Tough Mudder NRW 2019 Race Recap

This was my second trip to Tough Mudder NRW (see last year’s recap). We obviously enjoyed the hilliest course in the Tough Mudder so much that we came back another time!

This year we decided to stay near Dusseldorf (only 20 minutes from the airport) and make the 90 minute drive to the course in the morning. This gave us a lot more flexibility when deciding how to plan the weekend. The course is based

Race Recap


  • Feuchtgebiet (Wetland) – big muddy trench with a climb up over a muddy mound
  • Block Ness Monster – Large rotating cubes in water in which it takes a team get up and over
  • Kiss of Mud – very low barbed wire crawl through mud
  • Heidi‘s Weg – Unique to this course – a very steep hill climb (KIlla Gorilla) but the way down is a mud slide!
  • Beifang (By Catch) AKA Devil’s Beard? – Cargo net crawl
  • Trenchfoot – Over Tired
  • Drecksloch (Sink Hole) Known as hills & valley last year (I think) huge natural mud pit around 500m long. I didn’t know there was so many different kinds of mud all in one place. Sloppy, gloopy turning into wet and slushy! This pit alone makes it a contender for muddiest course
  • Entrapment – Electric wire crawl
  • Tight Squeeze – Crawl underneath pipes and through a mud pit
  • Augustus Gloop 2.0 – Climb up through a pipe with a gushing shower of water coming down over your head
  • Funky Monkey – Monkey bar crawl over a water pit
  • Arctic Enema – Ice bath submersion
  • Holz vor der hütte (Hold your wood) – Log carry
  • Leap of Faith – Leap across to a cargo net hanging over a trench of water. Climb the net and slide down a pipe to get to the other side
  • Berlin Walls – 3 sets of tall walls in which you need the help of your team to get up and over
  • Texas Hold‘em – balancing across a length of wood which needs teamwork, communication and precision
  • Spread Eagle – slack line traverse across a pit of water
  • Mud Mile – Muddy trenches
  • Huckepack (Piggy Back) – Actually the literal translation is all the description you need for “Hero Carry”
  • Hydrophobia – three full waer submersions under pipes
  • Black Widow – Entagled slack lines that need balance to get across the pit of water without getting wet
  • Everest – Quarter pipe run with three different levels to get to the top
  • The Gauntlet – The longest obstacle and usually made up of two/three obstacles – Balance Beam, Rings, ledge hang
  • Mudderhorn – 50ft A frame climb. Great, unless you’re scare of heights!
  • Electroshock Therapy – Gaunlet through 20m of hanging wires wach charged with 10,000 volts

The differences

All Tough Mudder courses have their own nuances which make it different from other courses – North West is the muddiest, London West has the most (UK) elevation and Scotland is known as Midgefest (seriously take insect repellent!)
The German course had the same obstacles, but some differences from the UK ones.

  • Berlin Walls are thicker than Hero Walls – This makes a huge difference with the grip especially when the tops are invariably wet and slippery
  • Leap of Faith had no frame around the cargo nets making it slightly more difficult than the UK version. There was also a level up lane, where the cargo net was much shorter, meaning that this obstacle became all about the grip strength
  • Tight Squeeze was definitely hard with pipes rather than the sand bags, whilst the mud pit made it much more “interesting” than just a crawl
  • Both Funky Monkey and The Gauntlet had different, more challenging level up lanes, using different types of grip holds
  • Start line – no time bands, just join the queue and you will be set off as and when….

Final Thoughts

Absolutely loved this weekend. The elevation is huge – I tracked over 400m in the 13km route. All of the signature obstacles were in play, along with 2 unique obstacles in Heidi’s Weg and DreckSloch. There were some issues with queuing, over the 4.5 hours on course, we were queuing for around 2.5 of them. Usually we would skip some of the obstacles, but as we were in Germany, we just had to do them all!

The atmosphere in the village was electric, having a sunny 30c day definitely helps with this, but all of the sponsors had bean bags and deck chairs set out for spectators and participants to soak in the atmosphere. The DJ sponsored by Toyo Tires was definitely helping with the great tunes. There seemed to be a few more activities for spectators too including a gladiator style pugel stick battle and climbing wall. It was also great to see some traditional wurst on sale with a wide range of vendors.

We’re already planning to be back again next year and I just hope the weather is just as good! If you’re UK based (or indeed any other country) and looking for a European race, you wouldn’t go far wrong with Tough Mudder NRW

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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Wil Chung