TRUCKEE, CA - They say it’s probably the toughest event on the planet. Tough Mudder events are 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test strength, stamina and camaraderie. This weekend Northstar will host an event expected to draw 20,000 participants.
“The Tough Mudder is amazing,” Northstar COO Bill Rock said. “All the lodging in North Lake Tahoe is full, all of our merchants and commercial tenants just love this event and we love it too. It helps the Wounded Warriors, it introduces a ton of people to Northstar and we’re just thrilled to have the event here.”
It’s the first time Northstar has hosted the event; it’s been at Squaw in previous years.
“This event fits perfectly what Northstar is about,” Village at Northstar General Manager Nadia Guerriero said. “Getting outside, challenging yourself and being here in the great outdoors. September is a great time to bring all these people out here; it’s normally a slower time for us so to have all these people come out here now works really well.”
The 11.3-mile course features 20 challenging obstacles and course designers say it will take most people about 3.5 hours to finish. But it’s not a race; there’s no official clock and the focus is on teamwork.
“It’s a start and a finish and what that does is it lends itself to a lot of camaraderie and teamwork,” Guerriero said. “You’ll see people at the top of an obstacle helping people they’ve never even met before and they’ll stay there for an hour helping people. The whole vibe of the event is really positive. Everybody is in it together and it really just lends itself to an awesome day of people out doing the same thing, helping each other out if someone’s having trouble; it’s a really cool feeling.”
Tough Mudder crews spent months designing and building a course that highlights what Northstar has to offer.
“The goal here was to make the best use of the mountain as we could,” Course Designer Nolan Kombol said. “We want to send people up and down as many times as possible to tire them out. It’s supposed to be tough, that’s why we’re Tough Mudder! We also wanted to take advantage of the views they have of the lake and using the top of the mountain as best we could to make it enjoyable.”
There are 35 Tough Mudder events scheduled all over the world this year. More than 460,000 are expected to take the challenge in 2012.
“It’s certainly been getting bigger for us, expanding to new areas around the country and new areas in the world,” Kombol said. “It’s something people really enjoy and it’s for a great cause. It’s tough, it’s challenging but at the end of the day it’s a lot of fun.”
Saturday’s event is sold out at 15,000 participants but there are still a few spaces available for the Sunday event. The Sunday event is smaller – they’re capping it at 5,000 participants. Spectators are welcome to check out the events all weekend long but dogs are not allowed at Northstar this weekend.