Local athlete Adam Ribeiro’s World Toughest Mudder Experience: A silver bib and an engagement
FAIRBURN, GA – Usually seen in a Hawaiian crop top, Adam Ribeiro, 28 of Marlborough,Massachusetts has grown as quite the ultra-runner and obstacle course racer in the past year. He has been in the community for quite some time, but his statistics show that his 2019 season has been the best yet. He carefully chose his races this year, emphasizing the importance of quality over quantity and it paid off. He finished top ten elite in nearly every Spartan Race he completed,won April’s FIT Challenge setting a new course record and finished first at the Tougher Mudder in Charlton, Massachusetts as well as fourth completing 55 miles in under 12 hours en route to a fourth-place finish at Toughest Mudder in Coatesville, Pennsylvania in May.
However, his big goal of the year was World’s Toughest Mudder this year in Atlanta. He signed
up for it early in the 2019 season and focused lots of his training towards it. He had a goal of
completing at least 85 miles and possibly contending to be a part of the rare 100-mile club (only
seven people have done it.) Unfortunately for Ribeiro, some nagging injuries late in the season
caused him to fall a bit short of his goal, ending with 75 miles but he put the cherry on top of his
experience by proposing to his now fiancée, Taylor MacKinnon.
“World’s Toughest Mudder was an incredible experience, said Ribeiro. “Everything from the
event organization to everyone on the course, and of course the cherry on top to getting engaged,
I couldn’t speak more positively about the whole thing,” said Ribeiro.
Ribeiro elaborated further by saying how he liked how there were different choices and
challenges to keep running the same loop for 24 hours interesting. For example, instead of doing the penalty for the King of Swingers obstacle, athletes could elect to try and bounce a ping pong ball on a paddle fifty times in a row, and if they got it, they didn’t have to run the penalty loop. Another challenge included collecting golden carabiners on the course and by collecting enough carabiners, athletes were permitted to skip sections of the course.
“There were tons of opportunities to be strategic on course, said Ribeiro. There were opportunities to skip obstacles for longer penalties, use obstacle skip bands, and choose paths that better suited your skill and comfortability, which often changed for people along certain parts of the course.”
This is more unique than Spartan Ultra World Championships where the only penalty was
burpees, it was the same obstacles repeatedly, and it seemed to get old pretty fast. Way more
athletes stayed on the World’s Toughest Mudder course than the Spartan Ultra course (although
it was colder in Sweden, but not by much, surprisingly.)
For Ribeiro, he was nursing a nagging ankle injury suffered in August that worried him but comerace time he felt ready to go and had completed fifty miles at the halfway point, but then the injury came back swinging and slowed him down.
“Although I was worried about my ankle, my right IT band flared up badly, especially on the descents, said Ribeiro. Then once that finally went away, the ankle injury showed up causing the last 10 miles to be a big challenge for me with lots of walking.””
While he couldn’t hit his big goal of 85 miles, he was happy to have stayed on course all 24
hours and was able to pull of his big surprise for MacKinnon.
“I was planning on it all along,” said Ribeiro. “I bought the ring about two months ago and had my friend David Maher who helped Taylor [MacKinnon] pit for me give me the ring two obstacles before the finish line. One of my biggest concerns was dropping it in the water atArctic Enema!” said Ribeiro, laughing.
While there are lots of people doing World’s Toughest Mudder for different reasons, Ribeiro
offered some advice for first timers considering the event in 2020 – race day simulation.
“Race day simulation training is very important for an event like this, said Ribeiro. Train as
much time as possible on your feet, train your nutrition to a tee, and train in your wetsuit. You’ll
become best friends with your gear even if it leaves you with some chafes at the end,” said
While now the newly engaged Ribeiro has a wedding to plan in 2020, he hopes to continue his
focus on ultra-running including doing his favorite Spartan Ultras in New Jersey and Killington
as well as trying to fit a 100-miler on his schedule. He also is considering another attempt at
World’s Toughest Mudder next year now that he has a better handle on the event and a refined
strategy to train this year. Regardless, it will be a busy year for this ultra-athlete with big things
to come on and off the course for the Hawaiian crop top wearing athlete.