Tough Mudder Tragedy Will Not Stop Local Event

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The 12-mile obstacle course known as the Tough Mudder will go on this week in Mansfield despite a participant dying last week at the event in West Virginia. Despite last week's tough news, this week's participants are not concerned about running the grueling course.

Last week's Tough Mudder event in West Virginia was marred by tragedy after a 28-year-old male died following an accident at the obstacle course.

"We've had over 50 events at this point with 750,000 participants in over three years and this is our first fatality," said Ashley Pinakiewicz, spokeswoman for Tough Mudder.

The incident, which is being ruled an accident, happened at the walk-the-plank obstacle where competitors jump off a 15-foot platform into a pool of chilly water.

"We would not allow any participant to step foot on our course or an obstacle if we weren't assured of its safety," Pinakiewicz said.

Tough Mudder participants who are running in the event this weekend in Mansfield don't believe last week's news will impact this week's race.

"Most of these guys are a little crazy anyway so they are looking for adventure," said Tough Mudder participant, Chris Arold.

The walk-the-plank obstacle will be a part of this week's Tough Mudder event in Mansfield. For those who participated in the event last year, they said safety was top priority.

"When I was going up to do my jump, the person would not let me go until they saw both people in front of me came up from the water," said Bryan Bogre, a Tough Mudder competitor.

Tough Mudder organizers are reviewing their protocol following last week's event, giving peace of mind to everyone including those running the event.

"Safety has always been our first priority, something we take extraordinary serious and we are doing everything in our power to ensure that every upcoming event starting with Ohio this weekend is as safe as possible for our participants," Pinakiewicz said.

Tough Mudder's obstacles are designed by trained engineers and thoroughly checked by safety experts.  In addition, the course is littered with Paramedics, EMTs, water technicians and emergency personnel.

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