Running 10 miles through cold, wet, muddy conditions; navigating obstacles which include dodging live electrical wires, sprinting through “Fire Walks,” and crossing muddy pits by climbing across “Funky Monkey” bars which have been greased with butter at random intervals; does this sound like a fun way to spend your weekend? For many people, it does. Last weekend at Bear Creek, Pennsylvania, approximately 10,000 people came out to compete in the Tough Mudder race, which included the events described above, plus about a dozen more. Unfortunately for many participants, races such as these may also include serious injuries.

For people who want more of a challenge than traditional races like a 5K or the Broad Street Run, events like the Tough Mudder, Muddy Buddy, and Warrior Dash have started to appear across the country. These competitions offer a new twist: a long, grueling race course, filled with mud, cold water, fire, and other obstacles limited only by the organizers’ imaginations. Unfortunately, while competitors at these races expect to find a tough but enjoyable race course, some participants may end up getting seriously injured. For instance, at the recent Tough Mudder in Bear Creek, Pennsylvania, the Funky Monkey was reportedly shut down after participants suffered injuries including sprained or broken ankles and broken legs. There were reports of dozens of injuries which required medical assistance.

Participants who are seriously injured at a race may require extensive medical treatment, may miss work, and may suffer injuries which never fully heal. Unfortunately for competitors who have been injured, these events generally require participants to sign a waiver releasing the organizers from any liability. A release, or exculpatory clause, may prevent a person from recovering their damages in a lawsuit, even in cases of negligence. If you have been injured while competing in a race, sporting event, or other recreational activity, you should consult with one of Stark & Stark’s experienced personal injury lawyers regarding your rights.