The fire chief of the McLeese Lake Volunteer Fire Department is in Whistler this weekend taking part in his first Tough Mudder Classic.

Ian Hicks is taking part with his first responder girlfriend, Kate Macalister who has done it twice.

“I’m kind of the rookie and she’s the veteran, and I’m just going to go for it,” Hicks said.

“It’s kind of like special forces type stuff like swinging from ropes and jumping on things in freezing cold water and mud, and I’m excited. I’ve got the mental stamina I think.”

As for preparing for the 13 to 16-kilometer race, Hicks said he did quite a bit of training through his job as a garbage landfill contractor picking up blown garbage from a 500-foot slope.

“I was yelling ‘I am powerful Russian mountain goat I can pick up garbage all afternoon’, and I was up and down that hill thinking you know what I’m doing some training here carrying this garbage can up and down the hill. I think I’m going to make out okay.”

Macalister said the first year that she did the Tough Mudder Classic the weather was ‘miserable’ and that there was still snow in some places.

“In the grand scheme of things it was a lot of fun,” she said.

“The first year I did it was with a group of five of us, good friends of mine from Williams Lake who are also runners and active people, and we had a blast. Also going away for the weekend, sure the Cariboo is great, but sometimes it’s fun to go on a little road trip with your friends and Whistler is a fun place to go. The course, all in all, was fun too.”