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Tough Mudder to Use 'Tear Gas' in Newly Designed Obstacle Courses

By Janet Upadhye | January 7, 2015 7:20am
 A Tough Mudder participant runs through electro shockers in a 2014 obstacle course.
A Tough Mudder participant runs through electro shockers in a 2014 obstacle course.
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Facebook/Tough Mudder

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — It's enough to make you cry.

Tough Mudder is adding "tear gas" to its list of torture devices in its tough-as-nails obstacle course, which includes electric shocks, a plunge into freezing water and falling through a ring of fire.

The Downtown Brooklyn company, which designs physically and mentally challenging obstacle courses worldwide, is set to unveil other new elements in their 2015 obstacle courses — and the addition of tear gas might be the most grueling yet.


The company's lead obstacle designer, Nolan Kombol, is known for creating challenges that focus on inducing adrenaline while also being safe for the participant, he said on the Tough Mudder website.

The tear gas invokes the "feeling of having Sriracha poured into every one of our tiny cuts and abrasions," a man who tested out the new course, Austin Murphy, told Sports Illustrated.

Murphy described crawling through a part of the course called "Cry Baby," a tent filled with tear gas, as "shocking." But he noted that "while it certainly stings, the active ingredient in this concoction is more benign than the one in real tear gas."

A representative for Tough Mudder did not respond to a request for the ingredients used in their tear gas. It was also not clear if any problems had been encountered.

"Cry Baby" joins the course's other tried obstacles like scaling "Everest," a quarter pipe 15-feet high, running through 10,000 volt electric wires and diving into a tank filled with 34-degree water — making this year's Tough Mudder course one of the most harrowing since the race was founded in 2010.

The name "Cry Baby" was used during the testing phase and may change, according to Tough Mudder officials.

There will be more than 50 Tough Mudders course events all over the world in 2015 with locations ranging from upstate New York to Melbourne. It is unclear which courses will incorporate the tear gas.

Still, Murphy endorsed the course saying, "Those fleeting tortures are interspersed with, and offset by, moments of gut-busting fun."

Kombol, along with other Tough Mudder executives, is set to announce all the latest additions to the course and their official names on Jan. 13 at 15 MetroTech Center in Downtown Brooklyn.

For a full list of events check out the Tough Mudder website.