Locals compete in Tough Mudder
BY KEVIN WOODRUFF
Several locals answered the call recently to compete in what has been dubbed, “probably the toughest event on the planet.”
The event is known as a Tough Mudder, which is a 10 to 12-mile obstacle course designed by the British Special Forces that tests body and mind all in the name of charity and camaraderie.
Obstacles range from mud, fire, ice-water and 10,000 volts of electricity. The events have raised more than $2.3 million to date for charity.
Dan Toye, and Colin Flak, both of Lake Winola, were both part of the Muddy Marauders, while Gloria Smith, Al Smith, Phil Crisp, Michael Koselnak and Adam Rauch, all of Montrose, were part of the “Dirty Pigs” team that competed in a Tough Mudder in Englishtown, N.J., on Nov. 12.
All Tough Mudder events benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.
Gloria Smith said that she got involved after seeing the event on the Discovery Channel television show “Bert the Conquerer.”
Gloria said that she and the other teammates signed up because they wanted to do something together with Koselnak, who is soon to be deployed with the military.
She said the team’s only goal going into the event was to finish. And they did. It took the “Dirty Pigs” nearly four hours to finish.
“I think my favorite part about it was actually finishing the event,” Gloria said. “It was like a personal bucket list thing for me.”
To get ready Gloria, 41, and Al, 43, trained at home by lifting weights and running.
Now that the event is all said and done, Gloria said that she would definitely do it again.
“I’m not sure that some members of the team would want to do it again, but I think I would,” Gloria said.
Al agreed, but said that it was a challenge.
“The course was very challenging, and some of the obstacles were very tough,” Al said. “The water was extremely cold.”
He said that it was fun, and the team enjoyed participating in the event that donates towards a good cause.
Toye said that he got involved in the competition after being approached by a friend.
He said that the event was rewarding, but very difficult.
“It’s all about sticking together and working together,” Toye, 24, said. “Everyone has to do each of the obstacles, and the goal is just to finish.”
Toye said that before competing, he and his team of 18 others, all trained extensively to compete at Keystone Cross Fit, inDunmore.
“It wasn’t like a normal gym,” Toye said. “It was very intense. A lot of pushups and pull-ups.”
While the event was physically and mentally challenging, Toye enjoyed it.
“It was fun in the end,” Toye said. “Some of the obstacles were tough. Especially the ones in the water. We were in water up to our necks at one point, and it was really cold.”
He noted that his past as a competitive runner, first for Tunkhannock Area High School, then at Keystone College, definitely helped him out on some parts of the course.
Toye said that he would definitely compete in the event again, noting that the Muddy Marauders are looking into signing up for more Tough Mudders in the future.
“I enjoyed the teamwork,” Toye said. “And just being out there, being active. It was a challenge.”
For more information on Tough Mudders, visit www.toughmudder.com.