“811…is that an area code?” Three 811 Mudders team members turned to answer, and one chimed in first to explain its importance. It’s amazing how simply wearing the same t-shirt in a group gets you noticed.

To back up a bit, the 811 Mudders is a team of individuals created to promote safe digging during Tough Mudder events, where teamwork is the key to advancing. The Tough Mudder is an obstacle course filled with icy pools, electric shock, dark tunnels and lots of mud. The obstacle course challenges teams both mentally and physically and provides an atmosphere of wellness and team bonding.

The day always seems to be perfect. A hot summer afternoon with crowds of people from multiple demographics. Men and women of all ages, rallying to overcome each challenging obstacle. The most impactful piece is the camaraderie between strangers. Whether you are climbing a mud obstacle or slipping through water trenches, it’s a humbling experience to grab the hand of a stranger while you turn around to help the person behind you. This event, no doubt, requires teamwork to accomplish. Raising awareness for safe digging in such a non-conventional way is something that sticks with you long after the mud washes away.

The nice thing about this event is that it doesn’t take a lot of pre-planning. Our 811 Mudders team had a designated organizer to coordinate everything from registration to ordering team t-shirts. Once registered, it was up to each team member to use guerilla marketing to create awareness for safe digging. Chanting “Know What’s Below” between obstacles provided a unique way to get the 811 message heard.

The best part of the event is that it’s already setup! Just follow the steps in the 811 Mudders Toolkit to organize a team, and you’re on your way to an exhausting, fun, and unique experience that will help spread the safe digging message and possibly save a life.

There is both a half and a full event that you can participate in each year, allowing you to pick the distance that best suits you. If you’d like to organize your own event, download the 811 Mudders Toolkit at dp-PRO.com by clicking the Resources tab. You can also view the different obstacles by visiting ToughMudder.com.

Whitney Price is a three-time Tough Mudder participant and was instrumental in the development of the toolkit. She can be reached at whitney@emailir.com.

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