Related story: Frederick Count ‘mudders’ angry about cancellation
Frederick city Mayor Randy McClement pulled the permit for the second day of the Tough Mudder endurance-challenge at Crumland Farm because of significant traffic issues resulting from Saturday's event. Frederick Police Chief Kim Dine said late Saturday that the congestion and miles-long traffic backup on U.S. 15 and on Opposumtown Pike were "unacceptable."
Organizers of the event were unhappy, he said, but understood the need to cancel.
Tough Mudder, dubbed “probably the toughest event on the planet” turned out to be an endurance event for more than those participating in the 12-mile challenge at Crumland Farm Saturday. So much so, that Frederick city is considering an ordinance to allow the city some control over private events expecting large crowds that impact city resources, said Dine.
With 15,000 expected for the two-day challenge at the farm that borders U.S. 15 and Willow Road, Frederick Police and fire rescue personnel were in place directing traffic on side roads early Saturday morning while vehicles backed up for nearly two miles on the northbound lane of the highway. Maryland State Police knew about the event, but did not expect to be directing traffic on the highway.
“This was a prescheduled event for the city police to deal with,” said Cpl. Todd Hill. “Whatever role we played was what we had to do to respond to whatever problems spilled out onto our roadways.”
Tough Mudder, a 12-mile course with military-style obstacles, raises money for the Wounded Warriors Project. The event was scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. By 7:30 a.m. Saturday, traffic was inching along the northbound lane U.S. 15, and by 8:30 a.m., state troopers were directing traffic on the highways, stopping southbound traffic to allow northbound vehicles to make left turns to access Crumland Farm. Pedestrians were crossing the highway to get to the event, and by late morning, vehicles were parked along both sides of the highway. State police finally had to put cones in the breakdown lanes to quash the illegal practice.
Given the size of the event for that venue, Chief Dine said the city “clearly needs to reassess ... and is looking at an ordinance to address events that draw thousands of people on private property that impact the neighborhood and city resources.”
“There is not a good process in place to address these types of events,” he said.