Vancouver-based company Mudd

Obstacle challenge bringing influx of cash

The Mudd, Sweat and Tears five kilometre extreme obstacle course will be in Langford on Saturday, Nov. 2.

Organizers of a new Langford event hope participants won’t be a stick-in-the-mud, but come out for a good, old, dirty time.

The Mudd, Sweat and Tears five kilometre extreme obstacle course will be in Langford on Saturday, Nov. 2 and will bring with it challenges for participants to overcome.

“It’s going to be a really good, fun, muddy, varied terrain course,” said company owner John Reed. “We have some very cool new obstacles planned that we’re introducing.”

The course will incorporate parts of Western Speedway and the Westshore Motocross track, along with some of the surrounding single track trails.

This is the first year for Mudd, Sweat and Tears Canada Inc., which has so far held three races across B.C., in Kelowna, Fernie and Mt. Washington. There are two more races to go, including the one in Langford and one in Niagara, Ontario.

Increasing interest in alternative, bootcamp style races, and a boom in sports tourism, prompted Reed to start the company. The popularity of events such as the Tough Mudder and Spartan races, both with B.C. dates, showed Reed the people were looking for something challenging and something different.

“At the time there weren’t a lot of Canadian companies offering the same thing, so we thought it was good opportunity,” Reed said. “The growth trend in obstacle course racing is fairly substantial and has been over the last four years.”

WestShore Chamber of Commerce CEO Dan Spinner agrees sports tourism is a growing industry and believes there’s no better place for it to grown than the West Shore. With Rugby Canada located in Langford, a new YMCA facility on the way and numerous other sporting events in the area “It’s already strong and getting stronger,” Spinner said.

“They spend money, and that helps jobs, and it also helps build the reputation of the community. There’s a lot of people that haven’t been out to the West Shore in a long time and if they come out to a sporting event … then they get to see what’s happening out here.”

In contrast to places such as Saanich or Victoria, Spinner said there is substantial potential for growth for sports facilities and events on the West Shore, where there is available land and lots of support.

“We’re talking serious investment dollars,” Spinner said. “By the time you add in golf, field sports, hiking, biking, trails, it’s a pretty good scene and it’s only going to get better.”

Reed said he’s starting to see some participants following the season and people coming in from out of town to take part in events, as the company’s name becomes more recognizable. For the Langford event people who did the Mt. Washington event have signed up, along with racers from up Island and the Lower Mainland, creating benefits for the local economy as well.

The company aims for the running and crossfit participants demographic, looking for a 60/40 split between women and men and appealing mostly to the 25 to 49 year old age range.

The company has a good-sized collection of obstacles and is adding new ones all the time. They work with an engineering company which designs the obstacles, which they then have built.

Obstacles include ramps, climbing walls, scaffolding with climbing towers and others. The new obstacles set to be premiered in Langford are top secret, Reed said.

“We really wanted to be the first obstacle course race in the market for Vancouver Island, and we were and are,” Reed said.