ELYRIA — If the Tough Mudder adventure race returns to Lorain County next year, it could take place along the banks of the Black River in Lorain or in the fields surrounding the Lorain County Regional Airport.
County Administrator Jim Cordes said Wednesday that the airport and the still-vacant Eastside Industrial Park in Lorain are the top two contenders in the county to replace Amherst Quarry as the site for the race. The quarry served as the venue for a Tough Mudder event earlier this year, but organizers have told Barb Bickel, executive director of Visit Lorain County, that they would prefer a different site.
Bickel said the biggest concern she heard about the quarry site from organizers was that it didn’t have a large enough finish area.
Cordes said representatives from Tough Mudder have toured the airport and believe that it would be large enough to accommodate their needs, but he also added that the county would likely need to get permission from the Federal Aviation Administration because the event would probably mean the airport would have to be shut down.
Lorain Mayor Chase Ritenauer said organizers also have toured the wooded areas and fields that comprise the Eastside Industrial Park in the city.
Ritenauer said he hopes the event, which is slated for April 27 and 28, will stay local.
“It was great having them in the county last time and I would love to host them in Lorain,” he said.
Cordes said the Lorain site might actually be better than the airport because it has more amenities than the rural airport in New Russia Township.
He said the last time around, local businesses in South Amherst didn’t see the large uptick in customers they’d expected the event to bring in. That might change in a more urban area, he said.
Bickel said the event brought in business for the county, and virtually every hotel room in the area was booked during the Tough Mudder weekend.
A Tough Mudder spokeswoman did not respond to an email seeking comment.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or email@example.com.