Tough Mudder great addition for sports tourism

An inaugural muddy, obstacle-course competition in Columbus was, in baseball terms, a home run.

The Columbus Area Visitors Center announced in December that it had signed a contract with Tough Mudder, which started in 2010, to bring the national competition to Columbus for five years.

It’s difficult to imagine the debut going much better.

Participants came from all over, including California and Canada. In all, the inaugural Tough Mudder Indiana Classic drew about 7,500 participants combined Saturday and Sunday, and more than 1,500 spectators.

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In fact, it had better participation than organizers expected the first year. That should give organizers reason to believe that the event can grow over the next four years, and possibly attract more participants and spectators.

The first Tough Mudder Indiana Classic evokes memories of the inaugural Mill Race Marathon, which started in 2013 and has attracted thousands of runners each of its six years, and will bring thousands more again on Sept. 28.

The Mill Race Marathon, which is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon, has helped spread the name of Columbus in sports tourism circles. It’s likely the success of the Tough Mudder event will cause that to happen as well.

Local restaurants, retailers and hotels should be pleased by that.

We applaud the Columbus Area Visitors Center for looking for another sports tourism event to add to its lineup, and attracting the national competition. And, we applaud Ceraland for being a good host for the event.