Waist Deep in Mud: A Socio-Cultural Analysis of Tough Mudder
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The Tough Mudder (TM) event is a non-stop, multidiscipline, individual and team endurance obstacle race. This paper examines how TM participants identify withand understand TM and how in turn, it contributes to their self-understanding as risk-takers in sport. It also identifies whether these participants are part of a social group whose preference for such a sport practice is linked to their social location. Qualitative methods (in-depth, one-on-one semi-structured interviews as well as participant observation) were used. The analysis of the data exposed disparity amongst perceptions of both study participants’ understanding of TM as being all inclusive as well as their self-categorization as recreational athletes. Additionally, a lack of vocalization of the type of risk involved in such events and the reification of reproduced values of pain and injury tolerance emerged as dominant themes.