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Slippery slope

5,000 Swiss run and crawl through first ‘Mud Day’

On Saturday, Switzerland’s very first “Mud Day” obstacle course event drew some 5,000 participants to the village of Grandvillard, canton Fribourg.

The course involves covering 13 kilometres (8.1 miles) on foot through mud while clearing 22 obstacles, either alone or as part of a team.

The event is designed to combine physical and mental challenges, with an atmosphere of fun and team spirit. There is no time limit or ranking.

Obstacles include crawling under barbed wire for 25 metres, crossing six metres of water by swinging from ropes, slipping into an ice water bath, passing through electrical wires, and climbing ladders on slopes with an overhang of three metres. The terrain covers areas of forest, river, castle and medieval village.

The logistics of the event were considerable, and involved the provision of 1,200 tonnes of mud and more than a million ice cubes.

Born in England the 1980s, mud challenges were originally inspired by obstacle courses used in military exercises, and are becoming increasingly popular in the US and Europe. France’s Mud Day 2015 attracted 90,000 participants in six cities. 

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