MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Twin Cities is known as a runners’ town, but this weekend even the most experienced runners will be put to the test. Thousands will compete in the Tough Mudder in Somerset, Wis.

For Cortney Minger, the daily workout doesn’t pose a huge challenge. As a runner, she is used to pushing her physical limits. But come Saturday, her strength and stamina will be put to the test.

“I just saw it as a good challenge,” said Minger.

She is participating in the Tough Mudder, a race that requires much more than just a runner’s endurance. Over a 10- to 12-mile course, athletes encounter several obstacles including high walls, water challenges, even electricity.

“The electricity definitely scared me, but I looked at the video after I signed up, so I’m committed,” said Minger.

It’s not only a test of endurance and strength but also team camaraderie. The course is designed so participants must rely on each other to finish. For the Minnesota Wild coaching staff, it’s the perfect opportunity for team building … and punishment for not making the playoffs.

“Payback time,” said Kirk Olson, the strength and condition coach for the Wild. “We didn’t knave a great year, so, we got to put ourselves out there.”

Kirk Olson put the eight-member team on a grueling training schedule twice a week. After all, 22 percent of participants won’t finish the Tough Mudder.

“We do workouts that I designed, that are basically there to … I don’t want to say kill us, but kind of make us cry uncle,” said Olson.

In a race that features fire, heavy lifting, and barbed wire, the question is: Can anyone truly be ready?

“We’ll get out there and give it a whirl,” said Olson.

“I think I’ll push through no matter what,” said Minger.

This will be the first time the Tough Mudder is held in the Twin Cities area. Teams will compete throughout the weekend. It’s not a timed race, the only goal is to finish.


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