Maryland Man Dies During Tough Mudder Race

Avishek Sengupta of Ellicott City dies after jumping into an ice-cold water obstacle.

Avishek Sengupta (not pictured) of Ellicott City died after jumping into ice-cold water during the Walk the Plank obstacle of the Tough Mudder run in West Virginia. Photograph courtesy of Flickr user glenn harper.

A recent Tough Mudder race in Gerrardstown, West Virginia, resulted in the death of a man from Ellicott City, the Baltimore Sun reported

Avishek Sengupta, 28, never resurfaced after jumping into icy cold water during the Walk the Plank obstacle. Friends of Sengupta who were running the race say it took four to seven minutes for authorities to get to Sengupta, according to reports. The race had 75 medical professionals on hand that day.

Representatives of Tough Mudder released a statement yesterday regarding the “Mid-Atlantic 2013 incident,” saying they were “devastated” by the accident and are cooperating with the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department. This is the first death in the three-year history of the company, they said.

Medics were able to resuscitate Sengupta on the course. He was later flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, where he died after being taken off life support.

Tough Mudder, which describes itself as “probably the toughest event on the planet,” features 10 to 12 miles of obstacle courses designed by founder Will Dean, a former counterterrorism agent for the British government. Typical obstacles include the Everest, a slicked half-pipe that participants have to scale, and Electroshock Therapy, where runners must traverse through live wires. Participants are not required to complete every obstacle in the race.

While it’s the first fatality for Tough Mudder, this is not the first time a local mud race has resulted in injury. In 2010, an unregistered runner from Virginia was paralyzed after crawling through a mud pit during the Filthy 5K Mud Run. The man later sued the race organizers for $30 million. The lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial in June. 

All participants of Tough Mudder races are required to sign a waiver to participate, acknowledging they are exposing themselves to “certain risks, including the risk of personal injury,” according to the company’s website. The company also encourages participants to purchase insurance with their registration in case of injury on the course.