When’s the last time you did something for the first time?” That’s the inspirational quote that kicked off Tough Mudder 2016 at Lake Las Vegas. Featuring a challenging mix of desert mountains, lakefront scenery, and rocky terrain, this event attracts thousands of participants from all over the country, testing physical strength, stamina, and mental grit.

The company’s signature event was held October 29 and 30th about 20 miles off The Strip at Lake Las Vegas in Henderson, NV.

“Tough Mudder is all about teamwork and camaraderie. We are not a race, it is a challenge,” said Courtney Jordan, Event Director for Tough Mudder Las Vegas. “It’s all about team spirit.”

It’s not about how fast you can cross the finish line. You’ll find incredible diversity in fitness levels, athletic abilities, gender, ethnicity, and age (yup, Mini Mudder is a 1-mile course for kids 7-12). For some, Tough Mudder is a personal event that tests their own abilities and determinations. Some register as a team for fun, casual competition, or team building. Tough Mudder even offers a corporate program allowing employees to run the course together.

Participants are divided into multiple waves with staggered start time to accommodate the thousands of participants that attend and maintain a cadence to the over 20 obstacles.

Each wave goes through a quick orientation in the warm-up area where staff provides guidance on successfully completing obstacles like the Arctic Enema and Electroshock Therapy.

“If you don’t know how to swim, this is not the day to learn,” advises ERock, this weekend’s Warm Up MC. Above all, Tough Mudder is about safety–each obstacle is a personal challenge, but there is no requirement to complete every obstacle. However, the course cannot be completed alone. While many of the obstacles test individual physical abilities, other obstacles require participants to work as a team.

For example, in the Pyramid Scheme obstacle participants must scale an incline. The first 1/2 of the incline is slippery–the second 1/2 has some tread. Try to scale it alone, and you slip into the muddy water pit below. Work as a team to build human ladders from the base and pull teammates up and over each other. But don’t get too ambitious or you’ll pull the whole team into the murky moat below.

This is one example of many challenges that emphasizes teamwork and camaraderie; people helping people recognize their own potential.

Following the Tough Mudder event on Halloween Weekend, the obstacle course gets a makeover in preparation for World’s Toughest Mudder in mid-November. Unlike a regular Tough Mudder event, World’s Toughest Mudder is a competition.

With events held all over the country, no two courses are the same. “We let the terrain tell us what it wants. We have multiple teams that come out and design these events months in advance,” said Jordan.

“We’ll have some 2017 obstacles for World’s Toughest, some signature obstacles, and some World’s Toughest only obstacles to challenge these guys,” added Jordan.

Adding to the camaraderie, the course features a pit area where all participants and pit crew camp, sleep, recover and refuel.