Getting muddy for good cause in Hay River

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Residents of Hay River have a new challenge to face, but this one will be a lot of fun and very muddy.

The first-annual Color Me Muddy Mud Run is all set to go Sept. 8

“Mud runs are kind of getting really popular down south,” said Heather Coakwell, the president of the Health and Wellness Foundation of Hay River, which is staging the event as a fundraiser.

Stephanie Biggar, left, the secretary of the Health and Wellness Foundation of Hay River, and Heather Coakwell, the foundation’s president, stand on one of the obstacles in the first-annual Color Me Muddy Mud Run on Sept. 8. The three-piece inflatable obstacle is the largest in the Mud Run, and was purchased by the foundation for the event.
Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

The Color Me Muddy Mud Run features a one-kilometre-long obstacle course, which participants will navigate five times for a total of five kilometres.

Stephanie Biggar, the secretary of the foundation, said it will be a fantastic event.

“It’s geared towards everyone, because it’s an untimed event,” she said. “It doesn’t mean that you need to necessarily train for months on end to participate. You can still have lots of fun. Get out there, get active.”

Plus, children can participate, Biggar noted. “It’s a family-friendly event.”

While all ages are welcome to participate, anyone under the age of 18 will require parent/guardian consent.

Biggar said that people can participate as individuals, or as part of a team, perhaps five people who each complete one lap of the obstacle course.

“If you don’t think you could do all five yourself, then that would be another way to get a group out, have fun and all participate together,” she said.

As for what obstacles people will face, that’s mostly a secret to increase the surprise and fun of the event, which has its starting point at Keith Broadhead Memorial Twin Park.

“You’ll be definitely sliding. You’ll be doing some running,” said Coakwell, adding that there will also be crawling in the mud. “Which is kind of the point.”

However, Coakwell does have one of the obstables – perhaps the largest one – in her backyard.

It’s an inflatable, three-piece, bouncy castle kind of structure which participants will crawl into and through.

The foundation actually bought that obstacle for use in this and future Mud Runs.

“That’s kind of going to be one of the big features that we’re going to have,” said Coakwell. “And then we’re going to have some other things where you have to also crawl over, get muddy, slip and slide a little bit. There’s going to be a bunch of things you have to do.”

In all, she said there will be about nine obstacles on the course.

But since it is not a timed event or a race, participants themselves can decide if they want to take on all the obstacles.

“If there are obstacles that you feel are too hard or too difficult, you can go around them,” said Coakwell. “In one case, we have one where it’s a steep wall, and if you’re a kid and you can’t get over the wall, you can go under the wall.”

Each participant will receive a medal for finishing.

The Color Me Muddy Mud Run is a fundraiser for the Health and Wellness Foundation of Hay River, which is still known to many people by its previous name, the Hay River Hospital Foundation.

The entry fee for an adult is $65 and $30 for young people 17 years of age and under. All participants get their names put into a draw for a prize, one for an adult and another for a young person.

And for every additional $25 a participant donates, he or she will get another entry into the draw.

The foundation hasn’t set a fundraising target for the first Color Me Muddy Mud Run.

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