World’s Toughest Mudder is arguable the most grueling long distance obstacle course race on the planet. In 2014 the 24-hour race moved from Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ to the desert of Lake Las Vegas where many competitors underestimated just how cold it can get at night. Given the multiple water obstacles featured at WTM, proper thickness is crucial to stave off hypothermia. This is my wetsuit strategy for World’s Toughest Mudder 2016.
One popular wetsuit that you’ll often see at World’s Toughest Mudder is the Xterra Vortex 5/3mm full suit. While this triathlon wetsuit will most likely keep you warm throughout the night, I found it to be constrictive and uncomfortable when the sun rose in the morning.
• It’s made of QuantumFoam™ neoprene, which is extremely flexible, allowing for a greater running economy over less flexible wetsuits.
• The chest and back are insulated with FireFleece™ insulation fabric – I’ll take all the lightweight insulation I can get!
• The 3/2mm version features double-glued and blind-stitch seams, this will ensure water will not leak through.
• BONUS – highly abrasion-resistant Duratex Kneepads to mitigate tears from falling on Everest 2.0.
I cannot over emphasize how flexible the Hyperflex Cyclone 2 is. Running in my Xterra Vortex 4 felt like I was flexing resistance bands with every stride, you can imagine how much energy that wastes over the 21-hour period you will run in your wetsuit.
A 3/2mm wetsuit is not thick enough for most people to survive the night at World’s Toughest Mudder. However, it does allow you to add a layers in the form of a poly fleece or neoprene top and pants when it get really cold at night. As the sun rises and it starts to warm up, you can then remove those layers quickly, avoiding the potential for cramping while changing out of a thicker 5/3mm wetsuit and into a thinner/less warm/more comfortable option. It will also save you some time.
A Hyperflex long sleeve 50/50 polyolefin top will go under or over my wetsuit as the temperature begins to drop. Whether over or under will be a game time decision. I will remove it as the temperature rises in the late morning. The Hyperflex long sleeve 50/50 polyolefin top features:
• Polyolefin (poly fleece) shoulders, arms and sides which has the highest insulating capacity of any fiber, natural or man-made.
• 1.5mm neoprene on the chest and back.
• Wearing it under my wetsuit will be warmer but will be less flexible/more restrictive.
• Wearing it over my wetsuit will be more flexible/less restrictive but less warm.
• It essentially turns converts your 3/2mm wetsuit into a 4.5/3.5mm wetsuit with the benefit of generating heat between the two layers.
NeoSport Poly Fleece Pants will go over my wetsuit as opposed to under as flexibility in the legs is extremely important and you should not require the added warmth around your legs from wearing them under your wetsuit. The NeoSport Poly Fleece Pants feature:
• Poly Fleece which provides excellent insulation and moisture wicking ability, should you choose to wear it against your skin.
• Poly Fleece is incredibly flexible, more flexible than neoprene.
• They will protect your wetsuit from tears resulting from any falls you might encounter.
The best place to order any or all of these items is on wetsuitwearhouse.com where Canadians can take advantage of their international checkout by prepaying duties & taxes. This will speed up your customs processing and delivery time to ensure you get your World’s Toughest Mudder wetsuit on time. My package arrived in three business days.
Follow them on Facebook here.
By : Adam Kwitko | Is an endurance sports journalist and race operations professional. He is an avid OCR racer, trail runner who gravitates to the longer distances. He also consumes large amounts of honey and maple syrup.