At Tough Mudder we are all about teamwork. In fact it’s so important, we make every Mudder recognise it before they go out on course; ‘I put teamwork and camaraderie before my course time’. For someone to win this category they have to exude teamwork in every sense of the word.
Before we announce the winner, we’d like to recognise and thank the shortlisted nominations for this award.
- Kevin Calder for bleeding orange, being willing to do anything for anyone and making Tough Mudder truly inclusive.
- Traci Watson, AKA ‘Pit Mama’, for leading and organising the orphan tent at World’s Toughest Mudder for all the mudders who need support during that event.
- Ryan Cray for always having a positive attitude and putting his goals aside to help others and embodying the Tough Mudder pledge.
- Mudder Guides for being a big volunteering presence and organising camping for Mudders at german events.
You all personify teamwork on and off the Tough Mudder course, thank you.
TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK
The 2019 Teamwork award winner is…Francis Lackner.
Among the Tough Mudder US community Francis is well known for the incredible number of hours he spends at the top of Everest helping people physically and mentally get over the obstacle, and this is what some of Mudder Nation had to say about him:
“Francis Lackner is the face of and the undisputed leader of all those who help. Primarily at Everest but anywhere on course. It’s one thing to get halfway through an event and decide that you’re going to drop your goals and post up somewhere, especially if things aren’t going great. It’s another to decide from the onset that you’re going to dedicate your entire effort to helping others achieve their goals. In a season of getting “back to roots” Francis has done just that, showing everyone what sets Tough Mudder apart.”
“Francis Lackner is the epitome of teamwork. The people who he’s helped up and over Everest at Tough, Tougher, Toughest and World’s Toughest events are countless. And he does it all with a boombox and a smile.”
“This gentleman seeks out ways to help others and takes it to another level. He is always supporting ‘More Hearts than Scars’ and is top angel in ‘Everest Angels’.”
WHAT GOT YOU INTERESTED IN TOUGH MUDDER IN THE FIRST PLACE?
A good friend of mine asked me if I wanted to join him for a Tough Mudder (which he had done a few already at that time) and I said sure. While I had fun with my group during the event, I was over it. One and done. Never thought I would do another. A lack of training, massive blisters, and being sick beforehand didn’t yield the best results I had been hoping for. But once he convinced me to come back for my second event, I was hooked.
WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING BACK?
Helping others, plain and simple. Being able to extend my hand, reach down, and lift someone up helps fill my heart. It may hurt after a while (20+ hours on an obstacle can be a little tiring), but it’s the joy I get from the events. I don’t care about my course time, or winning anything, I just want to help as many people as possible during my time at the events. As Sean says all too often, that we are the movers and shakers of the world. What we do on the course and take back to our community not only makes us better, but it makes our community better, and that will help make the whole world a better place. The fact that more and more people are now joining in and staying at obstacles for extended periods of time, not for any recognition but to just lend a hand and put teamwork and camaraderie before our course times is amazing.
WHAT DID WINNING THE TEAMWORK AWARD MEAN TO YOU?
This is something that I have a hard time answering. I am very grateful for the award, but I don’t seek the award when I am out lending my hand. Seeing others achieve greatness is amazing enough in and of itself and is what I want out of my time at events. What winning the award does mean to me is that it shows (myself) that I have truly had an impact on so many people. So many in fact that they believe I deserve to receive the award. It just motivates me to want to do even more for others, and lend my hand wherever possible.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE OBSTACLE AND WHY?
This is another hard question for me, because I have so many favorites for so many different reasons. The easy one to say is Everest, but the main reason I am so fond of that one is because I enjoy seeing people accomplish the obstacle, especially when so many think they cannot do it. Everyone can do it, but do you want to complete it? I have spent countless times on top of Everest helping people who think they couldn’t, but if they never gave up, I wasn’t going to give up either.
As for the obstacles I also enjoy the most, that are just fun, it would be Arctic Enema and Funky Monkey. Who doesn’t love playing on jungle gyms and a nice relaxing ice bath with a good book?
Francis is the epitome of teamwork. He dedicates so much of his time to help people overcome obstacles on the Tough Mudder course and for him it’s a way of life. We could all use some extra teamwork right now, so if you’ve been inspired by Francis and want to do something to help people during the current situation check out our #HelpAHundred project for ideas to put a smile on their face.
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