Tough Mudder Hates Me (a little less?)
Last fall, I journeyed to Tahoe with hopes of writing a funny, experiential essay about doing my first Tough Mudder. After reading up on the company however, I chanced upon a riveting scandal in the comments sections of various news stories, blogs and YouTube clips. Tough Mudder was being slammed for stealing the idea from the Tough Guy Competition, a popular obstacle race in the UK. What’s more, they claimed that Will Dean, Tough Mudder’s 31-year-old CEO, did so while studying for his MBA at Harvard. I wasn’t exactly sure where this would lead, but I dove headfirst into the mud pit anyway, and by some magic or miracle, I sold the pitch to one of my favorite magazines, Outside. After a year of research and reporting, writing and rewriting, my 5600-word investigative feature about the scandalous origins of Tough Mudder is its November cover story. Given the CEO’s Harvard pedigree, and the popularity of his company, the exposé has garnered widespread attention and generated headlines, including The Huffington Post who asked, “Is (Will Dean) the Mark Zuckerberg of Mud Runs?” You can find my story on newsstands now, or read it online, but in the meantime, I wanted to take this opportunity to share the story I initially set out to tell. The one about Tough Mudder and me.
Here’s THE LINK.