Local woman preps for World’s Toughest Mudder competition
Through the mud and the muck for 24-hours straight. Shocked, soaked and forced to face her fears over and over Renate Kaufmann completed 12 laps at the 2013 World’s Toughest Mudder competition in New Jersey. After more than 260 obstacles completed and 60 miles covered she had finished one of the most grueling and competitive events of the year.
“I remember the last three laps was like ‘The Walking Dead,’ Kaufmann recalled. “Everyone was like zombies out there.”
Kaufmann was just getting started. After a year of training and a few adjustments to her event approach Kaufmann is back for more muddy madness, and will compete in the 2014 Toughest Mudder competition Nov. 15-16 in Las Vegas.
“I want to do a little bit better,” she said. “I want to change some stuff from last year.”
Kaufmann, a veteran of 11 Tough Mudders and nine Spartan Races, said she has changed her eating habits and work out routine and hopes the new approach will yield a better result.
“I have more energy,” she said. “I’ve started to eat clean because I worked out before but I didn’t really eat good so. That was a really big thing I had to change. Working out and eating crap really doesn’t do anything.”
The 29-year-old from Switzerland also enlisted Ryan Milton to help her with workouts and said the results have been evident.
“Ryan Milton really helps me to get prepared,” she said. “Every day I get so much stronger through his workouts.”
Last year’s Toughest Mudder winner was Ryan Atkins from Canada and he completed 20 laps (100 miles, 440 obstacles). Deanna Blegg was the women’s winner, completing 17 laps. Kauffman was the seventh female finisher.
This year’s event format is similar to last year’s with a 5-mile course littered with 20-plus obstacles designed to test the physical and mental will of the participants.
“You just try and do as many laps as you can in 24-hours,” she said. “After a while it’s just your mind. You have to listen to your mind because your body, everything just starts to shut down, everything starts to hurt, you’re getting sick, but if you have it in your mind you just keep going.”
One big concern for Kaufmann is the course.
“It is really difficult,” she said. “Very rocky and more dangerous than the one in New Jersey. It’s a trail with sand and hills. The course is going to be really, really hard.”
Along that dangerous and rocky trail are obstacles that test the mind and body. The obstacles are Kaufmann’s favorite part, aside from one — Walk the Plank.
“One for sure I don’t like is ‘Walk the Plank,’” she said. “That’s the worst obstacle. Some people like it because you just jump but for me it’s like hell. I’m afraid of heights.”
Making Kaufmann’s quest even more impressive is just five years ago she had no inclination to work out or push herself in any physical fashion.
“Like five years ago I didn’t do anything,” Kaufmann admitted. “Every small distance I took my car, but now my friends back in Switzerland can’t believe what I do, because I used to be so lazy before and didn’t do anything.”
Kaufmann credits her transformation into one of the toughest mudders around to the support she gets from her friends at the South Yuba Club, Ryan Milton and her love of pushing herself to the limit at these events.
“My friends are really supportive,” she said. “But a lot of people think I am crazy.”
Kaufmann is partially sponsored by TheEventHelper.com but also has a gofundme account at http://www.gofundme.com/fegyfc.
The Tough Mudder has offered more than 100 events all over the world since 2010, and raised $6.5 million for the Wounded Warrior Project. Traditional Tough Mudder events are on a 10-12 mile course with 20-plus obstacles. Competitors just run it once. The Toughest Mudder event is once a year and reserved for those that excel at the traditional event.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email email@example.com.
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