Mixing it up for ‘Mudder’

By Pete Williams

Tire challenge at TNL Tampa Saturday

TAMPA – The folks at The Next Level training center mixed things up for their bi-weekly Saturday prep session for Tough Mudder, which is coming to the Tampa Bay area in December.

Normal taskmaster Eric Stratman got a day off, replaced by colleagues Greg White and Vance Vans Evers, who brought a more group-focused, boot camp flavor to the proceedings. I sat this one out, coming off a cold earlier in the week, but was able to take more photos than usual.

The 40 or so trainees split into two groups and began by running snake-style around the office park carrying ropes and firehoses, stopping to do hover planks and ab work.

From there it was off to two stations. One group had to collectively complete 2,000 meters on rowing machines, alternating with pushups. The other dealt with tire obstacles, shuttling around cones, bear crawls, and box jumps through larger tires. After several rotations, the group took a half-mile run and the hour-long session was over.

Tough Mudder is regarded as one of the more difficult races in the booming category of obstacle mud runs, generally taking athletes two and a half hours to complete a 12-mile course. The race encourages athletes to compete as teams to make obstacle navigation easier and is known for its signature feature: an “Electroshock Therapy” challenge.

Bear crawling to the finish

“The goal is to be able to hurdle everyone through that 13-mile obstacle course,” White said.

The free sessions continue every other Saturday until Tough Mudder on Dec. 3-4. Interested? Check out TNL Tampa.

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