Hardrock 100 To Become The Tough Mudder World Championships

AJW's Raptoom LogoAfter months of speculation it was announced today that the Hardrock 100 has brokered a deal with Tough Mudder to become the Tough Mudder World Championships beginning in 2015. Billed as ‘probably the toughest event on the planet,’ the organizers of Tough Mudder have long sought a partnership with a major 100-mile event and they believe this deal with Hardrock represents a major step toward achieving their long-range goals.

Over a year ago, Tough Mudder approached Lifetime Fitness, the organizers of the Leadville Trail 100, about forming a partnership. However, Lifetime Fitness ultimately turned down the offer saying, “It is just too commercial for us. While Tough Mudder is a great concept, the profit motive behind this venture is simply not a good fit for our company.” So, over the next few months, Tough Mudder explored several opportunities and it ultimately came down to two, The Barkley Marathons or Hardrock.

According to sources close to the negotiations, what resulted was nothing short of a bidding war between Gary Cantrell, Race Director of Barkley, and Dale Garland, Race Director of Hardrock. Cantrell knew from the beginning that Tough Mudder would be a good fit for Barkley, but the organization was concerned about parking in the Frozen Head State Park Campground as well as the quality of the food at the pre-race meal. Cantrell promised to make improvements in these areas if Tough Mudder were to come on board, but, ultimately, Tough Mudder chose to go with Hardrock.

“We are just thrilled with this new relationship!” said Garland in an interview this morning. “Tough Mudder is truly on the cutting edge of the ‘challenge-sports’ movement and there is no doubt that this new world-championships designation will be the envy of the entire ultrarunning world.”

While the exact details of the relationship are still being ironed out, this much is clear in the new deal:

1. Thirty spaces will be reserved in the 2015 Hardrock 100 for Tough Mudder World Championships qualifiers.

2. Obstacles will include a lightning-rod station on Handies Peak, a trip wire in South Mineral Creek, and several innovative obstacles created by the townspeople of Ouray and Telluride who have long wanted to become more involved in the event.

Roch Horton, a Hardrock Board Member and Captain of the Kroger’s Canteen Aid Station, which will include a luge run in the new Tough Mudder format, summed up the thoughts of many in a press release this morning, “I have spent more than half my life splashing around in the muck, now many more get to share in my joy here at Hardrock.”

Bottoms up!

 AJW’s Beer of the Week

Today’s Beer of the Week comes from Anheuser-Busch Companies, LLC in St. Louis, Missouri. Their Bud Light lager comes in an easy-opening can and is quite wet.

Call for Comments (from Meghan)

  • What do you think of the new Hardrock/Tough Mudder partnership?
  • Do you have any ideas for terrain- and environment-appropriate obstacles?

[Editor’s Note: Happy April Fools’ Day!]

There are 33 comments

  1. Sarahc001

    This brightened my day- especially the part about Lifetime deciding Tough Mudder was "too commercial" and the "bidding war" between RDs of Barkley and Hardrock…thanks!

  2. TropicalJohn

    ever so slightly too obvious but exceedingly well done AJW! I expect you had several readers hooked. . . right up until the Bud Light commentary. (ain't nobody gonna believe that one)

  3. markymoro

    Agree with Timsoslow – I enjoyed the breaking news but was really thrown by the AJW Friday installment on a – *ugh* – Tuesday. Now I'm going to go have me an easy-opening, Bud Light Lager.

  4. MOGBlogger

    ho! i was a thumb's width from posting this to a Facebook group of Spartan racing friends when i saw the other comments and realized I'd been FoolsDayed. :) But then again, maybe i'll post it anyway, because they'd probably dig it.

  5. markymoro

    …a shameless ploy on the part of the Hardrock Board to entice Kilian into running in another American ultra event two years in a row. However, it's necessary because the Western States folks already used the "you don't need no stinkin' water" trick on him in 2010.

  6. Carl

    Great beer recommendations. I thought that might be a regional craft, but I called our store and they actually carry it now.

  7. wesneubeck

    Last years Western States reversal was still your best, but you had me for a few seconds. This was TOO unbelieveable.

  8. Max

    Thank you Andy, this made my day. Not so cooked chicken is not up to par with the ideas of Tougher Mudder? They are selling out..
    A wet "beer" to go with the wet feet, bottoms up!

  9. 7seastrees

    OMG! I was just about to post, that I just barfed in my mouth while reading this news…and then read some of the comments. YOU GOT ME! That was AWESOME FOOLING!

  10. ripvanracer

    I'm in as long as they go electro at night to make it easier to see and have Hot Chocolate at all the aid stations.

  11. RoberttP

    The toughest race on the planet would be Western States 100 in opposite direction, relentless uphill challenge !!
    Why don't they do this ?

    1. EvanKimber

      Not to burst your bubble but WS in the opposite direction would still not come close to being harder than Hardrock or Wasatch. HR has 33K of climbing and peaks at 14K feet, Wasatch has 27K foot of climbing and peaks at just under 11K. WS even if run in the opposite direction would have something like 24K of climb and peak out just at 9K. But it would be REALLY COOL to see them do WS in reverse, like really cool and would definitely slow those times substantially.

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