Why Running Tough Mudder Is A Badass Way To Celebrate Love

Is that romance in the air? Or is it the promise of a vaccinated world and the return of social events? 

If blood is thicker than water, then imagine the bonding power mud can have on your soul. If holding hands as you scale Berlin Walls or locking eyes as you Texas Hold ‘Em sounds like your kind of love, you are going to want to grab your partner and sign up for a 2021 Tough Mudder. If seeing your loved one in a whole new light and bonding in a unique way appeals to you, you’re going to want to keep reading on why Tough Mudder is…bear with me here….romantic. 

I started running Tough Mudder in 2016 when I signed up with my partner. We had been dating a few months and I had just finished running my first half marathon when he turned to me and said, “you can climb and you can run….you should sign up for Tough Mudder, you are definitely capable of doing it”. While I felt mixed emotions by my new boyfriend’s confidence in me, I thought, why not?

Fast forward five years and we have run 11 Tough Mudders together, one 12-hour Toughest Mudder, six Tough Mudder Challenges, and the Tough Mudder Equinox. After five years of training together, tackling obstacles, laughing at each other and cheering one another, Tough Mudder has brought us closer….and our partnership has given us the confidence to sign up for World’s Toughest Mudder in November. We have a long road of training ahead, but we also have the tools to get there. 

I was hooked after my first Tough Mudder with Will. While working together with my boyfriend and our experienced OCR team, we tackled the course full on. As a newbie, I got tons of guidance from our friends and was touched by the on-course camaraderie. I instantly felt the sense of community and connection as perfect strangers became fast friends. I finished my first Tough Mudder in Snow Mass, Colorado – feeling accomplished, exhausted, sore, and banged up. 

While Tough Mudder might not sound romantic on the surface, there’s something to be said about “embracing the suck.” If candlelit dinners are the highlights of a relationship, then navigating challenging situations are the pillars that keep it standing. The sense of romantic closeness you develop as you open your vulnerabilities, overcome fears , and form new senses of trust might not give you butterflies, but they’ll strengthen your bond with each other. Needless to say, I was hooked. 

Will and I had so much fun together our first time on course we decided to take it on the road. Over the next five years we went on to travel the US and Canada. Tough Mudder gave us the excuse to visit places we wouldn’t normally think to visit and each city brought on new memories (and new breweries!). Our relationship is unique as training for Tough Mudder has brought us closer and together we have grown the confidence to tackle ever bigger challenges together, whether it’s saving to purchase our first home or planning to summit the famous Aconcagua in Argentina. 

So, if you have cabin fever and are as desperate to get out of the house this year as we are – grab your partner and sign up for one of the 2021 Tough Mudder Events. Who knows where it will lead you!

Katherine Nicholas is a professional geologist who lives with her family in Denver, Colorado. She has been running Tough Mudder since 2016 and has 11 under her belt through traveling the US and Canada. She is motivated to run Tough Mudder to keep her moving as she battles Crohn’s Disease. On the weekends you can find her hiking the mountains in Colorado with her fellow Mudder partner and seven-year-old kiddo. You can find her on Instagram @geologistkat.