Around The Bases: Tough Mudder Cow Patties Edition

Posted on May 5, 2014 | in Basketball, Respect For People, Safety, Sports | by
tough mudder

Do NOT drink the water at Tough Mudder. For your own safety.

The Tough Mudder is obviously a very popular endurance race series among the athletic and adventurous young adult population – obstacle courses through rough and dangerous terrain, the thrill of signing a waiver not holding race organizers liable over your potential death in-race, mud stains never to be completely washed out of your clothes, and the thrill of merely completing the course as opposed to a competitive race.

For a mere $119 (and up, depending on how early you register) you and a thousand or so other folks can run the course and get a t-shirt and some other swag, then listen to bands after the run…while at the same time ingesting Campylobacter coli:

They may be the toughest racers out there, but more than 20 people who got sick after a “Tough Mudder” run in rural Nevada were felled by the very tiniest of obstacles: a germ called Campylobacter.

Cow or pig manure was the likely source of the bug, which thrives in the mud puddles that make the obstacle course runs so much good dirty fun.

Great that the health experts nailed down the root cause to the competitors’ illness, but doesn’t it seem kinda silly to have folks run through animal poop and still take their money?

“These military-style adventure races attract high numbers of active-duty military personnel, along with young, active, extremely fit civilians. Persons typically are advised of the risks of participating and required to sign a liability waiver. Races are commonly held on farmlands where animal feces increase the risk for zoonotic disease transmission.”

The races often lead to sickness or injury. Last year, state health officials in Michigan said 200 or so people got sick at a mudder race there, likely from norovirus.

“Often lead to sickness” and “animal feces” are enough to keep me from shelling out that kind of cash just to deal with completely unnecessary illness. How irresponsible that the Tough Mudder organizers are making a killing off of entrance fees and sponsors but don’t care enough to make their course free of stupid health hazards.


Speaking of health and safety hazards, Deadspin relays a story about a trapeze act that collapsed. Here’s a video.

I concede that trapeze artists have to be strong skilled athletes and their work takes lots of practice. However, what is the root cause of the scary-as-hell fall? Commenters are reporting cables failing and snapping. Based on the animal cruelty surrounding circuses (and you know my stance on animal cruelty) I have high skepticism that there are strong safety precautions and protocols in place for trapeze acts.


masters mowers

As a follow-up to an article about the lawnmowers used at Augusta National Golf Club, here is another article that covers how drivers use tennis balls to alert other drivers when there is an emergency.


donald sterling danny manning

Donald Sterling, in happier times as the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.

In what comes as no surprise, the Donald Sterling fallout has caused a bunch of Clippers sponsors to pull funding and association with the team until the scandal mess has been cleaned up. As if we needed more evidence that “respect for people” is a poor and a “race to the bottom” management tactic, now it hits an NBA team owner and his organization right in the wallet.


jack ramsay

Dr. Jack Ramsay flashing a sartorial style Craig Sager could only follow.

Mixed into the Sterling scandal coverage, one of the NBA’s coaching icons passed away. Dr. Jack Ramsay, who I only got to know as a basketball analyst for ESPN, died last week. In this ESPN article about his life, a great Dr. Jack quote was shared:

“I also learned that my connection with my team members was best handled by being in there with them.”

True statement. Be with your team in the trenches, fight the battles with them and feel what they feel.

Thanks, Dr. Jack. Your legacy will live on.


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