As someone who has run a bunch of marathons and triathlons, endurance races are one of my favorite activities outside photography. When the opportunity came up to shoot the Tough Mudder Minnesota, I jumped at the chance.

A Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile endurance event littered with obstacles featuring mud, fire, freezing cold water, electrical wires waiting to shock you with up to 10,000 volts of electricity and a constant necessity to help out your fellow Mudder.  The event organizers do not post finishing times, saying it dampens the camaraderie and teamwork, which they said the event is all about.

To see the gallery and tighter edit I sent to Minnesota Public Radio, click here. Consider what is below an extended cut.

This past Saturday, temperatures on the course easily exceeded 80 degrees, mud was flying and nearly 10,000 people started the journey toward becoming a Tough Mudder. The fun on display at every single obstacle convinced me that I’m going to be doing a Tough Mudder somewhere next year. ┬áHere are a few images I shot of mud-caked faces, people being electrocuted and tears of joy.

Could my cameras have ended up any other way?

Paul Leenhouts of Mankato gets his head shaved before running the Tough Mudder Minnesota Saturday morning in Somerset, Wisc. Leenhouts was running the Tough Mudder by himself on Saturday and doing it again the next day with friends.

Tough Mudder Minnesota participants help each other conquer the Bale Bonds obstacle Saturday morning in Somerset, Wisc.

To be sure the water remains freezing, additional ice, and lots of it, is dumped into the Arctic Enema obstacle between waves during Tough Mudder Minnesota in Somerset, Wisc. The icy waters were a welcome respite for many participants with temperatures over 80 degrees on the race course.

A Tough Mudder Minnesota participant finishes the Trench Warfare obstacle Satudray morning in Somerset, Wisc.

With less than a foot separating mud from barbwire, Tough Mudder Minnesota participants battle the Kiss of Mud obstacle Saturday morning in Somerset, Wisc. Unlike the Electric Eel obstacle later in the course, these barbwires were not electrically charged.

A Tough Mudder Minnesota participant slips after exiting the Kiss of Mud obstacle Saturday morning in Somerset, Wisc.

Drenched in mud and ready to head forge ahead to the next obstacle, a Tough Mudder Minnesota participant shakes the mud from his hands Saturday morning in Somerset, Wisc.

Tough Mudder Minnesota participants maneuver through the Kiss of Mud obstacle Saturday morning in Somerset, Wisc.

Mud-caked faces and mud-drenched clothing were the going style Saturday morning during Tough Mudder Minnesota in Somerset, Wisc.

A common theme throughout most of the obstacles at Tough Mudder Minnesota was helping your fellow Mudder. The event organizers do not post finishing times, saying it dampens the camaraderie and teamwork, which they said the event is all about. Here, a Tough Mudder participant acts as a step for fellow Mudders tackling the Berlin Walls obstacle.

Tough Mudder Minnesota participants battle slippery slopes during the Mud Mile obstacle Saturday morning in Somerset, Wisc.

A Tough Mudder Minnesota participant reacts to being shocked by live electrical wires during the Electric Eel obstacle Saturday morning in Somerset, Wisc. This particular reaction was the third shock in about five seconds for this participant.

A giant pit of mud between obstacles was was a good excuse for Tough Mudder Minnesota participants to cool down or tackle a friend Saturday morning in Somerset, Wisc.

Tough Mudder Minnesota participants reacts to getting shocked by electrical wires carrying 10,000 volts of electricity during Electroshock Therapy, which was the final obstacle of the course Saturday afternoon in Somerset, Wisc.

Hannah Anderson (left) of Los Angeles, Calif. hugs friend Niki Geiger (right) of Burnsville, Minn. after completing Tough Mudder Minnesota Saturday afternoon in Somerset, Wisc.

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