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More athletes can prove their toughness

Tough Mudder adds half option for June 25

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Maybe a whole 10-mile (16 km) Tough Mudder is a little too tough.

But completing even half of it is an accomplishment unto itself.

That's the message Tough Mudder headquarters was stressing as organizers announced a new, more inclusive event for those interested. The new Tough Mudder Half is slated for June 25 at Whistler Olympic Park. The full-distance Tough Mudder will take place a week earlier on June 18 and 19.

Tough Mudder communications associate Jodi Kovacs said the half option would be the only mini-event offered north of the border and will be one of nine taking place worldwide, joining six in the United States and two in the United Kingdom.

"Tough Mudder Half was something we heard past participants and consumers were looking for," she said. "This was really driven by a lot of consumer insights, people telling us they would love to do Tough Mudder if only it was shorter, or if only I didn't get electrified at the end or if only I didn't have to jump into ice-cold water.

"For various reasons, people are looking for the Tough Mudder experience and being part of that community, but in a shorter distance format."

With the full event in the park a week before the half, Kovacs said to expect several obstacle remnants to stick around for a second weekend.

"We'll have Walk the Plank, Pyramid Scheme, Kiss of Mud and Everest, which are all really good obstacles to have there. They all invoke the sense of (achieving) personal goals on the physical challenges, using teamwork and (bringing in) an aspect of fun as well," she said. "People can come see what Tough Mudder is all about and for some people this will be a great entry point into the full Tough Mudder."

Kovacs also looks forward to past participants welcoming in the new breed of shorter-distance competitors to help build the greater community.

"It will represent and appeal to two entirely different demographics," she said. "I don't think this will take a way from other peoples' experience. It's like doing a marathon if you're a marathoner. Someone who does a half-marathon is just out doing their own thing.

"We're just trying to welcome more people who are trying to be part of that camaraderie and pushing themselves to try new things."

Those looking to register for either event can do so at www.toughmudder.com. The half event costs $65 and the full event costs $145, though registration protection is also available for $10. Early-bird pricing is in effect until Nov. 19.

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