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Presentations and showcase: Tough Mudder Challenge

3 May 2017

The Tough Mudder Challenge has come to a close. Student designers from the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship have pitched their final designs to the Tough Mudder team.

The challenge was to design a new obstacle for Tough Mudder. In the ‘Explore’ phase students interviewed, researched and developed insights into the challenge. Then they moved to ‘Ideate’ with a storm of ideas on brightly coloured post-its. Next came the prototypes, cardboard and 3-D printed, perfect for collecting feedback and iterating quickly. Finally, it was time to pitch their ideas.

Four teams presented to a panel of obstacle experts from Tough Mudder including:

  • Will Dean, Founder and CEO of Tough Mudder
  • Nikki Emmans, Vice President of Marketing
  • David Solan, Senior Product Engineer

This competition's ‘Finish Line’ included a five-minute presentation by each team, followed by a Q&A session with the panel and audience members, and a showcase of their 3D prototypes. In standing with Tough Mudder tradition, there were no winners and no finisher medal. The ‘win’ for all was the experience participating in the challenge, receiving valuable feedback from the expert panel, and a nice shoutout in The Times by Education Reporter Greg Hurst. And, who knows, they may have even inspired a new obstacle for the next Tough Mudder race!

Obstacle: The Revolution (pictured bottom left)

Skills: Teamwork, agility

Key Feature: Overhead waterfall

A large waterwheel structure is partially submerged in a pool of water. Competitors must swim up to the wheel and climb onto and over it. But watch out, the wheel will turn if too many people are on it at once so you might want to enlist the help of a mate to help you over.

Obstacle: Vertical Jungle

Skills: Agility, resilience

Key Feature: Fireman's pole to finish

Description: As competitors approach the Vertical Jungle all they see is a large mound of mud. As they scramble to the top, a climbing structure comes into view. They slide down into a pool of sloppy mud before attempting to scale the "branches" above them. After reaching the platform at the top of the jungle, they slide back down to ground level using the fireman's pole.


Obstacle: Mudder’s High

Skills: Mental strength, teamwork

Key Feature: Pitch black barrel

Description: Faced with a tall structure in front of them, teams of competitors climb into a large "barrel". In the confines of this dark, cramped space, competitors must haul themselves up using ropes attached to a pulley system. At the top, they will step out onto a platform before making the leap onto the giant airbag below.

Obstacle: Mountain Climber

Skills: Teamwork, upper body strength

Key Feature: Modular Design

Faced with a pair of parallel walls, competitors have to buddy up to scale the walls back-to-back or side-to-side depending on the level of difficulty you choose. 'Conquer the mountain' and then abseil back down the other side.

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