GLENGARY, W.Va. — After hosting three events over two years at Peacemaker National Training Center, Tough Mudder is not returning to Berkeley County, opting out of the final year of a three-year contract.
According to Cole McCullough, owner of Peacemaker National Training Center, Tough Mudder chose not to host an event in Berkeley County in 2015, but received indication that the organization may be back in the future.
“They are not going to come back (this year), but are likely to return in subsequent years. They like to rotate their events,” he said.
An email to Tough Mudder was not returned by press time.
Tough Mudder is an obstacle course race ranging between 10 and 12 miles and containing up to 25 obstacles. Each event in Berkeley County garnered between 7,000 and 12,000 participants.
The events held in Glengary were targeting participation in the Mid-Atlantic region, including Baltimore, Washington, D.C., northern Virginia, parts of Maryland and West Virginia. According to Tough Mudder’s website, a 2015 event targeting a similar market will be held in Doswell, Virginia, north of Richmond.
Tough Mudder first came to Berkeley County in 2013, hosting two events that year at the Glengary location. It was during the first event in April that participant Avishek Sengupta, 28, of Ellicott City, Maryland, died after being critically injured during the Walk the Plank obstacle – the first death in Tough Mudder’s history.
Although Tough Mudder and Peacemaker National Training Center had the option to dissolve their contract after the first year, both parties agreed to continue their partnership. Tough Mudder hosted only one event at the facility in 2014.
McCullough described working with Tough Mudder as an “excellent experience.”
“It was great. They improved working locally with the county and with us, and it was very smooth and really professional. I take them at their word that they’ll be back. They like to move their events around for participation,” McCullough said.
While Tough Mudder is on hiatus from Berkeley County, McCullough said he would be open to hosting similar-themed events or events of the same size.
McCullough said Tough Mudder provided “incremental” national exposure for Peacemaker, with most of his organization’s recognition coming through its firearm events, such as the world shooting championship hosted at the ranges.
Tough Mudder also provided an economic bump for the county and surrounding region through restaurant use and hotel rentals, with hotel occupancy funds increasing by several thousand dollars during the weekend of an event, according to past Martinsburg-Berkeley County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau reports.