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Tough Mudder coming to Berkeley County, promoter says

December 20, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The owner of a firearm training complex near the small Berkeley County community of Glengary, W.Va., said he signed an agreement Thursday to host a Tough Mudder, a fast-growing endurance series, next year.

The event is set for April 20 and 21, said Cole McCulloch, president of the Peacemaker National Training Center at 1624 Brannons Ford Road.

“We’re excited to have it,” McCulloch said.

Officials with Tough Mudder LLC were not immediately available to comment Thursday about the location of their Mid-Atlantic Spring event, which the company says on its website will be held within a two-hour drive of Washington, D.C., and Baltimore on the same April weekend.

Created by a former counter-terrorism agent for the British government, Tough Mudder events challenge participants to complete muddy 10- to 12-mile obstacle courses that are designed to test all-around strength, stamina, mental grit and camaraderie of participants, according to the company’s website.

The first Tough Mudder was held near Allentown, Pa., in 2010 and the series has since raised more than $3.9 million for the Wounded Warrior Project, according to the company. The Wounded Warrior Project provides programs and services to severely injured service members during the time between active duty and transition to civilian life.

More than 460,000 people participated in 35 Tough Mudders in 2012, including one in Frederick, Md., which was canceled after the first day due to traffic disruption and unsafe conditions for motorists.

To avoid similar problems, McCulloch said participants will be shuttled by buses to a location off W.Va. 45 and they will have a short walk from there to the starting point.

McCulloch said he is working with the Berkeley County Development Authority to lease property at the Tabler Station Business Park off Exit 8 of Interstate 81 for the expected shuttle of thousands of participants to and from the event site.

The shuttle plan is designed to avoid causing traffic congestion on McCubbins Hollow and Brannons Ford roads, which lead to the firearms training center, according to McCulloch. 

“We’re going to evaluate the event ... and see how it goes,” McCulloch said. McCulloch said he has been in communication with the state Division of Highways, the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, as well as tourism officials and is “very comfortable” with the logistics for the event.

Stephen Christian, executive director of the Berkeley County Development Authority, expects the Tough Mudder event series will draw thousands of people to the area who will fill area hotel rooms.

“It’s good for the economy,” Christian said.

Peacemaker National Training Center, which opened in 2011, was built on a 2,300-acre family farm, McCulloch said.  

The shooting sports complex offers ranges for rifle, shotgun and tactical ranges, more than 20 comprehensive training courses and has hosted a number of firearm events including the 2012 FNH USA 3 Gun World Championship, according to the company’s website.

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