Are You Two Dam Tuff?

Are You Two Dam Tuff?

Are you Two Dam Tuff?   It’s a question that gets asked the first Saturday in October each and every year in Newaygo County.  For those “in the know”, The Croton and Hardy Dams are separated by about 6 miles as the crow flies, and are spectacular tourist draws in their own right- The Croton Dam is easily the most photographed engineering accomplishment in the County, and Hardy Dam is the second largest earthen dam on this earth, and for good reason: It holds back an immense “pond” of water over 45 miles in circumference and hosts a variety of campgrounds, fishing and boating opportunities.

Each Fall, the Newaygo Nationals Association, a Michigan 501(3)c not-for-profit, teams with corporate sponsors and the Fremont Area Community Foundation to host the 2DamTuff Eco-Challenge, a formidable array of physical challenges that attracts hundreds of participants annually.

2DamTuff™ is over nine miles of physical and mental discipline, which combines deep woods running, Edge Trail pavement running, a one mile kayak excursion, a 5k bike sprint, all with a series of over two dozen obstacles, rope climbs, and other eco-challenges. The reward for all of this abuse?  A smoked turkey leg and a stein of beer!   Teams of competitors include fire departments, manufacturers, banks, fitness clubs, as well as spirited teams of locals with well-themed ensembles.

2DamTuff also depends on 40-50 volunteers each year to make it all work. “Volunteers are the heart and soul of Newaygo County, and without them, 2DamTuff could not exist.  From EMS, to the County Sherriff, to the dozens of individuals and couples, our people make all the difference,” stated Gabe Slominski, Chairman of NNA. ” We are also cautiously proud of our safety record.  We have had no serious injuries in the past two years of running 2DamTuff, despite the rigorous demands.”

2DamTuff involves the cooperation and direct involvement of Croton and Big Prairie Townships, Newaygo County Road Commission, Sherriff, and EMS departments, and Consumers Energy, who owns much of the property on the circuit.  “We are grateful for all of the support in the community – the smiles and show of relief at the finish line make this a great event!”

Scott D. Faulkner

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