Are you tough enough for Tough Sh!t?

Meet Matt Smith, the man who wants you (and your friends) to take on 20 toilet-themed obstacles – and a lot of mud – in our newest event this October.


18 Aug 2015 | UK
WaterAid's Matt Smith

Ok, you've caught our attention with the name. But – as one of the team behind Tough Sh!t – can you tell us what it's all about?

Tough Sh!t is a brand new, 10k obstacle race packed with over 20 toilet-themed obstacles. And mud. Lots of mud. We'll be hosting it this October at our specially designed course in Surrey.

It's a one-of-a-kind event – there's nothing else like it out there – featuring obstacles you'll only see at Tough Sh!t, as well as a toilet-themed spin on some staples of the obstacle race scene.

Every team that registers needs a name. What are your top five?

They change on a weekly basis! But at the moment my favourites are: Mama Do The Dump, Rage Against The Latrine, The Flush Mob, Urine Trouble and The Poo Fighters. We're definitely going to have a prize for the best name, but it'll be a very tough decision.

Which are your favourite obstacles and why?

That's like asking a parent to pick their favourite child! If you twisted my arm, I'd say the Porta Slide is going to be pretty amazing. Seeing teams work together on our inverted wall, Backsplash, will be very exciting too.

The Tough Sh!t Porta Slide

What on earth does a training schedule look like for an event like this?

It's not like training for a run in your local park, that’s for sure! Tough Sh!tters will need to combine running with getting their bodyweight over, under and through obstacles, so the best training plans will incorporate strength and condition-building exercises like pull-ups, squats and burpees.

We've got lots of tips in our Tough Sh!t training zone, and we've already heard some great stories, including people carrying training buddies up hills and pulling five tonne trucks. This is definitely not compulsory, however.

What three pieces of advice would you give someone thinking of signing up to Tough Sh!t?

First, take part as a team. It'll be a lot more fun and rewarding. Second, take a look at our training plans and tailor them to your strengths and weaknesses.

Lastly, be prepared to have a lot of fun but be very dirty and very, very tired by the end. The last few obstacles are going to be some of the best, so people will definitely feel like they've earned their medal at the finish line!


What's your favourite motivational quote to inspire people taking part?

I love 'If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere.' It's certainly motivating when you're faced with difficult moments in training.

What's the best thing about working on Tough Sh!t?

Easy: the chance to work on something so innovative, while making a real difference in some of the world's poorest communities.

The event is obviously meant to be a lot of fun, but there is a serious reason why we need to talk sh!t: there are 2.5 billion people around the world – that's one in three people – who don't have access to a decent toilet, and many have no choice but to go in the open.

By taking part in Tough Sh!t people will be helping raise awareness and funds to make change happen. So while it's fun to work on, there's a life-changing campaign at its heart.

Ready to take on the challenge? Prove you're the sh!t and enter now >