After 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.”
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!]