It was a day for mud – much mud – lots of sweat and possibly the odd tear. Followed by smiles. Many smiles.
About 40 people took the challenge Saturday in the first Mayhem in the Muddy Maize, a 10-kilometre obstacle-course mud race that started and ended in DeMille’s corn maze in Salmon Arm.
For Leslie Stewart of Sicamous, it was her 51st birthday, a muddy celebration she shared with her 18-year-old son Alexander.
“He said, ‘Mother, this is crazy. I’m supposed to get you flowers and perfume, not drag you through the mud.”
Nonetheless, they both enjoyed the race, says Leslie, noting they were able to help each other when needed, each with their different strengths and weaknesses.
Because Alexander had been in cadets he could give her pointers on navigating the three mud pits with barbed wire strung across the top.
“Keeping really low, pulling with your arms and don’t put your bum up,” she says.
As a runner, she could encourage him during the run portions, bparticularly when he was having trouble with stitches in his side.
The duo completed the race in about two hours and 20 minutes.
Organizer Ray Warner of Cool Running explains that, along with the three mud pits, there were fences to climb through, a pond and creek to navigate, the corn fields and trails to run through, bales of hay to get over and mountains of gravel in Blackburns’ gravel pit to climb. He received lots of good comments and there was just one injury, a head scratched by barbed wire.
“It was fun, everybody had a great time, lots of good reviews.”
For Leslie Stewart, one “huge, huge hill” was tough.
“I was pretty much on my hands and knees – he kept encouraging me,” she says of her son.
Then there were the hay bales.
“When they said we’d have to go over bales of hay, I was picturing the little ones. But they were those great big ones we call the giant marshmallows when they’re out in the fields.”
The water obstacles were cold, but the Stewarts both found them refreshing.
“I swim, he scuba dives.”
Overall, both said they would do the race again.
“It was tougher than I thought, but it was a good challenge,” Leslie concludes.
For the inaugural race, Warner advertised it only three weeks ahead of time because he didn’t want to get too many entries.
Of the 40 participants, there were four or five people who did it as individuals and the rest were on teams, which could range from two to eight people. The rule is, all members of a team must finish together, which encourages team-building.
Although awards were not given out for placings this year, Warner noted that Salmon Arm’s Gregg Patterson came in first. He completed the course in one hour, 32 minutes and 33 seconds.
Patterson decided to do the race after participating in the Spartan race at Sun Peaks the weekend prior, an obstacle race up the mountain that several Salmon Arm residents also tested themselves on.
As for Muddy Mayhem, Patterson enjoyed it.
“It was fun, the gravel pit was challenging, running up the sides of the gravel pit. And the barbed wire tagged me a couple of times,” he said, adding that his favourite segments were the gravel pit, the pond and the mud crawl.
“That was all good.”