Compassion, Empathy
& Boundaries

This was in 2014, I walked into the water at waste height and stood there for 4 hours making photos of the people in front of me.

There was so many cool things going on around the course that I could make photos of but I was there for myself so this was my choice, it felt more like documenting moments than looking for those hero shots.

This was the session I keep coming back to the most, because at no point over the few thousand people I saw come past me, judgement was not involved but instead:

  • Compassion

  • Empathy

  • strength

  • Vulnerability

  • Excitement

  • Nerves

  • Energy

  • Exhaustion

  • Sadness

  • Happyness

It was just another mud run

and it was just people getting muddy...

It was so much more than that!


(UNDER WATER TRIGGER NEXT TWO LINES) First to get this session in context, they needed to be underwater for a 4 meter stretch with two small air gaps along the way.)

For every person that came up for air (everyone :), this was a moment of stop, breath, compose ones self, get ready for the next push.

Every one was here for their own fight, for themselves or another. It did not mater how strong/fit/able someone was, they all had to stop/slow down. You could see that this was a heavy part of the run both physical and mentally.

Yet however tired, however much their own push to complete this was, that moment of stop also alowed for a moment to help another as they came out of the water before carrying on, it did not matter who it was, people made time to help others.

This was natural empathy compassion and boundaries.




Everybody had the same goal, to win was not against another but against their own goal. they understood the fight of eachother.

People felt a natural obligation to help the ones around them no matter who they were.

They wanted others to complete their own goals.

They cared for people they do not know.

People pushed their limits yet knew it was also ok to stop when needed knowing there would not be judgement but encouragement.

People would help others but know they could then get straight on their own path/goal knopwing the others would respect both the help given and that the other person had their own fight in this.


Me wanting to understand human behavior started along time before this but being there at the moments of a few thousand people gets put into the emotionl parts of my brain, so it stays there!

If you have been a part of something like this or have a question/comment, please get in touch