SportsEvents Magazine

AUG 2015

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Page 20 of 67 August 2015 21 Lake Erie Shores & Islands, Ohio: Fishing, Cycling & Triathlons NOTABLE Natural Venue Tough Mudders Get Down & Dirty Mount Snow in West Dover, Vt.; Northstar Mountain in California; and Olympic Park in Whistler, British Columbia, have at least one outdoor event in common. Each hosted a Tough Mudder challenge, a team-oriented 10- to 12- mile obstacle course that tests physical strength and mental grit. Over five years, 1.5 million people have participated in Tough Mudder chal- lenges across the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia, according to event organizers. The event is not a timed race. Rather, the goal is to build camaraderie and help partici- pants overcome their fears. What makes the course unique is the venue, so no two Tough Mudders are the same. While the length, obstacles and goals are common, there is no set t emplate for what a Tough Mudder experience will be. From fast, flat courses to brutal slogs up and down steep hills, and from dry, rocky deserts to knee-deep swamps, par- ticipants run through it all. Ideally, (venues) are areas with lots of open space and in a destination that has experience with hosting large events. "But, it also has to have the ability to provide some 'back woods' terrain where we can really get dirty," said Kate Fitzpatrick, director of communications for the organization.M "We hope to access the bestMnaturalM terrain the region has to offer, whether it be desert hills, river banks, rocky mountainous climbs, or forest trails," Fitzpatrick said. "It always is a big plus if the course is able to alternate in and out of different landscapes to break up the sections of running forM participants." In order to bring thousands of people into the mud, race organizers also need access to roads and parking areas to get them in and out in a safe and efficient manner. n Natural Venue KNOW HOW: Make sure the venue has access roads and plenty of parking to get participants and spectators in and out in a safe and efficient manner. —Kate Fitzpatrick, Tough Mudder Triathlons and bass and walleye fishing tournaments find a refreshing natural venue at Lake Erie Shores & Islands in Ohio. Bass Pro Shops Northern Open No. 3, set for Sept. 24-26 this year, is an example of a perfect fit, organizers said. The site is also a fit for other water- based competitions such as kayaking and canoeing on the protected inland waters and sailing, water skiing and power boat- ing on the lake. Lake Erie Shores & Islands has the abili- ty to host land-based events as well. "Walking, running and cycling events can be routed through picturesque back- roads, scenic shorefronts or along the perimeter road of a Lake Erie island," said Amanda Smith Rasnick of the Lake Erie Shores & Islands CVB. n Tough Mudder t NATURAL Venues

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