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

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

The Sooke Fine Arts Show will be online again this year, showcasing unique artworks from Vancouver Island and B.C.’s coastal island artists from July 23 to Aug. 2. (File - Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke Fine Arts Show goes virtual for second year in a row

Art exhibition and show set for July 23 to Aug. 2

The Habitat Acquisition Trust has secured a biodiverse 23-hectare parcel of land in Highlands through a donation from Anne and Jim Ganns, who owned the property for 50 years. (Photo by Jeremy Da Silva/Courtesy Habitat Acquisition Trust)
23-hectare land donation in Highlands extends permanent habitat protection

Anne and Jim Ganns pass on property purchased 50 years ago to the Habitat Acquisition Trust

Ownership of SISȻENEM — also known as Halibut Island located east off Sidney Island — has transferred to W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council after The Land Conservancy of British Columbia (TLC) had purchased the island for $1.55 million. (The Land Conservancy/Submitted)
SISȻENEM (Halibut Island) transfers to W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council under historic agreement

The Land Conservancy purchased the 9.67-acre island for $1.55 million with help from unnamed donor

Landis Carmichael is the Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as the Emergency Services Award winner. (Photo courtesy Landis Carmichael)
29-year-old firefighter has spent almost half his life with Langford department

Landis Carmichael is the 2021 recipient of the Emergency Services Award

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

“Our biggest challenge has been the amount of vaccine,” said FNHA acting chief medical officer Dr. Shannon McDonald. (First Nations Health Authority Facebook photo)
All First Nations on reserve to be vaccinated by end of March: First Nations Health Authority

Vaccinations continuing for B.C. First Nations amid shortages

(Delta Police Department photo)
B.C. youth calls 911 after accruing $7K in online gaming charges

‘Police spoke with the student about appropriate times to call 911’

Site C will go ahead, one year later and $5.3 billion more, the NDP announced Feb 26. (BC Hydro image)
B.C. NDP announces Site C will go ahead with new $16B budget

Reviews recommend more oversight, beefed up foundation stability work

The BC Prosecution Service announced last year that it was appointing lawyer Marilyn Sandford as a special prosecutor to review the case, following media inquiries about disclosure issues linked to a pathologist involved in the matter. (Black Press Media files)
Possible miscarriage of justice in B.C. woman’s conviction in toddler drowning: prosecutor

Tammy Bouvette was originally charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty in 2013 to the lesser charge

A kid in elementary school wearing a face mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Metro Creative)
Union asks why an elementary school mask rule wouldn’t work in B.C. if it does elsewhere

B.C. education minister announced expansion of mask-wearing rules in middle, high school but not elementary students

A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

The country joins more than a dozen others in giving the shot the green light

Most Read