This super-fit octogenarian lady not only competes in, but completes Tough Mudder course – one of the most grueling endurance events in the world.
Mildred Wilson, 82, has triumphed in two Tough Mudder runs so far and is planning more in the future.
Tough Mudder is an endurance race filled with punishing obstacles such as a giant ice bath, a mile of mud, tightropes suspended over water, and a 15-foot-high ladder with huge gaps between the rungs.
Mildred, a former vending machine company worker from Sikeston, Missouri, USA, said: “My son is into tough mudding, and I went as his pit crew a couple of times.
“He asked me if I wanted to do one of the local ones and I said, ‘sure’.”
After getting clearance from her doctor, Mildred began training at her local YMCA and in 2019, and completed the course for the first time, shortly after her 80th birthday.
With the return of course this year after a COVID hiatus, Mildred was ready to conquer it again.
“I liked it well enough that first time, so when my son asked me the second time it was an easy yes,” she said.
After three hours of trudging through mud and obstacle courses, Mildred completed her second course on May 9, Mother’s Day, alongside her son Danny, 47.
“It was cool doing it with my son on Mother’s Day,” Mildred said.
“At first I was pretty nervous about it, but once I got out on the course and got started it was cool.”
Mildred said her favourite parts of the course were a cargo net tower she had to climb, and water-filled pits that were “slick and hard, but fun”.
She said the worst part of the race wasn’t the obstacles themselves, but the depths of the mud and the weather.
Mildred added: “They had had a lot of rain and it was like six inches of mud your feet would sink down into, so you couldn’t run because it was so deep.
“I really enjoyed it and I wasn’t all that tired and could have gone longer, but I was ready for it to be over because it was so cold.”
Mildred’s husband Farrell cheered her on during her first course in 2019.
“He didn’t do those things himself, but if I wanted to do something he was all for it,” she said.
Unfortunately, Farrell passed away last year before Mildred completed her second race.
“The race was only a month after he passed away, but we knew he wouldn’t want us to cancel it,” she said.
“It was a little rough this year doing it without him, but I’ve done it in his memory.”
She recommends everybody who’s interested to give the course a try.
“Just go for it,” she said.
“There’s people there of all ages.
“If you can’t do it all, so what? Just try it.”
Mildred said she’ll definitely be doing another if she can.
“At 82-years-old you’re not sure about the next year, but if I’m still alive and well enough, I’ll do it again.”