It is three-plus miles of what most people would describe as “hell,” and following a year’s hiatus, the Tough Mountain Challenge adventure obstacle race makes its return to Sunday River Resort on July 24.
Not your typical 5K, this race combines alpine terrain with more than 20 natural and man-made obstacles. Participants — more than 3,000 who are divided into three dozen heats in order to keep the course uncrowded — will get a taste for what’s ahead right from the start, when they’ll run beneath the showering spray of a dozen of Sunday River’s high-velocity snowguns.
The rugged alpine course also will feature muddy ditches, a stream bed, steep climbing, a web of slacklines, a ladder, a pyramid of hay, mud crawls, a swim across Barker Pond, a slippery snowmaking pipe crossing, a waterfall tire climb, and a slip and slide. Obstacles to be conquered include such names as “Hurricane Alley,” “Valley of Death,” “Steam Roller,” “Cage Choker,” “Creepy Crawler,” and “Muddy Bobber.” For those age 21 and older, the optional “Shotgun Station” offers a mid-course opportunity to shotgun a beer from Baxter Brewing Company.
The fastest times at the Tough Mountain Challenge average about 40 minutes, or 12 minutes a mile, while most participants will complete the course in an hour, or about 20 minutes per mile pacing. — www.toughmountain.com