BY RONALD HANAKI
SC Contributing Writer
Now in its third year, Sunday’s Muddy Madness found 36 participants wanting to challenge themselves to complete the difficult and muddy obstacle course.
Hosted on Stony Acres by event director Madeline Constantine, Muddy Matters is a unique and independent event that aims to encourage fun, fitness, and competition in the outdoors.
Stony Acres is a 119-acre wildlife sanctuary located in Marshalls Creek.
The outdoor course spans about 1.1 miles and requires its participants to complete a total of 10 obstacles.
In addition to land-based obstacles, the contestants must showcase their nautical prowess by kayaking around a buoy.
Moreover, the entire course must be completed three times, so it turns out to be a very eclectic and challenging 5K obstacle course.
There is also a maximum time limit of an hour-and-a-half because the overall goal is to have fun outdoors.
The race categories are separated into ages 13 to 17, ages 18 to 40, and ages 40 and over. It is also divided between women and men.
Although Muddy Madness specifically targets ESU students who are looking for a fun and athletic challenge in a unique outdoor setting, this fall’s competition found more junior racers who wanted to compete than ever before.
First-time participant Eric “Doctor” Januszkiewicz was the overall winner.
“Dr. J” showed off his sublime athletic skills by surgically dissecting the obstacle course in a dominating time of 55 minutes and 29 seconds.
Eric led wire-to-wire and bested veteran and pre-race favorite, Dave Chernati. Dave was neck-and-neck with Eric until he learned the meaning of Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet when he lost time to his bête noire, the dreaded soap slide.
In a bit of home cooking, Kevin Constantine, the event director’s son, was third overall. Kevin was also the top finisher among boys aged 13 to 17. Dave Chernati’s brother Brian finished fourth, and Travis West finished fifth to round out the top five.
Anna Porpora was the top female finisher in a blistering time of 1 hour, 17 minutes, and 5 seconds. After the race, awards were handed out to the winners in their respective categories, and pizza was served to all the participants.
The consensus among the racers was that the soap slide was the most challenging obstacle.
They also named the table crawl and the rope swing the two easiest obstacles.
For her part, even the event director admitted that she was impressed by the creativity shown by the racers in overcoming some of the more challenging obstacles.
The next Muddy Madness event will take place in the spring. Naturally, Mrs. Constantine is planning to change up the obstacles.
When asked what they wanted to see more of next year, the contestants all yelled out, “More mud!”
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