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Toughing It Out in the Poconos

LONG POND — For this weekend, Pocono Raceway in Monroe County was turned into a race course of a different kind.

The kind with thick mud, obstacles that will put a shock in you, and leaves participants feeling like they can do anything when they reach the finish.

It’s called the Tough Mudder.

From the outset of the Tough Mudder at Pocono Raceway, men and women were determined to reach the finish.

The only thing is, there was a lot standing between them and the congratulatory beer at the finish line.

The Tough Mudder, as it’s called, lives up to its name. It’s an extreme obstacle course that stretches 12 miles throughout the raceway grounds.

There’s a slide that sends participants through flames and into the water.

An obstacle called “Electroshock Therapy” is full of electrically charged wires.

Then there’s the mud pit that’s nowhere as easy as it might look.

“The electric shock thing was terrible, it hit you in the elbows but your knees kicked out as I was going through, I was tripping down,” said Ben Parker of New York.

Parker made it through. He was one of hundreds who braved the whipping winds, and ended up caked in mud from head to toe.

“It was good, first one I’ve ever done. I was psyched to do it, beautiful conditions. I did it just for the beer,” said Parker.

No matter what their motivation, these obstacles took more than just one person to overcome. That’s why Sol Setton of Brooklyn decided to make this his second Tough Mudder.

“This is fun, this is crazy, we had some obstacles out there we didn’t think we’d get through. It’s about the teamwork,” said Setton.

It takes hours to get through the entire muddy course. It isn’t so much a race to be first, as it is a way to find out if you’re tough enough.

“I did, I don’t know if I do anymore. After this,” said Sarah Pietrzykowski of Scranton.

Tough Mudder started in 2010 near Reading, and has raised millions of dollars for The Wounded Warrior Project.

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