With a descriptive motto of “probably the toughest event on the planet,” Tough Mudder does not make itself out as a competition to be taken lightly. Still, in the three years that the competition has been running, no deaths have been reported. Sadly, that streak was broken last Saturday when 28-year-old Avishek Sengupta perished while participating in the “Walk the Plank” section of the event. The accident occurred at the competition’s Mid-Atlantic location in Virginia.
Designed by the British Special Forces and boasting obstacles designed to test endurance, strength, and mental willpower, the mud-obsessed event drew in over 750,000 participants since it began. Tough Mudder also raised more than $5 million for the Wounded Warrior Project.
Some of the world’s most difficult–and muddy–challenges also bring the strictest safety measures. Dozens of medical and emergency personnel keep watch at every event. The Mid-Atlantic event hosted more than 75 paramedics and water rescue technicians. However, this small army of rescue workers could not prevent Sengupta’s death, which has been determined to be from drowning.
“As organizers, we take our responsibility to provide a safe event to our participants very seriously,” said CEO of Tough Mudder Will Dean in a statement. “Tough Mudder is devastated by this tragic accident.”
The “Walk the Plank” event consisted of a 15-foot dive into freezing waters. It is among the favorite obstacles of many contestants but also one of the most dangerous.
A short glimpse of Tough Mudder is available below for those seeking more information on the event: