The best courses are the ones that utilize what the venue has to offer. Obstacle selection and making sure you have a balanced set of obstacles that provide a range of different movements and experiences is key. Additionally, good obstacle spacing is important. We try to spread everything out as evenly as possible to minimize running in between obstacles.

Brady in North America: We have held events in 30 different states at over 50 venues in the US alone. These have been hosted at an array of venues ranging from speedways to ski resorts; rock quarries to golf courses. With so many venues, climates and regions, building North American courses keep us on our toes. The key is to use the terrain and venue to uphold the idea that no two Tough Mudders are the same.

What is something about your country that makes courses in your home nation unique?

Jeremy in Australia: Kangaroos, koalas, crocodiles, snakes and spiders. Kidding. Kinda. The good news for Mudders participating Down Under is that we have our Course Manager, Stormy, run the course before any participants go out on it, making sure we have cleared the course of any hazards Mother Nature might throw at us.

Nate in the UK: Many of our UK venues are stately homes with pristine gardens and farmlands surrounding them. When combined with muddy forest trails, the UK events offer picturesque and diverse terrain that might surprise you against the backdrop of such a messy experience. Our Yorkshire event is quite an experience because it has a section that runs through the Moors, one of England’s most famous and beautiful national parks.

Brady in North America: Since we have so many events in North America, we have several teams across the country putting on events.  With six different course designers in North America, you will come to find that they all design courses a little bit differently.  Each event still puts you through the same tests, but the way they are laid out varies a great deal.  With events on almost every weekend of the year from the spring until the fall, you haven't had the full Tough Mudder North America experience until you’ve had a chance to run a course designed by every one of our designers.  

What advice do you have for some internationals that might considering doing a course in your country?

Jeremy in Australia: Make a trip out of it. While you're here, experience our beautiful country from Sydney Harbour to the Outback of Western Australia.

Nate in UK: Bring some sturdy footwear, it can be exceptionally muddy out there.

Brady in North America: Get a Tough Mudder Season Pass and do a Tour de Mudder in North America. Pick a month of the year with events on every weekend and run them all (both days).