Race Recap: Toughest Mudder East

By TMHQ | June 27, 2018

 

The latest stop of America’s Toughest Mudder race series landed at 508 International just outside of Charlton, MA, at the Tough Mudder Boston event. The brand-new course proved a beast for all 660 participants who started the race, but resulted in an extremely competitive event, with several lead changes on the final laps between Toughest Mudder rookies and veterans alike. Plus, the top spots on the podium were up for grabs, since Tougher Mudder Whistler winners Ryan Atkins and Lindsay Webster opted to sit out the 8-hour race this time around. 

Toughest Mudder Boston Podium

In the women's division, Tough Mudder Pro Team member Allison Tai came out of the starting gate very strong, gaining the lead over Sprint Lap winner Alex Roudayna 2 hours into the race.  Multiple attacks by Anne Champagne were unable to overcome Tai’s incredible pace—she finished with 40 miles and 11th place overall. On the wen’s side, Miles Bartlett’s Sprint Lap win in 37 minutes looked to pose a strong challenge to Toughest Mudder veterans Shaun Stephens-Whale and Mark Jones. The dropping temps and light drizzle were no match for them, as Stephens-Whale jumped out to a 2-minute lead over Jones by Mile 15. As Stephens-Whale methodically increased his lead over the next 30 miles, the race for 2nd was extremely close with multiple lead changes by rookies Tyler Mccreddie, Mark Jones, and Ja Shua Ried. Check out the course map, venue overview and the play-by-play recaps below for a closer look at the fight for the rest of the podium spots.

Course Review

Toughest Mudder East Course Map

The Toughest Mudder East course featured 18 obstacles throughout a 5-mile circuit course. The overnight race format started at the stroke of midnight, pushing participants to complete as many laps of the course as possible in 8 hours and 30 minutes. Freshly cut trails through the dense and dark woods dominated the landscape, giving the trail runners an early advantage on the Sprint Lap—a full hour of limited obstacle openings, providing athletes a taste of what’s to come for the next 7 hours. The early sections of course were characterized by Tough Mudder classics of Kiss of Mud 2.0, Arctic Enema, and Berlin Walls. By 2am, signature obstacles like Rope-a-Dope, Kong, and Spunky Monkey were opened, quickly taxing participants of all upper-body strength. Rounding out the end of the 5-mile circuit was The Stacks—a unique Vault feature reminiscent of Tri-State’s Massive Turd. An overnight upgrade to Happy Ending included water jets spraying down as participants climbed up the front face before sliding down into the finish line.

Men’s Recap:

Toughest Mudder Boston Men's top 3 finishers

After passing Sprint Lap winner Miles Bartlett on the 2nd lap, Shaun Stephens-Whale (2nd place @ America’s Toughest South) continued to widen his lead on the rest of the male chase team comprised of Mark Jones, Tyler Mccreddie, and Ja Shua Ried. With a full 5-mile lap lead, 6 hours into the race it was a race against himself and the clock to achieve the coveted 50-mile patch before 8:30am. The fight for 2nd place was far from over. Mccreddie’s 2nd place lead over Jones was reduced to just 3 minutes by Mile 25, followed closely behind by Ried. As the sun rose and time wound down, both Jones and Ried crossed the start line one minute before it closed for good at 7:45am. Mccreddie’s fatigued legs prevented him from pursuing a final lap, completing his 40 miles at 7:41 am, and securing 4th place. After nearly 8 hours of racing, it all came down to the final 5 miles. Jones’ 7-minute lead at the start of Mile 40 proved to not be enough as Ried passed Jones in the final mile approaching The Stacks. Crossing at 8:28am, Ried secured 2nd place and a $2,000 prize. Jones’ 8:35am finish of Lap 9 fell beyond the time cutoff, leaving him with 40 official miles.

Top 5 — Men:

1. Shaun Stephens-Whale

2. Ja Shua Ried

3. Mark Jones

4. Tyler Mccredie

5. Jason Harley

 

Women’s Recap:

Toughest Mudder Boston Women's top 3 finishers

In the women’s field, Alex Roudayna’s Sprint Lap win just ahead of Allison Tai presented a great matchup between two ultra-distance Tough Mudder veterans. The constant drizzle and dropping overnight temperatures overtook Roudayna yet again, allowing Tai to extend her lead on Tougher Mudder 2017 Champion Anne Champagne by Mile 15. A familiar name on the Tough Mudder circuit, Deanna Brasz sat in 3rd place just minutes ahead of Kelly Sullivan and Kera Pezzuti by mile 25. By Mile 30, a very tired and cold Brasz pushed on for a 7th lap ahead of the 8:30am cutoff time, in a final attempt to secure 5th place. In a desperate attempt to catch Tai on Lap 8, Champagne pitted for just 60 seconds, sprinting back out on course, just 10 minutes behind Tai. However, it wasn't enough to push Tai off the 1st place podium. Tai completed her 40 miles in just over 8 hours. Champagne’s 8:17 finish for 40 miles secured her $2,000 prize and 2nd place. In similar fashion to the men’s heat, the 3rd place spot was up for grabs between Sullivan and Pezzuti on the last lap. Sullivan had a 2-minute lead over Pezzuti leaving the quick pit on Lap 7, as Pezzuti arrived into the pit for a final pep talk and refuel by her pit crew. In a dramatic finish, Sullivan staved off Pezzuti’s last attempt, crossing the finish line for a 7th time at 8:04am for 3rd place.  Pezzuti’s 8:14am finish was good for 4th place and 35 miles.

Top 5 — Women:

1. Allison Tai

2. Anne Champagne

3. Kelly Sullivan

4. Kera Pezzuti

5. Deanna Brasz