Race Preview: Toughest Mudder Midwest

By Jade Belzberg | August 17, 2017

 

What: America’s Toughest Mudder Midwest
Where: Rockford International Airport
When: August 26-27, 2017
Predicted Weather: High of 82°F, low of 63° overnight; sunny
Total Gains: 176 ft. per loop
Athletes on Course: 900+
Live Overnight Coverage: Facebook and Instagram
For Live Race Standings: Click here.

The Course

America’s Toughest Mudder Midwest doesn’t have the elevation gain of Toughest Mudder Canada, but don’t expect this course to be easy. In fact, it might be the most challenging one you’ve faced. Whereas previous Toughest Mudders have been spaced out to allow you to catch your breath before heading back into another tough obstacle, Chicago is throwing all it has at you with a large number of obstacles (17, the most of all previous Toughest Mudder courses.) To make it worse, the course is set up in clusters: for example, you’ll be hitting Arctic Enema then immediately going into Funky Monkey: The Revolution. Try that for grip work (if you can stop shivering long enough to grab hold.) Where there aren’t hills, there is water. Look out for a middle-of-the-night crossing of the Kishwaukee (amicably known as “The Kish”) to keep things chilly and any optioned penalties to be particularly brutal. In other words, for those afraid of a bit of a shock at Operation, here’s your warning now: the penalty option is likely far worse than the obstacle itself. 

The Obstacles

-Tube Tied
-Skidmarked
-Mud Mile
-Kiss of Mud
-Blockness Monster
-Kishwaukee Krusade
-Augustus Gloop
-Black Hole
-Stage 5 Clinger
-Operation
-Arctic Enema
-Funky Monkey
-Hangtime
-T-Boned
-Everest 2.0
-Pyramid Scheme
-Kong

The Women’s Race

Lindsay Webster has taken first at each Toughest Mudder she’s raced— Canada, West, and South —making her the number one ranked female and 5th overall in the Toughest Mudder rankings with 120 logged miles. But, with Webster unconfirmed for Toughest Mudder Midwest in Chicago, it’s possible that 2nd place female and 6th overall Allison Tai outruns Webster in the Toughest Rankings. Tai currently sits at 110 miles, ahead of 3rd place Sara Knight who's finished 105 miles. It’s worth noting that Tai has placed 3rd at Canada, 1st at Northeast, 2nd at South, and 3rd at West, which means Tai could very well take Chicago for the win.

Expect Tai and Knight to battle it out in front, but don’t count out Morgan McKay, Adriane Alvord, and Kc Northup who have all placed within the top 10 in several races.

Of interest is Jesi Stracham, a paraplegic athlete who will be running Chicago in preparation for World’s Toughest Mudder. Erock, Tough Mudder emcee, and Jason Antin, World’s Toughest Mudder legionnaire and Merrell Ambassador, will be assisting Jesi during the night. Look for updates on Jesi throughout the race on Facebook live.

The Men’s Race

Reigning men’s champion, Ryan Atkins, currently sits at a stout 145 miles, ahead of all other contenders by at least 25 miles. Like Webster, Atkins placed first at Canada, West, and South and is likely to take the podium at this weekend’s Chicago, too. Look for a strong competitor in Mark Jones who placed 4th at Northeast and 5th at West. Other notable elites at Chicago include Mark James and Joel Forsyth.

Re-watch the Toughest Series on CBS Sports Network: 

America's Toughest Mudder Northeast: Philadelphia 
  • August 24th at 7:00 PM & 10:00 PM
  • August 27th at 1:00 AM & 10:00 AM
  • September 2nd at 2:00 AM
America's Toughest Mudder West: Los Angeles
  • August 27th at 2:00 AM 
  • September 2nd at 2:00 AM
America's Toughest Mudder South: Atlanta
  • September 2nd at 3:00 AM