It’s all very well these hardy souls leaping over barbed wire, jumping through fire, and crawling through claustrophobic tunnels but us journos have to be made of pretty stern stuff as well, you know

Originated by a former Grenadier Guardsman, Mr Mouse to you, Tough Guy pitches itself as ‘the safest most dangerous event in the world’. And watching 6,000 nutters tackle a cross-country run before they even get to the tough stuff, it’s not hard to make sense of the blunt statement.

‘It’s so dark in here, I can’t see.’ ‘Mate, we’re out.’

Crawling through barely-more-than-a-body-width tunnels slithering out the end like a wet lamb from its mother; zapped with electric shocks in pitch dark caverns; chest-high in icy water, leaping through six-foot flames and repeat; scaling house-high netting (alternatively, get rescued by a crane from atop one of these monstrosities like one unlucky tough gal); tram wires, mud, death plunges, icy water, mud, you get the not very pretty picture by now, presumably.

‘Ah bugger it. The lens will be fine in the mud’

It had to be a fairly hardy troupe of journalists sent to cover the event, too. Time given to wiping specks of mud from cameras was soon dropped, in favour of turning in unison and cradling cameras when anticipating a particularly virulent splodge of the brown stuff.

So the question has to be, why? Why get scratched, shocked, pre-hypothermic, burnt, scared and agonised on a freezing morning at the end of January. Sports Liberated asked a couple dressed as Fraggles. “I’ve done this eight times. She’s pretty much doing it because she’s dating me now, so she has no choice.” Laughing nervously, lady Fraggle trudges off hoping for nothing more from the event than “not drowning” in her costume.

Stopping at the service station on the way home, SportsLiberated comes across some muddy knackered-looking types buying copious amounts of chocolate and pain killers. They leave, limping, and trailing large swathes of mud across the forecourt.

‘Well, this ain’t so baaaaaad… oh’

Some guys opt to run in their pants… obviously. To be fair they were fairly sparkly

More from you muddy monsters in the photo gallery


  1. Part of me wants to get involved with this tough guy lark, but the other part of me doesn’t fancy burning the skin off my feet…

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