By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News
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The Run A Muck Challenge & Music Festival will debut Sept. 29, a Saturday, at the site of the popular sprint boat races off Edgewood Drive.
Runners will slog through water hazards and test their mettle on obstacles such as industrial-sized tires, climbing walls, balance beams and mudslides.
“Basically, you're challenging yourself,” said Kelie Morrison, event organizer and co-owner of the Extreme Sports Park.
“You're going to be rewarded by finishing it.”
Morrison envisions a 5-kilometer obstacle course that caters to people of all athletic ability. If you can't climb over a certain wall, go around it.
The name of the game is having fun.
“I'm just hoping we get a lot of people who show up and have a great time,” Morrison said.
Participants will not wear timing chips as they do in organized road runs.
They will instead hit the course in waves beginning at 10 a.m. and continuing throughout the day.
Competitive types can check their times against a digital clock positioned at the start and finish lines.
Prizes will be awarded to “Muckiest of the Muckers,” “Oldest Mucker,” “Cutest Mucking Couple” and “Most Creative Costume.”
Meanwhile, an all-day music festival and beer garden will be centered near the finish line.
The festival will be headlined by Hell's Belles, an all-female AC/DC tribute band.
The Black Vinyl All-Stars, The Fat Chance Band and a DJ also are scheduled to perform.
Morrison is working on adding to the music lineup.
“People who don't want to run can come and fit right in,” she said of the music fest.
Participants in the mud run will receive a headband, a medallion and a free beer if they are old enough.
The cost is $50 to participate.
Spectators can cheer on their friends and family — or rock out to the music — for a $20 spectator pass.
Camping for RVs, campers and tents will be available at the Extreme Sports Park for $20.
Mud runs have been gaining in popularity in recent years, with new events popping up across the nation.
“I was surprised by how many there are,” Morrison said.
“It's like the latest craze.”
Morrison was approached by someone who suggested that the Extreme Sports Park host a mud run.
She liked the idea and visited a mud run in Carnation to get a flavor of the revelry.
After noticing some chilly competitors, Morrison decided to provide propane heaters and campfires for participants in the Run A Muck Challenge.
Morrison said she is expecting as many as 5,000 attendees for the first-year event, many of whom will travel in from other regions.
“I'm finding out this is typical of events like ours,” she said.
Morrison expects about half of the attendees to participate in the mud run and the other half to come for the music or to cheer on muddy runners.
“It's all about community,” she added.
“We opened the ESP with that in mind.”
The Extreme Sports Park will host sprint boat racing Aug. 11 and Sept. 8. The September race will be the National Finals Championship.
More information about the Run A Muck Challenge & Music Festival, including a video demonstration of a mud run, is available at www.extremesportspark.net.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.