OBSTACLE RACING: Kaufmann places 7th at World’s Toughest Mudder | TheUnion.com

OBSTACLE RACING: Kaufmann places 7th at World’s Toughest Mudder

For the fourth straight year, local athlete Renate Kaufmann pushed her mental and physical abilities to the limit in the unforgiving Las Vegas desert.

After 70 miles, 24 hours and a barrage of obstacles she had completed her challenge, placing seventh among all women at the 2016 World’s Toughest Mudder competition.

When Kaufmann finished the 24-hour long extreme challenge, riddled with various obstacles designed to test the mind and body, she said she was overcome with emotion.

“When you see all the people cheering, you’re just in tears. It’s so emotional,” she said. “When you finish everyone hugs you and cries with you and it’s the most amazing feeling.”

Kaufmann not only overcame the brutal challenge for a fourth straight year, she also overcame some of her own personal fears.

“This year I did overcome my fear and I did the Cliff Jump,” Kaufmann said of the obstacle she had avoided in the past and simply took a penalty on. “I was so close to just taking the penalty, but I said ‘no, I have to do it.’”

The Cliff Jump is just what is sounds like. Each competitor leaps off a cliff and lands 35-feet below in a body of water.

Kaufmann, who has competed in hundreds of obstacle challenges and is now a four-time World’s Toughest Mudder finisher, added the obstacles at this year’s events were very taxing on her upper body.

“This year I felt the obstacles were so much harder, they were like American Ninja Warriors obstacles,” she said. “It was a lot of upper body.”

As Kaufmann, who is from Switzerland, came down the final stretch of the race she was handed the swiss flag to carry across the finish line.

“I love America. But, I’m from Switzerland, so it felt good to finish with the flag from my home country,” she said.

Kaufmann is not a regular at these types of events and has started to gain notoriety for her abilities on the course.

“So many people come up to me and tell me I am an inspiration to them and that feels really good,” she said.

For placing seventh in the womens race, Kaufmann received a season pass to all regular Tough Mudder competitions in 2017 as well as an invitation to next year’s World’s Toughest Mudder event.

Other local athletes that competed at the World’s Toughest Mudder were Tex Ritter and Penny Ross.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email wford@theunion.com.

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