"I do believe that it is important for people to push themselves, and that our culture is way too coddled," said Kircher, which "makes you afraid to try things and unable to grow." ... but "you have to know willingly that you are doing this."
In the case review published by the American College of Emergency Physicians, the authors noted that while many of the injuries were sprains, fractures, cuts, knee injuries, and heat exhaustion, a significant number seemed to be caused by electrical shocks. So while the injury rate was similar to other endurance competitions, the nature of the injuries was quite different.
"We wrote this because it hadn't been well documented that significant injuries could happen," Greenberg said.
Not surprising, considering that such events have exploded in popularity in the past few years. 1.3 million people have done the Tough Mudder alone (and at least 4,000 of them have gotten Tough Mudder tattoos).
One problem may be that some of the obstacles are impossible to prepare for, Greenberg said. Most athletes prepare for a marathon or ultra-marathon or Ironman by training: running, biking, swimming, strength training. But many of the obstacles presented in Tough Mudder-type races can't be trained for.