Tough Mudder competition coming to Rockford area

tough mudder

ROCKFORD, Aug. 28 — Since 2012, Tough Mudder and the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau have been in discussions to bring the famous obstacle course team challenge to the Rockford region. And now, RACVB is pleased to announce that Tough Mudder will call Rockford home from 2016 thru 2019. Tough Mudder events typically draw up to 12,000 participants plus 4,000 spectators, and will generate more than $3 million in economic impact for its host community.

Following a highly successful event last May, which brought more than 11,000 participants to Tough Mudder Chicago, the Chicago Rockford International Airport will host the event May 21-22, 2016. The 10+ mile course will feature more than 20 new and updated obstacles, for the first time at this unique venue.

“RACVB first officially bid on the event in 2013 and has stayed in contact with the organization, so we jumped at the chance to help Tough Mudder find a location in the Rockford Region,” said John Groh, president and CEO of the RACVB. “Tough Mudder is all about teamwork and camaraderie. From our initial conversations with them a few years ago to more recent discussions and planning with our colleagues at the Chicago Rockford International Airport and our local hotels, bringing Tough Mudder to town has been a great team effort. We are all looking forward to welcoming Mudder Nation to Rockford next year.”

Lindsay Arellano, RACVB’s director of sales, hosted Tough Mudder representatives in June and together visited several sites throughout Winnebago County that could potentially host the event. Ultimately, the airport was chosen by Tough Mudder because of the amount of land available, convenient access to amenities and the relationship built with the airport.

“We are thrilled to be heading to Rockford Airport for this year’s Tough Mudder Chicago,” said Tina Fekula, Event Director at Tough Mudder. “Our strong support from the local Rockford community was a key factor in locating this exciting, new venue. We are looking forward to building on that relationship and providing a positive economic impact on the region as Mudders travel from surrounding states and across the country to see what’s in store for 2016.”

Coming to the Chicago Rockford International Airport for the first time, this unique venue allows participants to explore a sprawling landscape of open meadows, thick woods, and riverside trails while taking on close to 20 obstacles. Obstacles hitting the course next year in Rockford will include “Dead Ringer,” a traverse across a series of inclined pegs using handheld rings and “Cry Baby,” where participants will crawl through mud and other hazards to get through a tear-gas like substance. Classic obstacles that have been redesigned in 2015, such as slicked quarter-pipe “Everest” will return, offering twists on the classic challenges, pushing participants to work as a team.

“The Chicago Rockford International Airport is pleased to have the opportunity to use our over 3,000 acres for an event with such a worthy cause.” said Mike Dunn, executive director of RFD. “We look forward to the event this spring and encourage everyone to participate.”

View the press release here.


Will Dean and Guy Livingstone founded Tough Mudder Inc. in 2010. Considered “Probably the Toughest Event on the Planet,” each Tough Mudder endurance challenge tests participants’ strength, stamina, mental grit and teamwork. In 2015, Tough Mudder will host more than 50 events in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany and Australia. In 2014 more than 750,000 people participated in the event world-wide, nearly 40 percent of participants stay overnight in the host community, and 75 percent travel more than an hour away to take part.

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