Industry Reaction To Tough Mudder No More Cash Prizes

With the sudden news of Tough Mudder taking away all prize money for 2019, ORM reached out across the industry to get reactions.

Hunter McIntyre – 2 time, reigning, defending TMX Champion, World’s Toughest Mudder Team Champion 2014

The last few years, I put all of my training efforts into Broken Skull and TMX, both of which are no longer around. It’s kind of crazy how Spartan expands every year but stays to their true north. Every other brand tries to chase, match, or outwork Spartan Race and they all fail. I am really sad about Tough Mudder, but I am sure the athletes will find other places to go.

This is probably the end of my OCR career as I’ve known it. I’ll show up to the occasional Stadium race, but that will be for fun more than anything else.

 

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I am fully invested in Crossfit now. I’ve spent the last 8 months off of any significant running training. If I turn back now, I’ll end up being decent at both Crossfit and OCR, instead of great at one or the other, so I need to stay focused.

Rea Kolbl – 2017 and 2018 World’s Toughest Mudder Champion

Tough mudder’s decision really changes my season, and I won’t be doing toughest or WTM races this year. I don’t race just for money, but I still have to pay bills and cover my race expenses. These races take a toll on your body and I risk injuries with each one of them, and there are so many races I wanted to do this year that didn’t fit in my schedule previously that I’ve now decided to try this year instead. I’m really sad I won’t be seeing my Tough Mudder friends this year, but maybe this opportunity to try new things and focus on different races isn’t the worst thing that could happen.

Lloyd – Savage Race Co-Owner

I’m sure this was a tough decision for all the people that were involved, but running a business is very difficult and sometimes you are forced to make financial decisions that put the company in the best position to succeed.

Trevor Cichosz – 2016 World’s Toughest Mudder Champion

I was never in it for the money, I’m not going anywhere.

David Watson – Spartan Race VP of Product
The foundation of Spartan has been in sport first and foremost – and we’ll continue to grow in that direction. We’re actually close to announcing our new prize purse and structure for for the 2019 season, which has up to two million USD on the table for athletes across the world.

Ryan Atkins – Winningest Worlds Toughest Mudder Ever

As someone who makes the majority of their living off of prize money, this announcement will definitely change my race plans for 2019.

Amelia Boone – 3 time World’s Toughest Mudder Champion

I’m not upset about the lack of prize money – that was never a factor to me. But I’m saddened that it may indicate a troubled company – Tough Mudder was my original home, and I’d be gutted if they folded.


Joshua Grant – 30 Tough Mudders

Tough Mudder was my first OCR in 2011. It would be very sad to see them go. Think for most of us the money wasn’t a goal, but it lent WTM an air of something monumental. Watching elite athletes push themselves to inhuman levels hand in hand with our own efforts to gut it out meant something. The event was special and unique among all the extreme races because of this camaraderie.

Kris Mendoza – Current World’s Toughest Mudder Champion

This definitely changes the dynamic of the races and will influence the level of competition at each race. While I still plan on running some Tough Mudder competitive races, I am also looking to branch out to other races like the OCRWC 24 Hour Enduro and other endurance events.

Javier Escobar – OCR Fanatic

I just hope that they don’t pour all of their resources into the general experience making for a lack luster races series. I’m still planning on racing a tougher, toughest and wtm this year but depending on the quality of both competitors and even, might shift my focus in 2020. I love the Tough Mudder community but I still need “serious” competitive athletes to push myself harder.

Adrian Bijanada – President OCR World Championships

This was obviously a difficult decision for Tough Mudder to make. But, should be commended on two things. First, for taking the difficult steps to strengthen their business, and more importantly, for being transparent and forthcoming with the athletes most impacted. Of course, WTM will remain on our list of qualifying events.

Will Hicks – Host World’s Toughest Podcast

Eliminating prize money for elite athletes is a huge step backwards. Fortunately Tough Mudder has a history of making head-scratching decisions and then correcting their mistake afterward. I am hopeful “no prize money” will be this year’s bad decision entry alongside “two five-mile loops” and “no finisher shirts” of past years.

Matt B. Davis

is the host of the Obstacle Racing Media Podcast and the author of "Down and Dirty-The Essential Training Guide for Obstacle Races and Mud Runs". He is also the only (known) #wafflehouseelite obstacle racer.

Comments

  1. Will dean hits the nail on the head. It will be sad not to see the likes of Rea, Ryan and Lyndsay out there. Watching them glide through the course is of value. They are pros not elites. They are human not inhuman. Hopefully Tough Mudder will grow and learn from this. I always thought a way of making a unique event would be to have pro only lanes and have them go off around 1pm. Just my two cents and its free what a bargin.