No sticks in the mud allowed! Crazy runners play dirty in messiest obstacle course in the world

Thousands of the hardiest – and possibly  craziest – competitors in the country have just completed one of the most  gruelling obstacle courses in the world.

The Tough Mudder Extreme Endurance Challenge  was designed by British Special Forces to be one  of the most extreme tests  of all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie.

And the 2012 edition held in the grounds of  Drumlanrig Castle and Country Estate in Dumfriesshire, lived up to its  billing.

Suited and booted: Keegan Rannoch was dressed for the occasion as he took on the Mud Mile obstacle in the 2012 Tough Mudder Extreme Endurance Challenge

Suited and booted: Keegan Rannoch was dressed for the  occasion as he took on the Mud Mile obstacle in the 2012 Tough Mudder Extreme  Endurance Challenge

 

Taking the plunge: The hardy souls get stuck in to the gruelling mile long quagmire part way through the Tough Mudders obstacle course

Taking the plunge: The hardy souls get stuck in to the  gruelling mile long quagmire part way through the Tough Mudders obstacle  course

 

Sinking feeling: One participant finds the going tough as he wades neck deep through a muddy trench

Sinking feeling: One participant finds the going tough  as he wades neck deep through a muddy trench

The near 9,000 people who took to the start  line to take part in the ‘endurance phenomenon’ and ‘ultimate test of team  work’, had to over come up to 30 different obstacles – including electric wires  designed to shock participants, a mile long muddy ditch.

Contestants paid up to £90 to take on the  course.

Each participant take on average almost four  hours to complete the course. The course is so tough, one in five are expected  to drop out before ever seeing the finish line.

The series of extreme endurance events began  in 2009 in the U.S. But since then have taken off on this side of the Atlantic.

So far more than half a million people  world-wide have pitted themselves against the course.

Shocking: Participants pass through the Electric Eel obstacle during the 2012 Tough Mudder Extreme Endurance Challenge

Shocking: Participants pass through the Electric Eel  obstacle during the 2012 Tough Mudder Extreme Endurance Challenge held in the  grounds of Drumlanrig Castle and Country Estate in Dumfriesshire 

 
Scorching: A participant tackles the Firewalker obstacle during the 2012 Tough Mudder Extreme Endurance Challenge

Scorching: A participant tackles the Firewalker obstacle  during the 2012 Tough Mudder Extreme Endurance Challenge held in the grounds of  Drumlanrig Castle and Country Estate in Dumfriesshire

  

Muddy awful: A contestant gasps for breath after plunging into one of the mud holes which participants must traverse during the obstacle course

Muddy awful: A contestant gasps for breath after  plunging into one of the mud holes which participants must traverse during the  obstacle course

More in hope than expectation: Chris Steele from London looks for his trainers amongst abandoned shoes after he took part in the 2012 Tough Mudder Extreme Endurance Challenge

More in hope than expectation: Chris Steele from London  looks for his trainers amongst abandoned shoes after he took part in the 2012  Tough Mudder Extreme Endurance Challenge held in the grounds of Drumlanrig  Castle and Country Estate in Dumfriesshire

 

 
All smiles: A participant at the 2012 Tough Mudder Extreme Endurance Challenge held in the grounds of Drumlanrig Castle and Country Estate in Dumfriesshire

All smiles: A participant at the 2012 Tough Mudder  Extreme Endurance Challenge held in the grounds of Drumlanrig Castle and Country  Estate in Dumfriesshire

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