Diablo Grande officials announced last week that the internationally renowned Tough Mudder competition is coming to the hills southwest of Patterson on Sept. 29 and 30.
The 12-mile course, billed by organizers as “probably the toughest event on the planet,” features an array of challenges that include a run through mud, a swim through icy water, a walk across a log bridge and a run through blazing kerosene-soaked straw. The ordeal is capped by “electroshock therapy,” in which participants run through dangling electrified wires, some of which carry a 10,000-volt shock.
“The exposure that it’s going to bring to Patterson and Diablo Grande is going to be amazing,” said Adrienne Chaney, parks and recreation director for the city of Patterson.
Organizers have been in contact with her since Christmastime, she said.
When it appeared they would need extra parking for the event, Chaney said she provided contact information for Patterson’s distribution centers on the west side of town.
The Diablo Grande competition is one of 24 taking place in the United States this year and among dozens worldwide.
Registration for the local event is already 70 percent filled, and event organizers stated on their website that they decided to open a second Northern California event in Truckee because of the overwhelming response.
The courses, designed by British Special Forces, have attracted more than 500,000 participants worldwide over the years. Chaney said she has already heard from several people who said they want to join in the action, and said her family planned to volunteer at the event as well.
Despite the grueling nature of the course, organizers say they want to make the day fun. Awards are given out during a post-party for categories such as best costume, worst costume, least clothing and best mullet.
The event has a serious side, too. Participants receive a registration discount if they raise more than $150 for the Wounded Warrior Project, which helps provide wounded U.S. veterans with combat-stress recovery programs, adaptive sports programs, benefits counseling and employment services. To date, Tough Mudder events have raised more than $2.7 million for the cause, according to the website.
One-day participation costs $125 to $200, depending on time of registration. Spectators can buy advance tickets for $20 or pay $40 at the gate.
With its boot-camp obstructions and even mind games, all designed to result in mental and physical collapse, Tough Mudder might hurt, but that’s part of the allure.
“I want to be able to push myself to do something I’ve never done before,” said Jeremy Ray, a Patterson parks and recreation coordinator, who signed up for the event. “This is an opportunity to try something that’s so physically demanding, and to set my mind to attempt something that’s completely foreign to me.”
The 23-year-old said he also wanted to experience an athletic event that emphasizes camaraderie and fun over competition, but still pushes participants to their physical and mental limits.
He stressed that being first across the line was much less important than just finishing.
“This is a competition that challenges you to do things you would never attempt on a regular basis,” Ray said. “There are so many aspects of it that I am excited about.”
Carmen Kearney, chief financial officer for Diablo Grande parent company World International, and Josh Clay, general manager of the golf and country club, said they were excited to host the upcoming competition.
Both World International and Troon Golf Management are acting as hosts of the obstacle course, which will be on the Legends golf course and on the hillsides behind the developing community southwest of Patterson.
Kearney said last week that the upcoming event follows several months of negotiation with Tough Mudder representatives.
“We are proud to host this important event and be able to share a part of the beautiful 30,000 acres of land that is Diablo Grande,” wrote Kearney and Clay in a prepared statement. “We hope to see people from all areas to find our residential and resort golf community a peaceful place to play and stay in the near future.”
For information: www.toughmudder.com