California Tough Mudder Participants Warned About Bacterial Infections

Tough Mudder race
A Tough Mudder race held earlier this year.
Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A lot has been written about the rise of technically challenging, obstacle course-focused races in recent years, with Tough Mudder as one of the most popular names in the space. It isn’t hard to see the appeal of a grueling obstacle course for some competitors — especially with the rise of crossfit and events like The Amazing Race and The World’s Strongest Man. There is, however, at least one potential downside to charging through a wet, muddy obstacle course with a bunch of other athletes — and the participants in one such race in Sonoma County just found out what that is.

As Live Science reports, 22 people who took part in a two-day event subsequently received warnings from both Tough Mudder itself and the Sonoma County Department of Health Services. The latter’s advisory points to a pretty unpleasant state of affairs for those who came down with infections.

“Most affected persons have pustular rash, fever, myalgias, and headache. These symptoms could be indicative of a minor illness called Swimmers’ Itch, but they can also indicate a Staph infection or other more serious bacterial infection such as Aeromonas,” the department stated — and urged anyone experiencing symptoms to contact their doctor or a local hospital.

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Early in Tough Mudder’s existence, John Branch of the New York Times wrote an article exploring the company’s goals — which included hosting events that were “more grueling than shorter runs or novelty events, some of which also have a mud-covered theme.” Runners recovering from infections was probably not the kind of “grueling” Tough Mudder had in mind.

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