WESTBROOK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- More than 15,000 athletes and another 10,000 spectators are expected to descend upon the city of Westbrook the weekend of August 23 & 24 for the first ever Tough Mudder competition to be held in the Pine Tree State.
"The interesting thing about the Tough Mudder is it is part of a trend towards more adventure style outdoor racing, and so this is not really a race, it is more of an obstacle course, a military style obstacle course, and kind of a test of your endurance and a way to demonstrate some teamwork with other people you like to do athletic things with," explained Westbrook's Assistant City Administrator, Bill Baker.
Baker has experience helping organize events like this elsewhere, and has been working behind the scenes for the better part of a year to lure the event to his community.
"Our expectation is, if we make this a successful event with the help of the great people of the state of Maine, that this will indeed be an annual event and they will be back everyyear," added Baker.
"This is a big coup for us," stated Kerry Hoey, executive director of the Maine Sports Commission. "This is a huge event. To bring that many people from outside of the state in to the state, but also to have something that people internally can enjoy as well."
Sunset Ridge Golf Links will host the inaugural Tough Mudder in Maine, something superintendent Michael Smith is excited about, not dreading.
"This is a big deal, he explained. Thirteen miles. Twenty-five military obstacles."
Smith says the course will begin near the driving range, and then venture on to adjacent land owned by the city and the Portland Water District before circling back on the backside of the golf course.
"Dig it up, tear it up," said Smith, "Then I don't have to mow it!"
Tourism officials estimate the event will bring with it a $9 million economic impact to the region with athletes and their families staying in hotels, eating in restaurants and buying gas and other goods locally.
"We're ready for it," exclaimed Mayor, Colleen Hilton. "It exposes people to the city of Westbrook. I think some people have an image of Westbrook that isn't necessarily accurate, that might also be old."
She's hoping once people finish playing in the mud, they will want to return to lay down some roots, returning to visit, maybe move here and start a business.
Registration has already begun for the Tough Mudder Great Northeast competition. A portion of proceeds from the event go to help injured soldiers through the Wounded Warrior Project.