Getting Dirty: Trent Mudder, Mudderfucker

All photos by Johny Warkentin.

Have you ever wanted to relive your childhood and crawl through some mud? Have you wondered what it would be like to run across campus attempting to complete a slew of physical challenges? If this prospect entices you, then you were probably a participant in this past weekend’s Trent Mudder, held on March 23, 2013.

This was an obstacle course inspired by the Tough Mudder—a 12-mile-long journey of an excruciatingly painful collection of dangerous obstacles, like jumping over a flaming bale of hay or crawling under a fortress of live electrical wires. Obviously, the Trent Mudder was not nearly as long or as intense as the Tough Mudder.

The day began at 1:00 p.m. Teams arrived in unique costumes ranging anywhere from wearing pajamas to vibrant tights, to standard workout gear, to custom-made t-shirts with their team name printed on them. Teams were divided according to their team number and whether they decided to be competitive or non-competitive. Those who had designated themselves to be competitive would run the course first, while those in the non-competitive division were to wait their turn to go afterwards.

It was also a cold afternoon and so the waiting proved to be a test of wills to determine each participant’s commitment to undertaking the Mudder. Each time the horn was blown, another team was sent into the fray. Teams then had to endure many different types of obstacles set up all around campus.

The first challenge was a run through the Lady Eaton Drumlin. This wasn’t your typical run. It was a run consisting of snow, ice and, of course, mud (manure). Teams had to be especially careful not to slip on the ice or mud. The run led to the beach volleyball court, where people were to crawl through the snow and ice beneath a cargo net. The snow and ice were significant factors in increasing the difficulty of these tasks.


The teams then ran to the Lady Eaton Field where they were tasked with stepping into rows of tires, and then, with the help of fellow teammates, had to flip one heavy tire over a few times – repeated twice. After this, the next challenge was to take a large bucket filled with water, and, with the help of your team members, dump the water into the Otonabee River.

Alternatively, a team could take the bucket, fill it with snow and then dump the snow into the river, and then return the bucket to the station. Subsequent obstacles involved crawling through manure beneath some tarpaulin, crawling through manure upon some tarpaulin, walking along a snowboard railing, running to Gzowski Field to run a relay, jumping over and crawling under hurdles (placed in manure, of course), running down and up a hill upon tarpaulin that was covered with what seemed like soap and then finally running from the DNA Building to finish at the Faryon Bridge. Teams that managed to finish were given a time according to their designated team number, an ‘after’ photograph, and their complimentary Trent Mudder t-shirts, proving that they are indeed tough enough to complete an obstacle course of this caliber.

This event proved to be a great idea. Hundreds of people turned out and, despite the cold weather and some disorganization,  it was evident that many had enjoyed it. Throughout the course, teams and the coordinators showed remarkable positivity in encouraging others to continue on. The fact that there were teams seemed to make these challenges more enjoyable; knowing you were among people who wanted to share this torture with you. Team members helped each other out in completing certain challenges; enthusiasm was evident in many of the participants. This was one successful event that would be awesome to see more of in the future.