Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

CDC: Muddy water in obstacle courses like Tough Mudder can give participants bad stomach bug

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - It turns out the toughest obstacle of a Tough Mudder-style race might not be dodging live electrical wires, hoisting logs or leaping over a wall of flames. It might be the nasty stomach bug that can come from swallowing the muddy water.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a memo Friday warning that animal feces in the mud along the courses can give participants a bad case of diarrhea. The agency said nearly two dozen people from the Nellis Air Force Base community in Nevada reported coming down sick after participating in a race in rural Beatty, Nevada, in October 2012.

The investigation traced the sickness to the bacteria campylobacter coli. It concluded people became ill after accidentally swallowing contaminated water on the course, which was on a cattle ranch within sight of cows and pigs. The sickness generally sets in three days after the race, and it lasts a week.

Adventure races are increasingly popular in the U.S., where they drew about 1.5 million participants in 2012, according to the CDC memo. In the 10- to 12-mile-long Tough Mudder challenges, participants slither on their bellies through fields of mud, plunge into icy water and try to cross lakes while balancing on slippery tightropes.

The contests often draw active-duty military personnel or civilians in top shape. But the CDC said those daredevils can be brought to their knees by the stomach bug, which lurks in the animal droppings on the man-made mud fields.

Health officials recommend race organizers warn participants about the gastrointestinal dangers of the contest, and stress the importance of hand-washing and avoiding swallowing the water. They also recommend race organizers set up the courses in areas where animals are less likely to roam.

Officials with Tough Mudder didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment Friday morning, and it was unclear whether the organization planned to change any policies in response to the CDC's findings.

The CDC noted the bacteria causing sickness after races has hit sports events in the past. Campylobacter outbreaks after several bicycle races in Europe were traced to bike tires splashing up dirty water into participants' mouths.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Sudden Surge: Flood of 2014
Opportunity Magazine — The Bakken
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media