Justin Gilbertson will be competing in the Tough Mudder World Championships on Nov. 17 in rural New Jersey.

Tackling mud for sport

Shirley man to participate in the Tough Mudder World Championship

A local Shirley man will be competing in the Tough Mudder World Championships, an event that has been touted as, “probably the toughest event on the planet.”

Justin Gilbertson, 31, was invited to participate in the Tough Mudder World Championships on Nov. 17 after participating in the Whistler event this May.

In the Whistler event, Gilbertson, along with 17,000 other participants, trekked through muddy mountains, jumped into glacier waters, ran through electric wires charged with 10,000 volts, and crawled underneath barbed wire.

He completed the 18 kilometre distance course in one hour and 47 minutes, earning him a qualifying spot at the Tough Mudder World Championships. Only the top five per cent of competitors are selected.

“One of the reasons I actually like Tough Mudder is even though it’s a sporting event, it’s not meant to be competitive, you’re meant to be helping one another,” Gilbertson said. “It’s the only event I’ve ever done where you can actually be disqualified for not helping a fellow competitor.”

The hogde-podge of  physically demanding obstacles is also what entices Gilbertson to challenge his body and “mental grit.”

Although the hardcore sporting event may be harrowing for some, Gilbertson did not find it insurmountable.

“I honestly didn’t find it as difficult as I thought it would be. It’s supposed to be one of the most extreme events that you could possibly do. That being said they do have to make it so that people who aren’t as physically fit or athletic can complete the course,” he said, adding that some obstacles, however, were “ridiculously challenging.”

Gilbertson, who located to the Sooke area about seven years ago, said the region is perfect terrain to train for the Tough Mudder events.

“I’m lucky that I live out in the Sooke area. I live out in Shirley so… where I live basically is what a course looks like — there’s cold water, there’s forests, [and] there’s mountains to run up and down.”

He has been training for the World Championships for the past six months. The event takes place in rural New Jersey, and will last over a 24-period.

The event will search for the “toughest” man, woman and four-person group in the world.

Individual competitors vying for the top title will have to complete the most laps of a 13 to 16 kilometre course within the allotted time frame.

The course is not unveiled until the day of the event, but Gilbertson expects the typical obstacles like running through fire, climbing suspended cargo nets and ice-water courses.

Gilbertson, who works as a traditional blacksmith by day, said he has always been athletic. At one point, he even played golf professionally.

“I’ve been involved in athletics since I was young,” he said. “I’ve always just continued to do sports no matter where I’ve been in the world.”

He is also a vegan athlete, and has been an activist on behalf of vegan athletes for the past 10 years.

“I’ve done vegan activism in 50 countries the last 10 years and one of the things I talk about is that this diet doesn’t really restrict you from being athletic or doing anything of that nature,” Gilbertson said.

Going up against some of the “toughest mudders” in the world at the championships, Gilbertson said his goal is to complete five to six laps.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

South Vancouver Island B.C. Hydro Customers without power

Due to high winds nearly 3,900 B.C. Hydro customer will be out of power

Sidney signs off on 2020 budget with 1.79 per cent tax increase

Budget also includes additional funding for Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea

Search begins for two missing scouts near Sooke

Crews headed to Jordan River area after receiving call just after 2 p.m.

Scaffolding falls due to strong winds at Millstream Village Sunday afternoon

No injuries or vehicles damaged, according to West Shore RCMP

Cold water swimming a morning ritual for Willows Beach crew

Group turned heads when they slow-walked into the Polar Plunge

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Massive early-morning blaze destroys Vancouver Island home

Firefighters from three departments called in to battle fire at unoccupied residence

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down Vancouver island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Most Read