Everyone has heard about Tough Mudder, the muddy obstacle course for adults that tests your mental fortitude, stamina, and physical prowess. But did you know there’s one for kids?
That’s right, adventure-seeking kids can test their strength, grit, and mental toughness on a mind-bending, muddy obstacle course designed just for them called Mini Mudder. The mud run is a 1-mile obstacle course for children ages 7-12 who are over 3.5 feet tall, and is comprised of about 10 fun and challenging obstacles. On the way to the finish line, kids will have to tackle obstacles named Monkey Swing, Tunnel of Terror, Secret Agent Squeeze, and Everest, where they will have to swing from bars, crawl through muddy tunnels, get past a laser maze, and climb to the top of a quarter pipe. When they cross the finish line, they will have crushed their fears, achieved their goals through teamwork, and learned that they can do anything.
We caught up with Eric (ERock) Botsford, Tough Mudder’s certified trainer and warm-up emcee to learn more about Mini Mudder and how kids can prepare for this fun run.
Why are obstacle courses good for kids to participate in?
Obstacle courses, such as Mini Mudder, are awesome activities for kids because it’s a great activity that teaches kids about playing outdoors, working as a team, and experiencing the thrill of adventure. Mini Mudder allows kids to get muddy and to take on a challenge that builds self-confidence, boosts peer interactions, and lets them have fun.
Also, noncompetitive events such as obstacle courses are fun and challenging while teaching kids about exercise, being active, and health from an early age. By getting kids involved in an event such as Mini Mudder, you can encourage them to play outside and prepare for their upcoming obstacle course—just like an adult would. And it’s fun!
What are five training exercises children can do to prepare for the Mini Mudder?
- Light Jogging–A light jog in the backyard, a park, or around the playground is a fun way to warm-up. Kids can play tag with friends to get their hearts pumping and to get moving.
- Bike Riding–Bike riding has many health benefits for both kids and adults, and it’s a great activity that can be done as a family. Bike riding can also activate a full range of muscles, which is beneficial for when the kids are out on the Mini Mudder course.
- Swimming–Now that summer is finally here, swimming is a great activity for kids of all ages. It boosts cardiovascular health while engaging core muscles that can be used out on the Mini Mudder course. Whether at the beach, in the backyard, or at your local recreation center’s pool, swimming is a fun way to exercise and stay cool, and there are so many games and activities you can play at the pool.
- Hiking–Family hiking is a great way to encourage kids to play outside and enjoy nature. If you don’t live near trails or mountains, take family walks after dinner or on the weekends.
- Sports–Activities such as soccer, basketball, and gymnastics are great practice for Mini Mudder. Extracurricular activities like sports let kids be active and teach them about exercise, but more importantly, they allow kids to be part of a team, interact with peers, boost confidence, and enhance motor skills, which are very important skills for Mini Mudder.
How long should kids train in advance of the event?
We recommend that kids train for at least a month in advance. It’s important for kids to be use to running, climbing, playing outside, and other various activities and ranges of motion that they’ll do at the Mini Mudder. In addition, training for a few weeks ahead of time will build stamina and get children comfortable with the moves/exercises. For parents training for the Tough Mudder, it’s great to train and play with your kids so they’re excited to complete the Mini Mudder.
What can children expect on the day of the mud run?
Children can expect a fun and adventurous day of getting muddy, taking on fun and challenging obstacles, and feeling a sense of accomplishment while they’re being cheered on by friends and family. Kids will learn how beneficial teamwork is to achieving a goal, be encouraged to try new things, build friendships, and work as a team.
Is there anything else you want our readers to know about Mini Mudder?
Mini Mudder teaches kids about the power of play and the thrill of adventure. Kids today are busier than ever between school and other activities. Mini Mudder is a great activity for kids to train for and look forward to. It’s also a wonderful family experience that builds confidence and leaves kids with a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Mini Mudders should expect to get a little muddy so parents should bring a change of clothes and a towel so kids can clean up afterwards. Food and drinks will be available onsite, but bring snacks and water to stay fueled and hydrated. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen and take lots of pictures!
The next Mini Mudder in the NYC area will be held on July 22 and 23 in Long Island. For more information about Mini Mudder, visit Tough Mudder.