TPS Tough Mudders

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 9:54 a.m. August 25, 2014

Superintendent Ron Taverner knows teamwork is one of the most important facets of policing. It’s the reason the 67-year-old joined a team of police officers to take on the 16-kilometre Tough Mudder Challenge.

A group of men and women flexing one arm wearing black T-shirts in front of a TPS logo on a brick wall
The Toronto Police Tough Mudder Challenge team, Superintendent Ron Taverner at top right

Officers from  23 Division, where Taverner is the unit commander, and  54 Division completed the military-style obstacle course at Mount St. Louis Moonstone in Coldwater on August 16.

“It’s not called the Tough Mudder for nothing,” said Taverner, who has served as a Toronto police officer for 47 years. “It’s very tough running up hills with logs on your shoulders for almost half-mile through mud, braving 10,000 low-amp volts of wires and clearing 20 extremely challenging obstacle courses. It’s all about teamwork and working together as police officers should do every day on the job. This builds and promotes team work.”

Taverner said he was very proud of the officers who participated in the challenge, noting that the course is impossible without a team effort.

“It’s something you have to train for, so our members had to make some sacrifices and put in the extra work before we went out on the course,” he said. “It’s such a great sense of accomplishment for us to get a finisher’s T-shirt and head band that we can wear proudly to show that we completed the course.”

Tough Mudder Toronto : GoPro Official Course Cam

Leading from the front, Taverner was an inspiration for the other officers.

“He was right up there at the head of the line, pushing all of us,” School Resource Officer Constable Giulia Belligero said. “It was hard not to push yourself when you looked up and saw him really going all out. When I committed to take part, I asked myself shortly after if I was crazy. Climbing the hills was the most difficult part, but I had fun with my colleagues in a healthy team environment.”

Belligero and Constable Ewan MacLeod have committed to take part in next year’s challenge.

“It was something that was on my mind to do,” said MacLeod, who joined the Service 13 years ago. “It was great to come together and complete something like this. The toughest part was that it rained all day and we had to trek through almost 16.2 kilometres of pure mud. I will do it again.”

Never one to turn down a challenge, Constable Barbara Skolly relished the opportunity to participate in a team-building endeavour with her colleagues.

“It was challenging, but fun on a very cold day in rain,” she said.

Constable Anthony Crawford agreed.

“We are closely knit group here at 23 Division,” he pointed out. “For us to go out and feel what it’s like to do a military-style event in tough outdoor conditions is very rewarding. We had fun working as a team.”

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