Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 June 2015

In Pictures: Tough Guy Challenge 2009 - world's ultimate endurance test

Published 04/02/2009 | 15:00

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01:  A competitor gasps for air after emerging from an underwater obstacle during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. The biannual event to raise cash for charity challenges thousands of international competitors to run through a gruelling set of 21 obstacles including water, fire and tunnels after a lengthy run at the start.  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: A competitor gasps for air after emerging from an underwater obstacle during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. The biannual event to raise cash for charity challenges thousands of international competitors to run through a gruelling set of 21 obstacles including water, fire and tunnels after a lengthy run at the start. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: A female competitor braves the cold during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. The biannual event to raise cash for charity challenges thousands of international competitors to run through a gruelling set of 21 obstacles including water, fire and tunnels after a lengthy run at the start. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: A competitor runs through fire during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. The biannual event to raise cash for charity challenges thousands of international competitors to run through a gruelling set of 21 obstacles including water, fire and tunnels after a lengthy run at the start. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: A competitor reacts after braving water, fire and smoke during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. The biannual event to raise cash for charity challenges thousands of international competitors to run through a gruelling set of 21 obstacles including water, fire and tunnels after a lengthy run at the start. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: A competitor wearing a 'mankini' braves the cold while running during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. The biannual event to raise cash for charity challenges thousands of international competitors to run through a gruelling set of 21 obstacles including water, fire and tunnels after a lengthy run at the start. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: Competitors tackle an aerial rope-climbing obstacle during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. The biannual event to raise cash for charity challenges thousands of international competitors to run through a gruelling set of 21 obstacles including water, fire and tunnels after a lengthy run at the start. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: A competitor poses at the start of the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. The biannual event to raise cash for charity challenges thousands of international competitors to run through a gruelling set of 21 obstacles including water, fire and tunnels after a lengthy run at the start. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: A competitor dressed as a Roman centurion competes in the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. The biannual event to raise cash for charity challenges thousands of international competitors to run through a gruelling set of 21 obstacles including water, fire and tunnels after a lengthy run at the start. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: A competitor wearing face paints poses at the start of the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. The biannual event to raise cash for charity challenges thousands of international competitors to run through a gruelling set of 21 obstacles including water, fire and tunnels after a lengthy run at the start. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: A competitor wearing camouflage face paint focuses ahead at the start of the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. The biannual event to raise cash for charity challenges thousands of international competitors to run through a gruelling set of 21 obstacles including water, fire and tunnels after a lengthy run at the start. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 01: Competitors are pushed to the limits as they compete in the 2009 Tough Guy Challenge on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: Competitors brave water, fire and smoke during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. The biannual event to raise cash for charity challenges thousands of international competitors to run through a gruelling set of 21 obstacles including water, fire, and tunnels after a lengthy run at the start. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: A competitor runs through fire during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. The biannual event to raise cash for charity challenges thousands of international competitors to run through a gruelling set of 21 obstacles including water, fire and tunnels after a lengthy run at the start. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: Competitors scramble in the mud under barbed wire during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. The biannual event to raise cash for charity challenges thousands of international competitors to run through a gruelling set of 21 obstacles including water, fire and tunnels after a lengthy run at the start. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: Competitors battle an incline during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. The biannual event to raise cash for charity challenges thousands of international competitors to run through a gruelling set of 21 obstacles including water, fire and tunnels after a lengthy run at the start. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: A competitor braves icy water during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. The biannual event to raise cash for charity challenges thousands of international competitors to run through a gruelling set of 21 obstacles including water, fire and tunnels after a lengthy run at the start. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: A competitor battles through the mud during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. The biannual event to raise cash for charity challenges thousands of international competitors to run through a gruelling set of 21 obstacles including water, fire and tunnels after a lengthy run at the start. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: A competitor scrambles in the mud under barbed wire during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. The biannual event to raise cash for charity challenges thousands of international competitors to run through a gruelling set of 21 obstacles including water, fire and tunnels after a lengthy run at the start. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: An injured competitor is helped to an ambulance during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. The biannual event to raise cash for charity challenges thousands of international competitors to run through a gruelling set of 21 obstacles including water, fire and tunnels after a lengthy run at the start. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: A competitor scrambles in the mud under barbed wire during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. The biannual event to raise cash for charity challenges thousands of international competitors to run through a gruelling set of 21 obstacles including water, fire and tunnels after a lengthy run at the start. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: A competitor gasps for air after emerging from an underwater obstacle during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. The biannual event to raise cash for charity challenges thousands of international competitors to run through a gruelling set of 21 obstacles including water, fire and tunnels after a lengthy run at the start. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: A competitor gasps for air after emerging from an underwater obstacle during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. The biannual event to raise cash for charity challenges thousands of international competitors to run through a gruelling set of 21 obstacles including water, fire and tunnels after a lengthy run at the start. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: A competitor dressed as a nun holds on to his crucifix while wading through ice-cold muddy water during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. The biannual event to raise cash for charity challenges thousands of international competitors to run through a gruelling set of 21 obstacles including water, fire and tunnels after a lengthy run at the start. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: A competitor gasps for air after emeerging from an underwater obstacle during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. The biannual event to raise cash for charity challenges thousands of international competitors to run through a gruelling set of 21 obstacles including water, fire and tunnels after a lengthy run at the start. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 01: Competitors are pushed to the limits as they compete in the 2009 Tough Guy Challenge on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 01: Competitors are pushed to the limits as they compete in the 2009 Tough Guy Challenge on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 01: A competitor struggles through the Water Tunnel during the Tough Guy Challenge at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 01: Competitors run through fire during the Tough Guy Challenge at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 01: Competitors are pushed to the limits as they compete in the 2009 Tough Guy Challenge on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 01: Competitors are pushed to the limits as they compete in the 2009 Tough Guy Challenge on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 01: Competitors brave zero degree temperatures during the Tough Guy Challenge at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 01: A competitor crawls through the "Stalag Escape" during the Tough Guy Challenge at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: A competitor runs through fire during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. The biannual event to raise cash for charity challenges thousands of international competitors to run through a gruelling set of 21 obstacles including water, fire and tunnels after a lengthy run at the start. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 01: A competitor runs through fire during the Tough Guy Challenge at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: A competitor runs through fire during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. The biannual event to raise cash for charity challenges thousands of international competitors to run through a gruelling set of 21 obstacles including water, fire and tunnels after a lengthy run at the start. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: A competitor gasps for air afteremerging from an underwater obstacle during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. The biannual event to raise cash for charity challenges thousands of international competitors to run through a gruelling set of 21 obstacles including water, fire, and tunnels after a lengthy run at the start. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 01: Competitors are pushed to the limits as they compete in the 2009 Tough Guy Challenge on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 01: Competitors are pushed to the limits as they compete in the 2009 Tough Guy Challenge on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 01: Competitors are pushed to the limits as they compete in the 2009 Tough Guy Challenge on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 01: A competitor is thrilled after completing the "Stalag Escape" during the Tough Guy Challenge at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 01: Competitors are pushed to the limits as they compete in the 2009 Tough Guy Challenge on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 01: Competitors tackle the rope wires during the Tough Guy Challenge at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 01: Competitors are pushed to the limits as they compete in the 2009 Tough Guy Challenge on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 01: Competitors are pushed to the limits as they compete in the 2009 Tough Guy Challenge on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 01: Competitors are pushed to the limits as they compete in the 2009 Tough Guy Challenge on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 01: Competitors are pushed to the limits as they compete in the 2009 Tough Guy Challenge on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 01: Competitors are pushed to the limits as they compete in the 2009 Tough Guy Challenge on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 01: "Spongebob Squarepants" runs through fire during the Tough Guy Challenge at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 01: Competitors feeling the cold in a temperature of 1C during the Tough Guy Challenge at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 01: Competitors are pushed to the limits as they compete in the 2009 Tough Guy Challenge on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Thousands of competitors battled through knee-deep mud and braved bitterly cold conditions on Sunday to take part in a race billed as the world's ultimate test of endurance.

>> Click on the image above to launch the gallery

Entrants wearing fancy dress and others wearing little clothing at all were among those taking part in the Tough Guy challenge at Perton, south Staffordshire. All competitors must sign a 'Death Warrant disclaimer' before taking part.

Those courageous enough to enter the event, which incorporates an Army-style assault course, are advised to undertake "cold water training" beforehand to guard against the threat of hypothermia.

Open to individuals and teams, the event is described by its organisers as a "uniquely fear-ridden" test of both body and spirit.

The biannual event to raise cash for charity challenges thousands of international competitors to run through a gruelling set of 21 obstacles including water, fire and tunnels after a lengthy run at the start.

On the event's website it says: 'The event is uniquely fear ridden and you need to be fit in both body and spirit to survive the ordeal.

'You will not be alone, thousands will be by your side. There you will find the true spirit of Tough Guy.'

Video

2009 event

Contestant's point of view (2008)

ESPN review of the Tough Guy challenge

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