Second Epic Mud Run ends with a splash

Brittany Cornelison

Runners power neck and neck through a quick turn, splashing through ankle deep mud to the finish line. Photo by Paige Kiehl.
Hundreds of competitors lined the field at Midway Travel Plaza today, Sept. 2, in preparation for the second annual Epic Mud Run. With the track covered in mud, obstacles, color and even zombies, this was no ordinary 5K.
This race was hosted by UltraMax Sports and the Midway Travel Plaza, who partnered with Veteran’s United and the Air Force in order to make the event possible.
Not only was it a way to get people running for fun, it also raised money for charity. The parking fee and a portion of every registration fee went to the University of Missouri’s Children’s Hospital and Children’s Miracle Network.
Last year the event raised $1,730 with more than 600 competing runners; this year, according to Kaela Rorvig, UltraMax Sports event manager, it should raise even more money because more people registered for the race.
“The great thing about this race is that you don’t have to be a serious professional runner to participate,” Rorvig said via email. “There are all kinds of ability levels that race. It’s really all about having fun and enjoying getting dirty with your friends and family.”
Although this run aimed to raise money for a good cause, people were also out there to have a good time and get muddy. Throughout the day, the runners hurdled over wooden fences, army crawled through tunnels, trudged through waist deep mud, slid down a 300 foot Mega Slide and ran.
“My favorite part was the swampy mud because I got completely covered head to toe,” RBHS junior Raven Birk said. “At parts, whenever you fell into one of the holes, you got mud, like, all the way up to your chest and you had to crawl through it and try to pull yourself up and it was so much fun, but very muddy.”
Competitors crossed the finish line with a forest-survivor like triumph. There was no way of keeping clean – it was all about the mud. This year the attractions were even bigger and better than last year, with the addition of the bigger slides, Fearfest Haunted House’s zombies and color.
RBHS science teachers April Sulze and Jamie McSparin joined up for the race last year.  Sulze said the Epic Mud Run is more like a festival than an actual race.
The end was “probably my favorite part,” Sulze said. “You come down and you slide down this humongous slide, and you’re just getting splashed with this muddy water, but at the very end, like, to get to the finish line you have to dive down underneath this water and come up through the hole of a Port-A-Potty. You actually come out the door covered in this brown mud so it looks like you were swimming in the bottom of the portal potty. So for entertainment value, that one probably cracked me up the most because it was fun and just kind of silly.”
Racers cared nothing about how they looked or even how they smelled. Everyone there was having a good time and enjoying getting dirty. Afterwards there were free refreshments and musical entertainment provided by the Air Force.
“I would recommend [Epic Mud Run] to anyone that likes to have a lot of fun,” Birk said, “and doesn’t mind getting a little dirty.”
By Brittany Cornelison