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2,000 racers get down and dirty for Wellsville’s Man v. Mud Run

September 8th, 2011 Posted in Arts and Life

Story & Photos by Cassidee J. Cline

WELLSVILLE—Cheers electrified the air as people ran, swam and crawled through mud to the finish line Saturday.

More than 2,000 people signed up to run Cache Valley’s dirtiest 5-kilometer (3-mile) race at the American West Heritage Center at the Man v. Mud Run, an obstacle course that covered competitors from head to foot in mud.

Some runners wore costumes during the mud battle. Chickens, ninja turtles, pigs or crusaders with capes, goggles and underwear outside their leggings could be seen navigating their way through the muddy courses.

Tyler Hill and his family dressed up as gnomes with red pointy-coned hats, goggles, tutus and white tank tops with the words “dirty gnomes” printed on them.

Hill said the whole point of the race was to make good memories and have fun.

The entire course was filled with at least 25 obstacles, starting with a giant slip n’ slide. Then racers had to pass through a “shooting range” where a line of spectators soaked participants with squirt guns. After another small water slide, runners had to weave through large inflated plastic bags hung in a small open shack.

Racers scrambled over a wall of hay bales, ran through a muddy field, waded in waist-deep muddy water and attempted to run on a slippery inflatable bridge over a large muddy pond.  Those who failed to make it across the bridge had to swim for it.

“It was the best three miles of my life,” said Whitney Lundbrg, 19, who convinced her boyfriend, Jason Nelson, to run the race with her.

Nelson said the best part was the final waterslide at the end, with a large mud pit awaiting racers at the bottom.

When they reached the finish line, photographers took photos of the mud-drenched participants.

Despite the large turnout, there were no major mishaps during the event. A few bumps here, some bruises and a possible twisted ankle, but participants seem to have played the course pretty safe.

Prizes were awarded to participants for costumes, team names, racing enthusiasm and for whoever got the muddiest.

For kids 12 and under, who couldn’t manage the 5k, were given their own obstacle course to combat.  The “Boggy Bayou” included suds to slide through, an inflatable castle to explore, tunnels, tires and plenty of mud. Kids could do the obstacle course as many times as it pleased them.

Runners paid $40 in advance and $50 at the event to participate.

Mike Schaefer and David Knight organized the race, but were not available for comments.

Information, photos, videos and contest winners from Saturday’s race can be found at the Man vs. Mud official website.



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