<strong>Wellsville—</strong>Saturday the second annual Man vs Mud 5k drew to an end at the American West Heritage Center. Called “one of the dirtiest events of the year” teams competed for prizes like I Fought the Mud and the Mud Won, Funniest Costume, and Dirtiest Girl <em>and</em> Dirtiest Guy (aka the “muddiest”)<em>.</em>
Contestants ran a 5k race starting with an enormous slip-n-slide and ran through a mud trench, blasted with water by spectators, climbed over hay bales, crossed a floating bridge made out of what looked like big plastic pillows, climbed over a webbing bridge, and finished with another giant slip-n-slide into a pool of muddy water.
The adults weren’t the only people having fun. With parental supervision, children got to run the Boggy Bayou, a smaller Man vs Mud with hay bales, army crawls, lots of foam, and of course some mud.
“I love coming here as a family,” said Alex Larson. “It’s so fun to not worry about being proper or too loud or anything like that. I love getting dirty and getting them dirty. Even the little kids get to play in that bayou thingy. It’s an activity not like any other.”
With more than 3,000 runners–comprised mostly of teams–there was plenty of laughter, slipping, splashing, running, costumes and of course mud. Costumes ranged from the Kool-Aid man to ghillie suits to Indiana Jones and even a wedding party running with the bride in her wedding dress and the groom in his tuxedo.
“I loved being able to come and run,” said contestant Julie Anderson. “The channel, described as bottomless mud, was definitely the best part. So many people in my group were slipping and sliding and taking nose dives into the mud…maybe I helped a little…but it was a blast.”
“I loved it,” said contest J.C. Sanchez. “One of the best activities of the summer. I can’t wait for next year, plus it feels good to donate my shoes to a good cause too.”
At the end of the race contestants are hosed down, and as they leave they have the option of donating their shows to a company called the Green Sneakers program. They shoes specifically are being donated to help the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Many were walking back to their cars barefoot.
“This was awesome,” said Jeff Smith. “We got dirty, we screamed, threw mud, and even got a little exercise along the way. It was a pretty awesome activity, and in the end we helped someone else out in a small way.”