Tuesday, December 12

What is The Tough Guy Competition?

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Each year takes place in the English West Midlands Tough Guy Competition, the one day sporting event – race in the world’s toughest. Place each year in late January (there is also a summer version of the race, called Nettle Warrior), at the height of winter, it brought together at the last edition nearly 5,000 zany.

Last year, 2009, after signing their “death warrant”, a document absolving the organization of any liability for death (we are not here for fun!), These 5000 participants had rushed to the assault of the 21 events that includes the race after an initial cross of 9.6 km, the competitors had to climb walls and tear their hands on the strings, crawling through a narrow tunnel formerly used for waste water; to negotiate ” tentacles of the jellyfish, the cables hanging down, some of which send an electrical charge powerful enough to startle a bull through ponds full of mud and horse manure; browse haystacks on fire, swimming in icy water through an underwater tunnel, crawling through mud under barbed wires; rub nettles to 1.80 m …

The good news is that despite all injuries (hypothermia, seizures, fractures, sprains, cuts, etc..), There was not a single death (but still 2100 abandons). Participants in the Tough Guy is not just soldiers, firefighters and athletes. There are also thousands of “civilians”, they are English, Scottish, American or German, all in all cases in search of adventure. And what is all this for? Nothing except the satisfaction of having survived and surpassed its limits. Some even find the term too serious, too easy. These have a limitless imagination to spice up their misfortune : frequently “tough guys” are encountered in a tutu or “Mankinis” like Borat’s, in suit and tie or dressed up as Superman … Some give themselves courage in taking their board ironing or a crocodile bag.

The organizers claim to have created the most difficult course in the world, exceeding even those designed for military training. And yet, it started from good intentions … Before being a sadistic genius, Mr Mouse – Billy Wilson’s real name – is a generous figure. In 1976, the farmer created a refuge for abandoned horses and employs offenders and people with disabilities. All this costs money, and Wilson had the idea of the Tough Guy Competition, in which participants must pay registration (about 200 euros today).

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