This annual 5K run winds through Genesis Preparatory School's campus?varied terrain that encompasses hills, pine-covered flatwoods, and, of course, gallons of mud. Racers slog through it, and navigate a sprinkling of obstacles, too, but it's worth it at the finish line. Afterwards, participants can enjoy live music and enough food to ensure that no one has to refuel by running the race backward.
To distinguish themselves from lesser mud-race organizers, the founders of Sqwish Sqwash Challenges aspired to design the most elite of mud courses. Thus, they turned to the most elite of men, the Navy SEALs. Drawing inspiration from their special-ops training, SEAL members help design Sqwish Sqwash's four course levels, adjusting the difficulty of each to accommodate beginner, intermediate, and hardened athletes alike. Obstacles range from flooded ditches to piles of mud-caked tractor tires, testing the physical and emotional endurance of both individuals and teams. Each day ends with a post-race party thrown by sponsor and partner Yuengling, plus an awards ceremony that recognizes top runners, the best costume, and anyone who can reach the finish line in an unstained white linen suit.
For those wanting to get into race shape, Sqwish Sqwash's website provides online training plans, as well as recommendations on where to get fit. Proceeds from each race go toward select charities such as the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
Public Safety Organization's Fall Festival honors the changing seasons with hayrides and a healthy dose of mud as the festival kicks off with a nearly 3-mile morning mud run. Afterward, families enjoy themselves until sundown, stopping by the petting zoo to bond with barnyard animals, and noshing on autumnal food and drinks.
Camp Gladiator founder Ally Davidson?s childhood obsession with the outdoors and sports led her to pursue a degree in exercise physiology. After her 2008 win on the TV show American Gladiators, Ally decided to share her love of fitness with the world at large. Camp Gladiator reflects Ally's passion for fitness in its mission, which espouses their desire "to positively impact the physical fitness and ultimately the lives of as many people as possible." During Camp Gladiator Total Transformation, participants lose weight and gain energy in a friendly, positive environment. Over four-weeks, trainers focus on accountability, competition, motivation, and fun at multiple locations. Results are tracked during fitness assessments, body composition tests, and a fitness calendar, while nutrition counseling helps to maximize those results. Click here to view before and after images.
Davidson also leads boot camps in 13 U.S. cities, with each hosting multiple training locales. The upbeat staff of certified personal trainers lead patrons of all ages and fitness levels through four-week outdoor boot camps, earning Camp Gladiator a Hot Spot title from Women's Health magazine's Fitness Awards in 2013, Best Boot Camp from Rare magazine in 2010, Best of Big D 2010?2013 from D magazine, and Best Outdoor Boot Camp 2012 from Austin Fit magazine.
For the organizers of Baddest Mudrun, playing in the mud hasn't lost its fun. Laid out inside a former rock quarry, the mud-drenched 5K course challenges droves of competitors with more than 20 obstacles ranging from climbing walls and monkey bars to water-filled pits. To ensure runners stay hydrated, water flows freely from stations planted throughout the course. Marshals are also on-hand at each obstacle to assist runners and shoo away any pigs prowling for new real estate. Though prizes are awarded to the top finishers in each category, the 5K-run is suitable for runners of all ages and skill levels.
At the end of the course, a tent brimming with upbeat music, food, and beer reward runners for their efforts. Meanwhile, post-race games of volleyball and tug-of-war get sweat glands going again. In addition to dirtying up contestants, the Baddest Mudrun has another aim: to support local charities with the proceeds.
As if distance and mud didn't present enough of a challenge for runners, Eye Mud Run's muddied 5K course is lined with obstacles. En route to the finish line, runners must scramble up climbing nets and wade through a knee-high mud pit that is home to a mischievous mud creature who thinks it's funny to untie people's shoes. Despite those challenges, the course wasn't designed to be so difficult that it couldn't be completed. Runners as young as 13 and up for the adult race can sign up for the 5K course, and those who don't meet the age requirement can try their hand at the kids' 1K run.