WILMINGTON - The craze of obstacle course racing is sweeping the nation and now there's a new competitor to watch out for. The latest breed of obstacle course races is the Ultimate Towner, which will make a stop at Whiteface Mountain on Saturday.
The Ultimate Towner courses offer fun for people of all ages and abilities as participants wallow in mud, clamber over walls and tip-toe through tires. The challenging 4-mile course will consist of 25 obstacles.
Ultimate Towner events are designed to engage the community through participating, volunteering, spectating and even creating the obstacles. A main goal of the organization is to highlight the local area and support those who live where the events take place. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Whiteface Mountain Adaptive Snowsports Program.
Participants in the Ultimate Towner event are required to negotiate 25 obstacles over the 4-mile course. The Ultimate Towner is coming to Whiteface Mountain this weekend.
The rope swing is a test of the competitors’ strength and skill.
"The goal is to engage the local community," said course director Will Leggett. "We want everyone involved. You tell us what you can contribute and we will make it work, big or small."
The Ultimate Towner Obstacle Course Race was born in the mountains of Jackson Hole, Wyo., and designed by Grand Dynamics, an international team building and leadership development organization skilled in the art of challenging individuals and teams.
"Our vision is to create an inspirational experience that supports everyone getting out and overcoming obstacles of all types," said Tim Walther, president of Grand Dynamics International.
There is no age limit to compete. The youngest participant so far was 4 years old.
The event begins with the fast class, which is for competitive racers who want to gun for the clock and compete at a high level. That will be followed by the fun class, which is much less competitive. Teams of four or more people can also register.
"You do not have to be a seasoned athlete to enjoy this event," Leggett said. "People of any fitness level and ability are encouraged to come out enjoy the day. We also love when we see costumes and fun team outfits."
There will be a contest for the best photograph that captures the spirit of the Ultimate Towner. Additional prizes or categories may be offered. Medals are awarded to the fastest man and woman who finish in the fast class division, and they also receive a free overnight stay at the Golden Arrow in Lake Placid.
In addition to racing, music with a DJ will fire up the crowd and participants at 10 a.m. Live music by the band Annie and the Water is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. A barbeque, catered by Centerplate, will also be available throughout the day.
Registration for the Whiteface Mountain Ultimate Towner costs $59 for adults, $39 for teens (13-17) and $25 for youth (12 and younger). Registration prices go up to $69 for adults on Wednesday.
Day-of-race registration will open at 8:30 a.m. The fast class begins at 10 a.m., followed by the fun class at noon.
"We have wanted an event like this here for a while, and we are really excited to see it become a reality," said Katie Million, events director for ORDA.
For more information or to register for the event, go to www.ultimatetowner.com.