Mitch James, assistant director of the IUP Writing Center and a doctoral candidate in the Composition and TESOL program, helped raise money for wounded veterans at Tough Mudder events on April 14 and 28 in Amherst, Ohio, and the Poconos region of Pennsylvania.
Tough Mudders are 12.5-mile endurance events with obstacle courses designed by the British Special Forces. These weekend events regularly attract 15,000–20,000 participants. Since the event series began in May 2010, half a million participants have raised more than $3 million for the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that cares for veterans.
More than 20,000 people, including wounded veterams. participated in the Ohio and Poconos events. To keep the event running smoothly, the event organizers released 600 people every 15 minutes beginning at 8 a.m. and continuing until 2 p.m.
“All of us took that challenge on together,” James said. “We helped each other pull through the obstacles, through the cold, through everything.”
In both of James’ heats, the temperature never peaked 50 degrees, and water obstacles ranged from 28 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit.
James said the most challenging obstacle was “the 30-foot plunge into a 28-degree lake, which I then had to swim across, all after having run 10 miles already. That was a challenge.”
Like James, many IUP Writing Center tutors serve as volunteers and fundraisers in organizations and events throughout the year.
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