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February 2, 2009

Tough Guy Challenge 2009

Billed as "the safest most dangerous taste of physical and mental endurance pain in the world", the Tough Guy Challenge took place yesterday, February 1st, on South Perton Farm, near Wolverhampton, England. Thousands of challengers (men and women) started the endurance race, with hundreds dropping out along the way due to exhaustion or injury - broken bones, dislocations, and over 600 cases of hypothermia. Even the overall winner, James Appleton, was treated briefly for hypothermia. The course takes racers through 21 obstacles - through mud, freezing water, across ropes and burning terrain. The challenge is also a fundraiser for charity, with funds going to the Mr. Mouse Farm for Unfortunates, which looks after hundreds of retired horses and provides jobs to young offenders. Here are a handful of photos from yesterday's race. (20 photos total)

Competitors are pushed to the limits as they compete in the 2009 Tough Guy Challenge on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

A racer gasps for air after emerging from an underwater obstacle during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) #

A competitor scrambles in the mud under barbed wire during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) #

Challengers climb the penultimate hill during the Tough Guy event. (REUTERS/Kieran Doherty) #

A man runs through fire during the Tough Guy Challenge at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009. (Mike Hewitt/Getty Images) #

A competitor crawls across ropes during the Tough Guy Challenge on February 1st, 2009. (REUTERS/Kieran Doherty) #

An exhausted racer in the mud during the Tough Guy Challenge, Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009. (AP Photo/Simon Dawson) #

Competitors leap across burning obstacles in the 2009 Tough Guy Challenge on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) #

A man struggles through the Water Tunnel as others approach from behind during the Tough Guy Challenge at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Mike Hewitt/Getty Images) #

A mud-covered challenger reacts during the Tough Guy Challenge, Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009. (AP Photo/Simon Dawson) #

An exhausted racer warms himself as snow flies during the the 2009 Tough Guy Challenge on February 1, 2009. (Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) #

After emerging from a ditch, competitors run through fire during the Tough Guy Challenge at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Mike Hewitt/Getty Images) #

Tough Guy challengers scramble in the mud under barbed wire during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) #

A competitor runs through fire during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) #

Racers make their away across a rope obstacle in the 2009 Tough Guy Challenge on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) #

A man is seen approaching a fire obstacle during the 2009 Tough Guy Challenge on February 1, 2009. (Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) #

Competitors brave water, fire and smoke during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) #

A challenger emerges from icy water during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) #

A competitor emerges from muddy water, clearing his airway during the Tough Guy Challenge, at South Perton Farm, near Wolverhampton, central England, Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009. (AP Photo/Simon Dawson) #

A man runs through fire during the Tough Guy Challenge 2009 at South Perton Farm on February 1, 2009 in Wolverhampton, England. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) #

 
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