As with Tough Mudder New England in May, the first day of the event is sold out. A full 10,000 participants have signed up to challenge themselves against the grueling 10-mile course at Mount Snow. Officials expect between 8,000 and 9,000 to actually show up and run the course. Sunday isn’t a sellout, and according to information sent out by Mount Snow, 2,500 were registered as of press time.
Participants go off in large groups, charging up the hill and heading toward the first of 30 obstacles strewn about the course. Those obstacles include some aptly-named ones such as “greased lightning,” where participants slide down a muddy slope, “funky monkey,” which requires swinging across a monkey-bar-like obstacle over a pond, and the last obstacle, “electroshock therapy,” in which participants run through a series of dangling, charged wires with hay bales, mud, and water underfoot. Average completion time for the course is three to four hours.
Participants who challenged the course in May will see some changes. According to Tough Mudder spokesperson Jane DiLeo, “There are two to three brand new obstacles that are a secret and a few changes to the route.”
Tough Mudder is not a competition. All participants who complete the course receive the same thing: a cold beer, a T-shirt, admission to the post-event party, and the satisfaction of overcoming the challenge.
However, the top 5% of finishers by time will be invited to participate in the annual World’s Toughest Mudder 24-hour marathon mudder. Participants submit their own times based on the honor system. That event is set for November in New Jersey.
Not only is this Saturday’s event essentially sold out, but lodging in the valley is just about sold out as well. According to Lorre Adams at the Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce, there are limited options available for lodging close to the mountain.
“We have a couple of inns with two-night minimums, and a private house available.” Hoyt said. “Otherwise, people will have to go to Bennington, Brattleboro, or Stratton. We’ve sent quite a few people to Stratton.”
Mount Snow is looking forward to the weekend, according to spokesperson Dave Meeker.
“Not only is our goal to help our friends at Tough Mudder put on a great event,” he said. “we’re also hoping tp make positive, lasting impressions on the thousands of guests that might never have otherwise visited our area. The May event was definitely a huge success. The folks that came here for the event in May were just a great group.
“We’ve had a very busy summer so far with a lot of buzz surrounding what we have going on and it’s really just getting started with a bunch of events coming right on the heels of Tough Mudder. This has already been a very successful summer and it’s only going to get better.”
Parking at the mountain will be $10 per day. Participants and spectators are encouraged to ride the MOOver instead, which is free and will drop riders off in the main base area. Passes to get into the finish area are $20 in advance and can be bought online at toughmudder.com.
The best areas for watching, aside from the finish area, are at Carinthia or take the Canyon Express up and hike down to see the obstacles farther up the mountain. The Bluebird Express will be spinning for scenic chairlift rides to the summit of Mount Snow. Spectators can take the stairs behind the Grand Summit Hotel and walk on the outer perimeter of the finish area to access the loading ramp for the Bluebird Express, so they do not have to be paid spectators to take a ride. Tickets are $10 each for one lift ride and downloading will be permitted on the Bluebird only.Spectators and/or participants will not be allowed to bring dogs or coolers into the resort.
At the mountain there will be live music during the finish area party in the Main Base Area, starting in the afternoon both days. The Snow Barn will be open on Saturday night with a live performance from the Ryan Montbleau Band. Doors will open at 6 pm. Tickets are just $10 when purchased in advance online or $15 at the door. Visit www.mountsnow.com.
On Friday, July 13, the Fat Spy Tavern in Bondville will be hosting a Tough Mudder kick-off party. The Jack Grace Band will be playing to get everyone ready for the adventure ahead. The festivities start at 7 pm, there’s a $5 cover and all of that will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project. For information call (802) 297-3626.
Volunteer opportunities are also available. They will get admission to the event, lunch, and a Tough Mudder T-shirt. Go to toughmudder.com for more information.
Tough Mudder expects participants to raise around $4 million in donations in 2012 for the Wounded Warrior Project, a charity that helps injured veterans recover.
All of the donations come from funds raised by those who take part in the events.
Tough Mudder has grown significantly since its inception in 2010. Besides events across the United States, events are being held in Australia, Scotland, and Canada. In 2013, Germany will see its first Tough Mudder event. The company says on its website that it expects to generate close to $70 million in sales in 2012. Not bad for a company that earned its first dollar a little over two years ago.
By the way, Tough Mudder is hiring. Job openings posted on the website earlier this week were numerous, and included chief of staff, event director, obstacle construction manager, and president, Tough Mudder Europe. Among the job requirements listed on the postings: “A sense of humor is a must, and please, don’t take yourself too seriously.”