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How Tough Mudder and its 'adult obstacle courses' became a £100m business

One Sunday morning, Will Dean informed his girlfriend Katie: “I am going to electrocute thousands of people.” Unfazed, she continued reading her newspaper. But the Sheffield-born founder of Tough Mudder – the now-globally successful obstacle course series which comes to Gloucestershire’s Badminton Estate this weekend – was devilishly serious. “I started calling engineering companies, saying: ‘Hello, we’re Tough Mudder, we want to shock people with electricity,’” explains Dean, 36, who launched his first “weekend obstacle course for adults” in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in May 2010, after studying a MBA at Harvard Business School.
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