CARPENTERSVILLE – Caked in mud nearly a year ago, District 300 Superintendent Michael Bregy looked at the other school administrators who helped him finish his second Tough Mudder challenge and saw a greater opportunity.
Bregy thought the renowned Tough Mudder challenge, with its 12 miles of slippery, muddy off-trail courses, would help the numerous staff members at the Carpentersville-based school district grow together.
He asked district administrators, principals, school teachers and aides whether they wanted to volunteer their time and contribute to a district-wide Tough Mudder team. By December, 45 people at various school positions, from Hampshire Elementary to the Central Office, had formed the "D300 Mud Studs" team.
"The great thing about the Tough Mudder event is that all titles are thrown out the window," Bregy said. "This is an opportunity for us to work together."
Tough Mudder organizers argue their "mind-numbing" obstacles will leave participants soaked in both water and sweat. They run challenges throughout the year in various states to benefit the Wounded Warriors Project.
On Saturday morning, the D300 Mud Studs will put nearly five months of training behind them and meet at the Richmond Hunting Club in Richmond to tackle the Chicago course, complete with obstacles like the "Cliffhanger" and "Boa Constrictor."
They will be the first team in Tough Mudder history to participate as a school district.
Bregy, who first completed a Tough Mudder with his friends and later with a group of district administrators, said he has been reminding the Mud Studs team about how much they will need each other during the challenge.
The team's theme is even built around trust, and Bregy said each teammate has already used their unique skill set usually found in the classroom and contributed it to the team.
Staff members who have spent 30 years at the district to teachers in their first year all make up the district wide team.
"We all have strengths in different areas," Bregy said. "We've been able to see that we think differently, have different strengths, but the end goal is the same."
Heading into the challenge, the Mud Studs are ready to support one another and help each teammate finish the Tough Mudder challenge, he said.
"There's a lot of nerves right now. People are excited and nervous at the same," Bregy said. "But there's such an adrenaline rush when you cross the finish line. People are going to be elated that this something they wanted to accomplish."