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Tough Mudder may bring in more than 20K people to area

Wednesday - 9/5/2012, 2:00am  ET

Hotels and restaurants expect to benefit from more than 20,000 people expected at Crumland Farm in Frederick on Saturday and Sunday for the Tough Mudder endurance competition.

Local businesses and economic development officials are looking to welcome visitors. Several restaurant and hotel managers said they have heard Tough Mudder would be in Frederick, but they aren't sure that their weekend reservations are related to the 12-mile endurance challenge, described as the ultimate test of strength, grit, stamina and camaraderie.

Tough Mudder is the largest supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project and its mission to assist severely injured veterans, Ashley Fallick, media representative for the event, said in a statement. To date, the competition and its participants have raised more than $2.5 million for Wounded Warrior Project.

Finishing the course will require conquering military-style obstacles, a gantlet of 10,000-volt live wires, greased monkey bars and a run through 4-foot-high flames.

The event is expected to attract approximately 27,000 people, Fallick said.

It's exciting to hear that Tough Mudder is in Frederick, Plamondon Hospitality Associates operations director Michael Henningsen said, although the weekend of Sept. 8 and 9 is typically strong for hotels owned and managed by the company, and the hotels show no bookings tied to the event.

"That's not to say individual bookings have not been done, and Tough Mudder is not having an impact" on the four local hotels owned and managed by Plamondon Hospitality Associates, Henningsen said.

"We are excited that the area is hosting the event, and we welcome the visitors to downtown Frederick to eat and shop after the event," said Eli Roth, Downtown Frederick Partnership's associate director of promotions and development.

Any time Frederick can serve as a host community for a regional or national event, it is good for business, the city's Economic Development Director Richard Griffin said.

"Having 27,000 folks here for the Tough Mudder Race this weekend is sure to increase hotel room nights and sales at restaurants and other retail establishments," Griffin said. "Additionally, it highlights Frederick to folks from other places as a great place to live, invest and do business."

Local residents sign up for Tough Mudder

Whittier Elementary School physical education teacher Janelle Wilson and the members of Team "Hot Mess" are looking forward to the competition. as are Beth Adams and the members of "Mud Maniacs," and Griffin's "Mud Pandas" team, composed primarily of parents of children at Parkway Elementary School in Frederick.

Participating in the event is about having fun while supporting a good cause and promoting physical fitness, Wilson said.

"Hot Mess" consists of men and women including U.S. Marine reservists, Wilson said. "We need the men to help get us over the obstacles."

"Hot Mess" has participated in similar endurance competitions for about two years.

"They said this is the toughest one," Wilson said. "Thank goodness we have until 5 p.m. to complete it. But my goal is to do it under three hours. We're nervous, but very excited."

Mud Maniacs is a 20-member team. Adams said she has been training for Tough Mudder since early April.

"What I like about it is there's no time limit, so we're not worried about the time," Adams said. "We just need to finish."

Each team member pays a fee to participate. The sooner you register, the less you pay, said Adams, who paid $120 for the event because she did not register earlier.

Other late registrants paid more, Adams said.

The event is not about finish times or winning a medal, Fallick said. Simply completing a Tough Mudder is a badge of honor.

On average, only 78 percent of participants finish a Tough Mudder event, Fallick said, and with a course designed to be impossible to complete individually, 80 percent of participants register with a team.

Participants range from injured veterans to Wall Street executives to pageant queens to 81-year-old grandfathers like Edwin Mighell, who completed Tough Mudder Colorado last June, Fallick said.