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Mud Mania

Mud mania
Published on -8/28/2011, 5:15 PM
Hays Daily News
By JUDY SHERARD
jsherard@dailynews.net

Participants in Saturday's Big Creek Mud Run had an excuse for getting dirty.
The 2-mile event was sponsored by Fort Hays State University and the Center for Health Improvement.

With 20 in each heat, the first group started at 9:30 a.m., and a new wave of athletes was scheduled every half hour until mid-afternoon. The course began south of Gross Memorial Coliseum in the intramural area. Besides trying to earn the best time running the course, entrants were challenged with several obstacles.

The mud pit was among the first obstacles. After the first runner came through the pit, others followed in steady succession. Robert Moody, a member of the advanced education department faculty, was stationed near two livestock tanks positioned after the pit. The tanks had just a couple of inches of water in the bottom but required the runners to slosh through before crawling over and through vehicles parked nearby.

Moody said he often volunteers for events. "I look for things to do to be visible at the beginning of the year. It's a nice cool down after the first week of school," he said.

After crawling over the vehicles, the runners grabbed a cup of water from the water station. Some had a quick drink, and others doused themselves before wading into Big Creek on the next leg of the course that led around to the bank on the other side.

A trip down an improvised water slip-and-slide was the last obstacle before crossing the bridge to the finish line.

Christa Weigel, who is an FHSU faculty member teaching radiography and ultrasound, was first to cross the finish line less than half an hour after the first heat was scheduled to start.
"It was good and a lot of fun, but the obstacles were tough," Weigel said. "It's a harder workout."

"It's a great little event. I finished about where I thought I would," said Craig Karlin, director of student financial aid at FHSU. Karlin, Weigel and several others in the first heat are members of a boot camp at the FHSU Wellness Center. The boot camp, led by Emily Washburn, assistant wellness director and instructor, meets for 20 to 30 minutes during the lunch hour Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

"It keeps the flab out," Karlin said. "It's fun," Weigel said of the boot camp.
About 20 to 25 participate in the weekly boot camp, said Karen McCullough, assistant director of international student services, who also competed in the event.

Not all of the participants were from the university, though. Lori Robinson of Solomon said her husband, Mike, heard about the event from a co-worker and decided to enter. A jogger, he trained for a couple of weeks for the event.

Music, and the aroma of barbecue near the finish line, added to the festive atmosphere.
Everyone who participated received a dog tag medal, and the female and male with the best time each got a trophy.