County residents prep for Tough Mudder event in Truckee  | TheUnion.com
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County residents prep for Tough Mudder event in Truckee 

Photo for The Union by Walter Ford

The Tough Mudder is a hardcore 12-mile course riddled with military grade obstacles designed by British Special Forces to test all-around strength, stamina, mental grit and camaraderie.

Come Saturday, 64 ambitious athletes from Nevada County are taking that very challenge at Northstar in Truckee.

Fifty-five locals will be competing on the South Yuba Club team, and nine will be making the trek from Joey Bratton’s Fit Culture Studio.



“The way it started was we had a few people do a smaller version called the Warrior Dash,” South Yuba Club lead trainer Kevin Bennett said. “When we came back we were all jazzed … and it just snowballed from there. It started off with 20 and the next thing you know it was like 55 people, and we were like, ‘We need to get some training going.’”

To prepare for the Northstar course, which is littered with 28 intense, body-shocking obstacles, SYC member Bob Thurman, along with other participants, built a 12-stage obstacle course on his property in Nevada City where competitors can train.




“People chipped in to make it happen,” Thurman said. “We looked around, and it was like I got an arena, maybe we should crawl through some sand. I got a pasture. I probably can make some pretty good mud. I’ll turn on the sprinklers. I got a pond, and trees for monkey bars. We had Scott’s (Muir) cargo nets so we can put those up somewhere, and so things just got scattered every where and all of a sudden we had a course.”

The Tough Mudder has been a carrot that has motivated many of the upcoming participants to take a whole new approach to fitness, said Bennett.

“It’s the camaraderie in the Clubhouse and people pushing each other and having confidence to do it,” Bennett said. “All the people that have changed their bodies and minds about fitness, it’s pretty cool.”

For Thurman the Tough Mudder has been the prize he’s been seeking from his workouts.

“Some people don’t always have goals associated with workouts, and I’m one of them,” he said. “And this gives people something to reach for, and people really started to respond to that.”

The team from South Yuba Club has been training as often as it can for the past few months, said Thurman. The SYC team will dispatch into several smaller teams with some going full speed ahead and others taking it a bit slower, but the team emphasized that no one will cross the finish line alone.

The team from the Fit Culture Studio will be going at a “low-key” pace, said Bratton.

The Tough Mudder is a worldwide event hosted in six different countries and boasts 35 events in 2012.

One of the main draws of the Tough Mudder is that much of the money raised goes to support the Wounded Warrior Project, which provides combat stress recovery programs, adaptive sports programs, benefits counseling and employment services to soldiers wounded in battle. As of press time, $3,582,495 had been raised through the Tough Mudder events.

For information on the Tough Mudder, its upcoming events and the wide range of obstacles, visit toughmudder.com.

To contact Sports Writer Walter Ford, call (530) 477-4232 or email him at wford@theunion.com


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