Charlotte resident Chiemi Heil, 26, wants to be the World’s Toughest Mudder.
To earn the title, Heil will compete in the event of the same name in Las Vegas Nov. 15.
A mudder is a person who has completed a Tough Mudder obstacle course, such as the one in Mount Pleasant Oct. 25.
A Tough Mudder event takes place on a 10- to 12-mile course that presents 20 obstacles, many of which require teamwork to accomplish. Numerous such events are held across the world.
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In a Tough Mudder, the goal is to complete the course; it’s not a race.
The World’s Toughest Mudder is different: The participants will face the same 20 obstacles on a 5-mile course in Las Vegas.
To determine the World’s Toughest Mudder, participants will race to see who can complete the course the most times in 24 hours.
Heil moved to Concord as a fourth-grader, graduated from Northwest Cabarrus High School and moved to Charlotte when she transferred to UNC Charlotte in 2006.
While playing soccer in high school, she trained at Velocity Sports Performance in Charlotte with Jed Hartigan. She still uses the workout program they created to help her stay in shape.
Heil ran her first Tough Mudder in South Carolina two years ago and completed two more before she started working at the events, promoting the Army and Army Reserves through the marketing firm Momentum Worldwide.
As part of her training, she is allowed to run the courses without the obstacles at the Tough Mudder events she works. She also works out at Velocity Sports Performance locations across the nation.
Heil found out about the World’s Toughest Mudder contest while working at an Tough Mudder and wanted to participate.
“The one thing I really love about Tough Mudder is it’s a family, team atmosphere,” Heil said. “You can go to the race alone, but you’ll make 10 to 20 friends, just because during the course you will see someone struggling, or maybe you’ll be struggling, and you will help each other.
Acknowledging that the World’s Toughest Mudder is a competition – with awards for first, second and third place – Heil hopes the teamwork theme will continue.
“Hopefully we will help one another and then go our separate ways when we can,” she said. “I am competitive. Of course you want to be first, but I just like to compete in this atmosphere,” she said.
Heil believes the contests are a good place to promote the Army and Reserves, because “You have to be mentally, physically and emotionally fit to do these Tough Mudder courses. These are the same attributes you need to be in the Army or Army Reserves,” she said.