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Tough Mudder kicked out of Finsbury Park after event destroys sections of London hotspot
17 April 2023, 13:09 | Updated: 17 April 2023, 17:27
An obstacle course popular among fitness fans will not be held in Finsbury Park again after the event destroyed vast sections of grassland.
A scene of muddy devastation could be seen across the popular park after the two-day Tough Mudder event came to an end, leaving many locals up in arms.
The obstacle course sees competitors 'run' a 5km or 10km route, taking on either 13 and 20 physical challenges around their chosen course.
However, despite being fun for the 7,500 who took part over the course of the weekend, the event left a scene of destruction in its wake.
Cllr Mike Hakata, deputy leader of Haringey Council, said: "I visited Finsbury Park on Saturday night and was upset to see the scale of damage that has been caused to grass areas across the site.
"We have seen considerable rainfall over recent weeks which has saturated the ground and will need repair. This will be rectified as soon as possible, and any cost will be covered by the event organisers.
"Tough Mudder events have taken place successfully for four years now, enabling thousands of people young and old to enjoy the outdoors and improve their health and wellbeing, at the same time as raising significant funds for charitable causes.
"The impact of the event this year has caused several weeks' worth of damage the park and as a result we have had to rethink our approach.
"To prevent the risk of this repeating, we have decided that this event will not be held in Finsbury Park going forward.
"We are proud of our green spaces in Haringey and are working together with residents to make sure that our many wonderful parks remain vibrant and welcoming spaces for everyone to enjoy."
Tough Mudder said in a statement: "Together, we recognise the damage to the park and the impact it has had on the surrounding community. We are working with all relevant stakeholders to restore and repair the damaged areas of the park."
Earlier, Labour MP David Lammy, who represents the nearby constituency of Tottenham, said he was "utterly appalled" by the damage after paying a visit to the park on Sunday.
This weekend Haringey council let @ToughMudder trash Finsbury Park. Thousands of runners tramped through our community planted orchard in the middle of bird nesting season. Is this what you call coproduction, care of local people and biodiversity? pic.twitter.com/nhYb80enVI— JO SYZ (@j_syz) April 16, 2023
Taking to Twitter, Lammy wrote: “I have nothing against @Toughmudder but Finsbury Park is an inner city urban park and the damage done is an environmental disgrace,” he wrote on Twitter.
“There are serious questions about how and why this licence was granted, enforced and policed.”
Popular among corporate companies as well as individuals, Tough Mudder sees competitors take on obstacles including tear gas, electrictrifihd curtains, vertical walls and ice pits.
In light of the devastation, local charity Friends of Finsbury Park said it would be putting in a formal complaining to Haringey Council, urging local residents to do the same.
Taking to social media, the charity reflected on the scene of "devastation" that greeted park-goers following the event.
"Powerful footage this evening that shows the scale of the devastation done this weekend by 7.5k people doing @toughmudder in #FinsburyPark. We can not let this happen again.
"As fun as it may have looked we need a new mentality and a new funding model for parks……" the volunteer group wrote.
"And we can’t be signing 5 year deals with big corporates, tying ourselves in and reducing scrutiny and control.
"We can not expect large companies to care for and protect the park @haringeycouncil must do this for us. They hold the park in Trust for the people."
Friends of Finsbury Park aded: "We have coming soon many more major events taking us to the end of summer.
"We will have steel fences over half the useable park space that will be up for 7-8 wks then our most biodiverse north side will have a huge area fenced off for 3 weeks."