“At this event approximately $108,000 was raised for WWP,” said Tough Mudder spokesperson Jane DiLeo. “The two events combined would be $308,000.” Her figures included funds raised at the first TMNE in May, also held at Mount Snow.
Tough Mudder is one of the original extreme adventure challenges, in which participants take on numerous obstacles while running from station to station across rugged terrain. The course at Mount Snow featured 30 obstacles strewn about the 10-mile-long course. Despite the difficulty, thousands paid up to $200 for the opportunity to take on the challenge.
“There were approximately 13,000 participants this weekend,” DiLeo added. “Of that, approximately 10,400 finished.”
For many of the participants, the event was about more than helping out veterans. Although the contributions are a critical part of the event, it was also about team building and camaraderie, according to many who participated.
“It was team oriented,” said Dover resident Sheila Romo. “Everybody had the same goals. The energy at the start was something like I’ve never experienced before.” Romo competed as part of an office team from Mount Snow Realty, along with coworker Maggie Deutsch and three other friends. “Surprisingly, it was thrilling,” she added. “It was an extreme mental and physical challenge.”
“What I enjoy about the Tough Mudder is the sense of camaraderie that is present throughout the event,” said Koni Denham, of Northampton, MA. “No doubt that teamwork was necessary this weekend. The weather was hot and humid, and the course was dusty, which added additional challenges to the already-extreme course.”
“With the weather being so hot and muggy, first aid was busy all weekend,” said Mount Snow’s Dave Meeker. “Most cases involved heat and dehydration. Of course there were a number of relatively minor injuries that required medical attention including scrapes, bruises, and some broken bones.”
Denham said course organizers had prepared for the hot weather. “The Tough Mudder folks did a fantastic job of providing more water stations this time around and setting up water sprayers and different points along the course to cool people off.”
Meeker also noted that the event ran smoothly. “ I really can’t think of anything unusual that happened, which is a testament to the long hours of preparation put in by Tough Mudder and Mount Snow staff prior to the weekend.”
Rich Werner, of the Dover Police Department, echoed Meeker’s assessment, noting that the community was very prepared to handle the thousands who came to the valley for the weekend. “The only thing unusual we had was that someone locked a dog in their car,” added Werner.
As for competitors, those who had competed in a previous Tough Mudder also said they were prepared for the event.
“My second Tough Mudder was remarkably better than the one in May” said Christian Avard, Dummerston resident, Denham’s teammate, and former Deerfield Valley News staff reporter. “In May, I sprained my left ankle on the third to last obstacle, ironically called ‘Twinkle Toes.’ I completed yesterday’s Tough Mudder without any injuries. I smoked the Funky Monkey without falling in, didn’t get fazed by the three electroshock obstacles, made Everest in my second attempt, and didn’t sustain any cramping, which there was a lot of on the course.”
Romo said her team was, in general, feeling pretty good and ready to do it again. “Maggie had some sore legs, and my arms are pretty much what hurt for me. I even made Mount Everest on the first try, with some help.”
Romo also said not every obstacle was overcome easily. “Each obstacle was a different challenge for different people. The one for me was under the trenches. They didn’t have any light and you could hear the muffled noise of people next to you.” She said that was unsettling, but added that overall the event was a good experience.
Denham echoed Avard’s assessment that completing a Tough Mudder the first time helps preparation for the next time. “This time around was a little bit easier,” she said, “because I knew what to expect from the course and I was fortunate enough to be in a little better shape.”
Neither Meeker nor DiLeo could say if and when Tough Mudder will return to Mount Snow. “We cannot comment on future plans until contracts have been signed,” said DiLeo.
As for the participants, Denham summed up what many seem to feel about the Tough Mudder experience.
“We are encouraged to overcome our fears and be there for our teammates and our fellow mudders. People really support one another out there on the course. We take an oath that this isn’t a race,” she said.
“Additionally, we pledge to be there for our fellow mudders. Sometimes I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of world we would live in if we lived our lives like we ran that course.”