Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Knut poses before the event,

If you haven't noticed, TV is currently obsessed with competition shows.  Not since the Game Show Craze of the 1970's has the world so embraced the need to compete and win...all while being filmed for a later national broadcast.  Since the year 2000, singing and dancing competitions have dominated TV ratings in the US and UK.  But...let's face it...those are the nice shows.  In search of the elusive ratings goldmine, television networks are taking more and more risks in hopes of luring viewers. On NBC's Fear Factor, the object is to eat more cockroaches and can drink more donkey urine than anyone else.  Then there's Silent Library on MTV.  Here, teen students are physically harmed...and the winner is the one who doesn't scream.   Ever watch the weightlifters pull trucks on ESPN2?  Heck, there's even a game show called... I Survived A Japanese Game Show!

Anyhow...we here at the DUNER BLOG have discovered the ultimate physical competition which amazingly is not on any TV Network (Are you reading...Hollywood executives??).  It's called the Tough Guy Competition and it was held on Sunday in Perton, Staffordshire, just outside of Birmingham in Central England.  The winner was KNUT HOHLER a 26-year-old Physician from Germany.  He completed the 7.4 mile endurance course in 1 hour, 11 minutes.  He's getting lots of publicity on the German tabloid circuit...but little mention in the English speaking world.  (Thank God for the DUNER BLOG!)

Notice the chunks of ice...January is the coldest month.
So...you're asking yourself...just what separates the Tough Guy Competition from all of the other endurance events?  I mean, how could anything be more strenuous than the IRON MAN TRIATHLON?  The answer is: Yes.  Why?  Because when you run in the Iron Man, there are no camouflaged commandos firing smoke bombs at you!  In the Tough Guy Competition you have to swim through flooded underground tunnels and dredge a half mile through a frozen swamp.  Then you gotta throw wood planks to walk over fire pits.   And don't forget the dreaded barbed-wire crawl.  Sound scary?  Well...don't worry...each step of the Tough Guy Competition comes with a Pain and a Fear rating.   This way you have an idea of how much misery to expect.  See...it is more difficult than the Iron Man!

Now...all the lawyers must be asking themselves...isn't this a liability nightmare?  Haven't people died trying to complete this insane death sentence?  The answer is yes.  Before anyone can legally compete in the Tough Man Competition, you must first sign a waiver affectionately called the "Death Warrant."  It absolves the establishment of all legal encumbrances including dismemberment, third-degree burns, and...yes...death.  So far, two people have died in the competition.  Leicestershire native MICHAEL GREEN died in 2000 and another man succumbed in 2007, who wished to remain anonymous.  Both died from heart attacks.  The worst injuries this year were six broken pelvises and one broken neck.

Doesn't this look like fun?
So...think you're tough enough to beat HERR KNUT?  Are you a man or are you a mouse?  Well, don't ask that question to BILLY "Mr. Mouse" GREEN, the founder of the competition, that question.  The ex-Royal Army Grenadier Guard is one tough crumpet...he famously completed the 1981 London Marathon wearing a pantomime horse.  He watches the recent spike in Reality TV Competitions and laughs...knowing his will always be the best. It's now in it's 25th year and getting bigger and bigger.  This year, he had to turn away 250 people.  And...according to Green...NO ONE has ever completed the entire course to his strict rules and regulations.  Why don't you become the first?

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