The Sunday Read: Olympians. They ain’t no Tough Mudders

I’m pretty certain the Tough Mudder series is going to eclipse the Olympics. After all, no one’s ever heard of the latter and, besides, Olympians don’t get zapped with electricity or anything like that. Wimps. Read on.

Obstacle racer Hobie Call – a marathoner with a 2:16 PB to his name – says he will break two hours. What makes him so sure? Because he believes he can.  You have to wonder if the 35-year-old Utah runner isn’t on to something. After all, in books like Run author Matt Fitzgerald – building on Tim Noake’s governor theory – postulates we can push ourselves beyond what we perceive to be our physical limitations. In an interview with Runner’s World, Call says he’s not special. Mind you, his training is a little unorthodox and includes running a mile in 4:34 with a 40-pound vest on.  Read the interview here: http://bit.ly/RRRb6q

Speaking of Hobie Call, some readers may want to know how he conquers the obstacle courses: what gear he uses, how he fuels and so on. Readers of this blog know I’m no fan of Spartan Races, the Tough Mudder and so on, but if you must know, here’s the skinny. Along with Call, Margaret Schlachter- a Vermont competitor with top finishes in obstacle course races – offered Outside advice on what to eat, wear and so on. Fueling up includes a custom protein drink with wheat grass, honey and two raw eggs – mmm -mmm good. And race day prep? Says Schlachter: “Be prepared for whatever comes your way, be it mud, water, fire, electricity, or a gladiator.” O-kay. Read the story here: http://bit.ly/O06hCY

Well! Those Warrior Race and Tough Mudder types are, well, tough. Hardcore, even.  Yup. They pretty much make you forget that a little event called the Summer Olympics – Tough Mudders could eat up every athlete competing, but for the fact they’re too busy crawling through mud and absorbing 10,000 volts of naked electricity – is set to take place and one of the most amazing and controversial stories is some guy named Oscar Pistorius. Ah, but he’s not so tough. Nah. He’d suck in a Tough Mudder race. Good thing he’s sticking to the easy stuff: running 400-metres on artificial limbs. You can read all about namby-pamby Pistorius here: http://bit.ly/Oj3ub9

Oh yeah, and here’s another one of those wimpy Olympians: Shalane Flanagan, an American marathon contender who, according to Kara Goucher: “will sacrifice her body for as long as she possibly can.” Pfft. Tough Mudder competitors will melt themselves in flames and break their necks attempting to win races. Let’s see Flanagan do that! No way, I’m thinking. Nope. Flanagan tells Outside in order to beat someone that she is “willing to go to a place where it hurts a lot more.” Well, that’s not like racing negotiating an underground mud tunnel. If you must read about Flanagan, who merely runs, the link is here: http://bit.ly/Piiy9R

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About subthree

A multiple award-winning journalist, I'm currently a contributing editor with both Canadian Running and Canadian Cycling magazines. My articles have appeared in Explore, Canadian Geographic, enRoute, The National Post, The Globe and Mail, and many other magazines and newspapers. Formerly a competitive cross-country mountain biker, I switched to running in 2006. I've run seven marathons, qualifying for Boston five times (and which I've run once). Generally, I've placed or won in my age group in races, in distances ranging from five and 10 kms to half and full marathons. I've also taught spin classes at a number of leading Eastern Canadian gyms. Sub-three was a 2012 #Runchat finalist for Best Overall Blog.
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