ROCKINGHAM — Rugged Maniac is slated to return to Rockingham Dragway with 25 obstacles and a day-long festival. However, like other county events planned for the weekend, Hurricane Matthew could turn out to be too rugged itself.
Rugged Maniac co-owner Dan Palumbo said Tuesday that COO Rob Dickens and his team are tracking the storm and if the hurricane does affect the race, it will be postponed and rescheduled to a later weekend in 2016. That weekend is still yet to be determined, and Dickens will make an official announcement on Thursday.
According to the race information packet, the race will not be canceled just for rain.
“This is Rugged Maniac, not a tea party at the retirement home,” the packet stated regarding inclement weather. “If there’s lightning, we’ll delay waves until it passes. When the race resumes, waves will go off at 10-minute intervals until the race is back on schedule. If there’s severe weather that prevents the event from being held at all on Saturday, it’ll be moved to Sunday.”
Palumbo also said those who have purchased tickets already can check the event Facebook page for an update on Thursday.
If Rugged Maniac is able to take place on Saturday, runners and spectators will be able to enjoy the day-long festival, which will be feature mechanical bulls, beach volleyball, a stein-hoisting contest, music and food vendors.
The Boston-based event features a 3-mile off-road course, including underground tunnels, fire jumps, trampolines, warped walls, balance beams and a 50-foot water slide.
This marks the sixth consecutive year that Rugged Maniac has held an event in North Carolina and is the third time in two years it has come to Rockingham. The previous four Tar Heel State events took place in Asheboro and attracted large crowds of more than 5,000 people each year, which prompted organizers to relocate to Rockingham Dragway — a bigger facility that can handle the increasingly large crowds.
Tickets, available online at www.ruggedmaniac.com, are priced at $100, and in addition to advance online registration, participants can also sign up on Saturday for $100. Students and military personnel with valid identification receive a $10 discount.
Rugged Maniac is currently scheduled to take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Rockingham Dragway, 2153 U.S. 1 North in Rockingham.
Reach reporter Matt Harrelson at 910-817-2674 and follow him on Twitter @mattyharrelson.