One Man's Journey to World's Toughest Mudder 2015

By Melissa Freeswick | October 16, 2015


Mudders are inspired to embark on their journey for a slew of reasons – to simply bond with friends, fundraise for a cause, or overcome personal challenges. For John Glines, an auctioneer in California, it was an opportunity to dig deep and find out just how far he could push past his preconceived boundaries of mental toughness.

How did you get into mud runs? 

About 2 years ago I was just starting into a divorce and not doing much for physical activity.  I was 46 years old, 5’11", and about 225 pounds with aches and pains in a number of places.  My 15 year old daughter saw an ad for a “Fun Mud Run” in the area and decided to give it a shot. We made it through that run without much effort, or pain, and after that were both hooked. We signed up to do another local run a few months later. We had intended to run the 3 mile option, as the 10 mile seemed way too long for us, but before we knew it, she and I had both completed 10 miles. That run made me wonder where my limits really were. 

What brought you to signing up for the World’s Toughest Mudder race?

I’d heard about Tough Mudder and before researching much I signed up for the Portland, Oregon event, and convinced my brother, Patrick, to do it with me.  The sport quickly became a family event for us.  He and I completed that course (with GoPro’s to prove it) and stood at the finish line asking when the next one was.  We ran in SoCal earlier this year and read about World's Toughest Mudder there, after that I went home and immediately registered.

Is Patrick running World’s Toughest with you?

It's just me running this year. I tried to recruit others but mostly got that whole, “You’re crazy” thing. He is flying from New York to pit for me though. Best of all, November 14 is his birthday so we’ll be spending it in the desert together.

Who else is in your pit crew?

My other pit member is my 16-year-old daughter. She told me when I signed up that she was pitting and there was no way I could change that. To have a teen aged daughter that wants to spend that kind of time with her dad means the world to me.


How are you training for the most intense 24 hours of your life?

I work with a trainer a couple days a week in addition to my own gym workouts and am down to 200 pounds with much more muscle. I'm also working on grip strength like crazy. The November 1st Tough Mudder in So Cal is going to be my final event going into WTM. 

What are you personal WTM goals?

The most important to me is being on the course every hour of the 24 hours.  I’d love to do 50 miles, but would be thrilled with 30.  Everyone talks about being pushed to the limit and I want to know for sure where mine are [both] mentally and physically.

How has joining Mudder Nation changed your life?

It has shown me that I can do more than I thought I could. I was feeling old and broken, but completing a Mudder course is so satisfying. It pushes me to do more and try harder. It has made me ask myself where my limits are. That's why I signed up for WTM right after doing the SoCal event last year. I want to know where the breaking point is.I want to be an example for my daughter, to show her that it doesn't matter how old or fit you are, [that] with effort and perseverance you can do most anything. I want to show her the difference between strong and tough. It’s good to be tough. 

Another cool side effect: My daughter brings it up when a boy is getting friendly.  She talks about Electroshock Therapy, Arctic Enemas, and 24 hours of WTM craziness then adds that her dad is really protective of her.  So far, it’s worked perfectly. 

Any 2016 events on the calendar yet?

My daughter turns 16 in February and she hasn’t [been able to] run a Tough Mudder with me yet.  We are planning to do the 2016 SoCal course together with Patrick in honor of our mother who we lost to cancer several years ago.

I want to get the 10x head band, and do some with Taylor. I have a commitment from Patrick that he will run WTM with me in 2016, so that will be a big goal. He and I refer to our style as #runlikeadiesel [because] we are bigger and slower, but steady and always moving forward. We’re built for power, not speed!

Do you have an inspiring Mudder story? Share it with us at [email protected]