from Marine Corps News
More than 1,500 participants are expected to show for the 7th Annual Marine Mud Run at Naval Air Station-Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas. The 10K (6.3 mile) course will be loaded with tons of mud and more than 30 challenging obstacles to overcome. The event serves as the kick-off for the 2005 Dallas/Fort Worth Toys for Tots campaign, an annual tradition in the Metroplex that has grown tremendously in recent years. Funds raised from the charity Mud Run are to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina through the Toys For Tots program and a portion will be distributed to the Dallas and Tarrant County Young Marines Program.
Photo by: USN Photo by PHC(AW/SW) Eric A. Clement
Story by Lance Cpl. Jason D. Laseter
NAVAL AIR STATION-JOINT RESERVE BASE FORT WORTH, Texas (Oct. 15, 2005) -- Over 1,600 participants and 2,000 spectators gathered on the Marine Aircraft Group-41 flight line Saturday for the 6th annual MAG-41 Mud Run at Naval Air Station-Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas.
“The Marine Mud Run is really becoming an annual tradition in Fort Worth,” said Maj. Paul Courtaway, Mud Run event director and Marine Reservist. “This is probably one of the few times that people can actually roll in the mud and do something good for the community at the same time.”
Participants had to slog through the 10K (6.3 mile) course, tons of mud and more than 30 obstacles.
“We like mud and we like running and it just seemed great to combine the two,” said Ellie Slack, member of the all-female team “Dirty Darlings.” “Instead of walking through the mud, if it was deep enough, we swam.”
Obstacles along the way included a cargo net, a wall, a 25-foot “stairway to heaven” ladder, tunnels, and several pits and pools all filled with muck. The signature obstacle is a pair of 75-foot-tall mud hills with a 4-foot-deep pool of mud between them.
“The tunnel was a little scary, I’m not going to lie, it was fun, but it was scary,” said Haley Heard, a member of a co-ed team from Dallas. “I wasn’t expecting how heavy I was going to be when I got done.”
The event, which is open to anyone, is broken down into different classes, with races for single runners, all-male, all-female, co-ed, corporate, government service, and kids teams. Runners may either compete based on time, or they may choose to just take it easy and have fun.
Though they may race individually, many runners like the motivation and support they get from racing with a team.
The “Dirty Girls,” a junior ROTC team from Stony Point High School in Round Rock, Texas, ran for the motivation.
“As a team the obstacles were great,” said Micki Eubanks, “but if you’re doing them by yourself, for us short folk the wall would have been one of the most difficult.”
The event drew runners from all branches of the military as well as police and firefighter units, college students, athletes, and participants from all over the surrounding community.
Mark Lippa, and his team, “SRT,” a tactical unit with the Department of Homeland Security--Immigration and Customs Enforcement, came out for the camaraderie and do a little "team building," he said.
Some race for the exercise, some for the experience, and some just to get dirty and have fun.
“It was a lot harder than I imagined,” said Lydia Prodanovich, a runner from Dallas. "But it was fun, it was challenging.”
The event began at 8 a.m. with the national anthem and a performance by the Marine Forces Reserve Marching Band, recently displaced by Hurricane Katrina, and ended with a trophy ceremony recognizing 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in the following categories: Individual Male/Female, Co-ed, Government Services (Firefighters, Police, Game Warden) and Corporate Team.
Following the main event was a post-race celebration, sponsored by Miller Lite, featuring the local Fort Worth band Latin Express.
The event serves as the kick-off for the 2005 Dallas/Fort Worth Toys for Tots campaign. Funds raised from the charity Mud Run are to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina through the Toys For Tots program and a portion will be distributed to the Dallas and Tarrant County Young Marines Program