Tough Mountain Course Description
The Tough Mountain Challenge is designed by a highly trained and
frighteningly creative team of event master minds who spend sleepless nights imagining ways to challenge and torture the mind, body and soul. We also solicit and incorporate competitor feedback each year to make the course the best it can be. And because we limit the number of competitors and spread out the field into heats, you'll find the course to be a continuous challenge from start to finish without the crowding and backups that plague the big mud runs.
The 2014 Tough Mountain Challenge course builds on the popularity of the 2013 layout but will add some new turns and new features. Expect lots of snow guns again, even more mud, a pond crossing, and another scramble up WTF, which was the surprising most popular feature in 2013. Recommended spectator routes are marked on the course map.
Really? Who puts a mud pit 20 feet from the start of the race? We do! Tie your shoes really tight because this muddy pit tends to suck the shoes off of even the most accomplished runners. We’re still picking out Nikes, tutus, swim goggles, bagpipes, diamonds, Bud Lights and dignity. Lots of dignity.
Sprint, walk or stumble up through 12 high-powered, ass-kicking snowmaking guns. Helpful hint: You may want to pack your goggles for this one. Keep in mind, goggles may help keep the water out of your eyes, but there is no doubt you’re still going to be running blind. And no pair of goggles (swim or snow) are going to help with the overwhelming drowning sensation. You could always be that guy with a snorkel…
Snow & Steady
You’re out of breath and legs are like jelly from running uphill. Now it is time calm your breathing and find your inner balance as you cross over a dark, mysterious water gap on small and slippery snowmaking pipes. The steadier you are, the faster you go. The more focused you are, the more we are going to… Wait. Squirrel! Splash. Grrrr.
The Shredder Mud Pit
One hundred feet of pure bullshit to get you down low and completely filthy. The barbed wire is lower and the mud is piled higher. Oh, and did we mention that the crawl is a little longer? Tough Mountain Challenge is one of the few places ‘round here where you can get a mud facial and acupuncture at the same time. You’re welcome.
This is the simplest obstacle, but it was voted the most difficult two years in a row. To prepare yourself, walk 30 feet while holding a garden hose to your face at full blast. We’re not joking. That’s just about how it will play out when you encounter four snowmaking guns in this one section. And the only way out of this hell is the Evacuation Route. Can’t breathe? Or see? Just put your head down, grab the closest hottie, and plow through.
Aren’t wet enough? Let us try again. Here you will submerge yourself in a small, dirty, slug-infested pond while trying to avoid the metal contraptions overhead. We probably should have called this the hangover because most people end up drinking the dirty water and clocking their noggins, which sounds a lot like last night’s party!
Wall in the Woods
Small, but so damn cool. Navigate over this very rustic, rickety wall of logs, which seems to grow each year. Survivor hint: After the wall, turn left immediately. Any hesitation will take you over a 40-foot drop to a granite ledge below. We want to make this course hard, not your death wish.
The Black Hole is looking more like a black jelly bean these days, which makes it even more challenging to squeeze through. You’ll follow a stream bed up to a 50-foot culvert that crosses under a ski trail. Hustle your love muscle because the folks behind you have been given permission to pinch. Flashback to being chased up a set of stairs by your mother much?
Legend has it that a couple of course guinea pigs rounded the corner to the base of this section, looked up and said, “WTF?!” Now it’s your turn. Crawl up this incredibly steep pitch. Or two or three. Your body will ache all over and you will want to give up. Take it from us, whatever you do, do not stop. We’ll have Metallica and Eminem rooting you on! Oh, and watch out for the prickers. (Don’t say we didn’t warn you).
Webbed Wood Run
Apparently we have a thing with naming obstacles over put-to-rest Sunday River events. This one was once known as the Haunted Trail Walk and it will take you from the back of the Peak Lodge over to the Chondola exit ramp. Not a quick route, as you will be slowed down by a section of ropes across the trail. We like to think of this section as Charlotte’s Web on steroids.
The Chondola offers an excellent view of this obstacle and it’s the perfect place for Ma to come watch you. Navigating over this climbing wall seems simple, but we’re thinking of adding cooking oil to it. Who doesn't like smelling like a French fry. We like to leave a little bit of a surprise for race day.
If you’re afraid of the dark, dislike the smell of death, and shudder at thought of spiders and ticks, well, you came to the wrong obstacle. You’ll be on all fours as you work your way through this dark, possibly insect-infested maze. And it’s twice as long as last year’s. Again, you’re welcome!
Hurdles from Hell
Finally, you get to run downhill. But wait… What the hell? Hurdles?! Yup. Giddy up! Lift those legs and show us what you’ve got. Knocking these down is not an option as it’s more likely that you’ll be the one going down. Don't forget to look up and wave to your audience on the Chondola.
Bust ‘n’ Burn
The hills are alive with the sound of paaaaiiiinnnn. That’s your thighs singing the praises of rolling hills and muddy water brought together in a design similar to wartime trenches or, well, a once-thriving mogul event Sunday River lovingly known as Bust ‘n’ Burn. Up and over, up and over, up and over you go—how long it’ll take you? Nobody knows.
Barker Pond Leap Frog
You know if there are a ton of life guards, rescue equipment, and ambulances on hand, it’s gotta be dangerous! Navigate across the famous Barker Pond on completely unstable “lily pads.” Can’t swim? Three choices: Walk around, snag one of the life jackets we provide or get attacked by sharks with laser beams on their heads. Either way, we can guarantee that you will swim.
Jersey Meets Tough Mountain
Did you witness Red Bull Frozen Rush? Notice the Jersey barriers around the course? No? Well, you will notice ‘em now and you’ll come to know them intimately. Approximately two dozen of these 600-pound concrete barriers will be strategically placed over a very muddy surface. Seems dangerous? It’s downright stupid.
Slip, Slide, and Die
Longer, faster, and ribbed for your pleasure. This delightful finale is purely gravity fed. Just jump on and enjoy the ride. Batteries not included. Sure to lead to your happy ending - the finish line is just 100 feet away.