On Saturday, July 26, 2014, 3,500 pre-registered racers will take to the snowless slopes of Sunday River to compete in the resort’s fastest growing summer event—the aptly named Tough Mountain Challenge. Registration for this year’s event is currently closed, having sold out in April 2014, but course access will still be available for spectators and fans to watch the event free of charge.
In addition to new obstacles, Sunday River has added more heats to accommodate growing demand. Last year’s Tough Mountain Challenge was attended by 3,000 racers and nearly as many spectators.
Participants in this year’s Tough Mountain Challenge can run as individuals or as teams of up to four people. Awards will be issued to the top three finishers in three age categories: under 30, 30-39, and over 40.
Teams may consist of four or more competitors. Team times will be recorded as the average of all team members’ finish times, allowing members to run together or separately. Team awards will be given to each of the top three teams.
Created in 2010, the Tough Mountain Challenge was designed to take some of Sunday River’s most well-known mountain features and pit them against willing participants. What started as a race with 200 competitors in its first year has quickly exploded into an event that now boasts 3,500 men and women.
For this year’s event, competitors can expect a four-mile course with 17 obstacles. New obstacles include the Webbed Wood Run, Look Ma!, Hurdles from Hell, and our favorite, Jersey Meets Tough Mountain: Approximately two dozen 600-pound, concrete barriers strategically placed on a very muddy surface.
Of course, the Tough Mountain Challenge wouldn’t be as popular as it is without a few old favorites, including:
· Hurricane Alley: A sprint through a battering ram of Sunday River’s most powerful snowguns spraying “summer snow.”
· WTF: A steep, steep, steep uphill scramble.
· Barker Pond Crossing: A leap-of-faith pond-crossing designed with balance in mind.
· Slip, Slide, and Die: Definitely not the Slip ‘N Slides of your youth.
The yearly shotgun beer station for racers ages 21 and older is considered a Tough Mountain Challenge staple.
The Tough Mountain Challenge is open to ages 13 and older, but recommended for ages 18 and older. There is also a Mini Mountain Challenge for kids 12 and younger that takes place the same day.
In addition to bragging rights, registrants take home a commemorative t-shirt and mug that they can use for a free drink at the finish, or pass in favor of the on-mountain shotgun challenge.