It’s billed as “probably the toughest event on the planet” but that didn't stop a group of local Rotarians from taking part in the Tough Mudder competition this May 2013 at the Moonstone Ski Resort in Coldwater.\

ImageRotary’s Tough Mudders support war veterans

Members from the Rotary Club of Whitby Sunrise completed an obstacle course that could see them swim through ice, walk across fire, crawl through mud and face electric shocks – among many other daunting obstacles.

“Every member of our team loves a great challenge. We have learned through Rotary the power and strength that comes from being part of a team,” says team member Kathy Beattie.

The Tough Mudder, as it’s known, is a grueling 3 to 4 hour competition that requires mental and physical toughness, all for a good cause. Money raised goes to the Wounded Warriors Canada, a non-profit organization that helps Canadian Forces members who have been wounded or injured in their service to Canada.

The club was introduced to the Wounded Warriors Canada by Sunrise member Derrick Gleed who is involved with the organization.

“When you hear stories that are so personal and touching you can’t help but want to help,” says Beattie, adding the event will be a challenge for everyone on the team – even the most fit participants.

“Those who are muscular will do well for some of the challenges in the event but may struggle with the running – up a double black diamond ski hill – and those who have strong cardio, like distance runners, may have more trouble with the monkey bars or wall climbs,” she says.

“And if you are well-rounded as an athlete then the jumping 20 feet into an ice cold mud pool or running through live wires might get your fears. That is what makes the team so critical.”

The team kicked off the adventure with the first ever Rotary Polar Plunge in January, raising more than $1,800 for Wounded Warriors.

Since then, they’ve been doing group training with Pursuit Training, as well as individual fitness and “long but fun and rewarding” group hikes through local forests to be prepared for the distance and length of time they’ll be competing.

Team members include “fearless leader” Jennifer Frey,Craig Howie, Blair Buchanan, Deborah Murray, Katherine Babony, Yvonne Brady, Barry Mount, Dave MacAskill, Mark Chipman, Andrew Butterworth, Louisa Majoros, with coaching and fitness training provided by Mike Finigan of PURSUIT TRAINING.

The club hopes to make this an annual adventure. The Tough Mudders event t place May 11 – 12. For those interested in making a donation in support of this effort, or for more information, visit www.toughmudder.com or www.rotarywhitbysunrise.com or contact Derrick Gleed at 905-668-5138, or Kathy Beattie at 905-666-1333.