Events, Trail Stories

This past September the Merrell team was able to spend some time bonding outside of our offices in Rockford, Michigan. It’s not every day you get the opportunity to participate in a Tough Mudder with the people you work with daily. A combined group of 57 employees and their guests descended upon Michigan International Speedway for the Tough Mudder Challenge. For some, it was their fourth or fifth time on the course. For others, it was the first time taking on Tough Mudder’s epic obstacles.

We wanted to hear from both sides of experience. Alana Gusmano of our Product Development Team had never participated in a challenge like this. Merrell Sports & Event Marketing Director Sue Harvey Brown took some time to ask Alana what this new challenge meant to her.


SHB: Why did you want to participate in the Tough Mudder in the first place?

AG: To challenge myself and grow closer to my coworkers. I was a little scared because I had never done anything like that before but the excitement/motivation from coworkers along the way was encouraging. It was an opportunity I simply couldn’t pass up.

SHB: Was there anything that made you nervous going into the event?

AG: I was most anxious of the unknown and whether or not I would be capable of completing each obstacle. I did some research online and checked out forums with first-time mudder experience feedback and it helped reassure me that with the right mindset I could conquer all of them. I also have asthma so focusing on my breathing throughout the course was really important for me as well.

SHB: What was it like going through this challenge with your coworkers?

AG: I really enjoyed how it brought coworkers together! I completed the course with several people from other departments who I don’t typically work with day to day and it was a great way to get to know people.

SHB: What was your favorite part?

AG: Pushing myself and coworkers to overcome our fears!! (and all the pain, struggle, and laughs that came with it)

SHB: Did anything surprise you?

AG: The amount of war wounds I ended up. So many scratches and bruises all over!! Every one of them totally worth it.

SHB: Any tips for other first timers?

AG: Prepare your body and believe in yourself.

SHB: Do you think another Tough Mudder is in your future?

AG: Absolutely! I was so proud of myself after completing the TM and that feeling alone is enough to go back for more.

Thanks for sharing your experience, Alana!

Check out our blog from Tough Mudder Legionnaire and Merrell Team Coach, Rachel Horos on why she can’t get enough of these things!

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