One of the messiest and most popular endurance events is coming to Oxford Township this summer, so it’s time to get in shape and stock up on the laundry detergent.
Tough Mudder is scheduled to take over the 1,200-acre Koenig Sand & Gravel mining property on June 3-4.
"I can’t tell you how excited and honored we are to play host to Tough Mudder," said Oxford Township Trustee Jack Curtis, chairman of the Economic Development Subcommittee.
"This is the type of thing that really puts a community on the map. Thousands and thousands of people attend these events all over the country and all over the world. This is going to be a huge shot in the arm for the Oxford area."
Tough Mudder is a team-based obstacle course that tests participants’ physical and mental strength, stamina and ability to work together to achieve common goals. Folks of all ages tackle the course, from teenagers and millennials to Baby Boomers and senior citizens.
"These aren’t people looking for medals or trophies," Curtis said. "These are people who like to be active, stay in shape, push their bodies to the limit and overcome whatever challenges they can find. These are people who work hard and play even harder. We’re happy to have them come here and bring their vitality and energy to our community."
Koenig Sand & Gravel will have three courses going that weekend – a full 10-to-12-mile Tough Mudder with 21 hard-core, military-style obstacles; a 5.2-mile Tough Mudder Half featuring 14 obstacles; and a quarter-mile Mini Mudder for children ages 7-12.
Based on current projections, more than 6,000 people (participants, family members and spectators) are expected to attend June 3 with another 1,200 to 1,300 folks the next day.
"This is going to provide some terrific exposure for Oxford," Curtis said. "All these people are going to see everything we have to offer, from our historic downtown filled with fantastic restaurants and unique shops to our relaxed, rural atmosphere with its lakes, parks, trails and horse farms."
"We’re confident Tough Mudder is going to give our local economy a big boost," Curtis continued. "Tough Mudder participants are exactly the type of people who are going to visit the two new craft breweries and the new Texas barbecue restaurant that are expected to open here soon. They’re the type of people who are going to check out all the fitness and recreation-centered businesses located inside the 208,000-square-foot Legacy Center."
Curtis noted Oxford Township is the ideal place for folks who enjoy leading an active lifestyle.
"We’ve got miles and miles of trails to hike, bike and run. We’ve got two disc golf courses. We’ve got plenty of businesses that offer exercise opportunities. We’ve got more than 500 acres of park land. We’ve got fields on which to play baseball, softball, soccer and lacrosse. We’ve got public tennis courts. We’ve got lakes and indoor pools to swim in. If you can’t find it here in Oxford, you’re not looking very hard."
Tough Mudder representatives are anxious to transform Koenig Sand & Gravel into one of their famous courses. A combination of Mother Nature and decades of mining activity have made the site perfect for this unique brand of outdoor fun.
"Koenig’s got it all," Curtis said. "There’s woods, paths, hills, cliffs, open fields, lakes and streams, and plenty of gravel and thick, concrete-like mud everywhere, You couldn’t ask for a better setting for Tough Mudder. Koenig is going to challenge folks and then some. I think this is going to be one of their more successful sites. People will be talking about this one and looking forward to coming back."
Curtis hopes Tough Mudder will make its visit to Oxford an annual thing.
"It’s the perfect marriage," he said. "We’ve got everything they need – an ideal venue that’s easy to access via M-24, I-75 and I-69, a supportive and diverse local business community full of potential sponsors and vendors, and a cooperative group of forward-thinking local officials who want to see their town prosper.
"They’ve got what we want – thousands of visitors with disposable income, a brand that’s well-known and respected both nationally and internationally, and tons of publicity."
Tough Mudder is currently seeking volunteers to staff its Oxford event and businesses that wish to participate as sponsors and/or on-site vendors.
"This isn’t just something where they come in, do their thing and leave," Curtis said. "They’re looking to forge relationships and take on partners. They want to work with us, not just benefit from us, and we appreciate that. It’s a two-way street when you join the Tough Mudder family."
To learn more about Tough Mudder, please visit www.toughmudder.com
About Oxford Township
Oxford Township is home to 20,526 residents (including Oxford Village) and experienced the third highest population growth (28.2 percent) in Oakland County based on the 2010 U.S. Census. Its diverse business community ranges from a revitalized downtown district to a healthy manufacturing sector. For two straight years, the village was recognized by a University of Michigan-Dearborn study as one of the top communities in the state when it comes to fostering economic development and entrepreneurial growth.
Oxford is served by a professional fire department, which protects the community 24-7 and currently holds the record for the fastest cardiac care time in the county.
Oxford Community Schools is the first public school district in Michigan to receive PreK-12 authorization from the International Baccalaureate organization.