BY SARAH PORTERFIELD
SC STAFF WRITER
Thirty-five people participated in the 5 K obstacle race at Stony Acres, Marshalls Creek, Pennsylvania on Sunday afternoon.
The racers arrived to register at 12:30, and volunteers already had a registration table set up where the participants came, gave their name and got a t-shirt. A volunteer wrote the racer’s number on his or her face and leg with a marker.
As the racers successfully completed each station or obstacle, the volunteer at that station would check off his or her number. The obstacle course was approximately one mile, and those racing had to complete it three times.
If a participant missed an obstacle, a penalty would be added to his or her time (a two-minute penalty for the first round and a three-minute penalty for the second and third rounds).
All racers were given one and a half hours to complete the 5 K course. After that amount of time the foghorn was blown and all racers had to return to the pavilion area regardless of finishing or not.
All those racing started lined up in a driveway. They then had to run through a rocky trail around the lake, down a small grassy slope, and back up the slope on a slip and slide.
When they arrived at the stream station after running through the forest, racers had to crawl under an orange net through the stream and under a bridge.
Next, they ran up Memory Hill where a poster board was at the top of the hill with three lists with five words written on it.
The lists had categories with types of tree, cars and energy drinks. Racers had to memorize the list and recite it back to volunteers at the bottom. From there, racers followed the path through the forest back to the road.
Awaiting them in the grassy yard by the road was a tractor tire, where participants had to flip the tire five times forwards then turn around and flip it five times again.
Around the corner was the hula-hoop tunnel where several hula-hoops were planted in mud and hay, through which the racers crawled. After that was an area with two lines of tires that the participants had to run through.
A sack carry was the next activity where racers had to carry large loaded bags across the field and back. The wooded area ahead contained logs, which racers could choose to bench press ten times or squat with twenty times.
Following the logs was the rope swing where participants swung on and had to land two feet in a circle object or one foot in two circle objects. The fitness station featured three rounds of fitness exercises.
The sack hop involved hopping to a cone and back inside of a sack. Then the last obstacle was army crawling under several picnic tables through a mud pit. On the third and last round, racers actually rolled under the finish sign and shouted out their number.
There were winners for each of the three categories: men, women, and junior. Dave Chernati won for men, Jacquie Foran for women, and Kevin Constantine for juniors. Chernati is a senior this year and has won in Muddy Madness previously.
He described his experience this year as, “Muddy, exciting, definitely more challenging than last year, but totally worth it.”
Foran described Muddy Madness as, “A new challenge conquered and a great experience.”
Constantine said he would definitely do it again and he referred to it being “very fun.”
When various other participants were asked after the race how they would describe it, they came up with the following words: “fun,” “painful,” “ferocious,” “intense,” “all-encompassing,” “strenuous” and “muddy.”
The racers were not the only ones who had fun. Several of the volunteers said they enjoyed the whole experience. Student volunteer Chrissy Hodges said, “It was fun seeing everyone go through the obstacles.”
There were approximately fifteen volunteers, including some students from the Recreational Event class.
Madeline Constantine, the main planner of the event, said the goal of Muddy Madness was “fun!” and also “muddy fun.” This is the second year of the obstacle course races.
The first similar race that was done was called “Down and Dirty Dash,” but after being informed by a lawyer in Utah they were not able to use that name, the name was changed to “Muddy Madness.”
One racer told of her experiences, “The race was competitive, but I also experienced a lot of encouragement as well. When I started to slow down, various volunteers or other racers would cheer me on and I did the same for the other racers. I made several new friends.”
“When I crossed the finish line, I was covered in mud, wet to the core, and sore all over. But it was one of the most glorious and satisfying moments ever.”
Many perceived Muddy Madness as strenuous and as a challenge, but almost all participants left Stony Acres with smiles on their faces and, of course, mud all over.
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