Mud Run hits pay dirt in Hay River

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The first edition of the Color Me Muddy Mud Run is being called a big success.

“It was great,” said Heather Coakwell, the president of the Health and Wellness Foundation of Hay River, which presented the event as a fundraiser. “It was well received by the whole crowd that showed up. We had over 100 participants. That was great.”

The event took place on Sept. 8 with 103 registrations to be exact.

1The Color Me Muddy Mud Run on Sept. 8 attracted just over 100 participants, including, left to right, Brianna Goodwin, Keira Coakwell and Emily Schaub.
Photo courtesy of Kim Wilkins

The number exceeded expectations, said Coakwell. “That was kind of our high hopes to get to 100.”

The Mud Run featured a one-kilometre-long obstacle course, which participants could navigate five times for a total of five kilometres, or just do as much as they pleased.

“I think it was one of those events where people weren’t really sure at the beginning, but once it came about and they got out there and the weather was nice and people started getting involved, once the first few kids started, then it really got fun,” said Coakwell.

There has been a lot of positive feedback, she noted. “Everybody is ready for the one next year. So we’re definitely looking at doing it again.”

Coakwell said a decision was made to keep the Mud Run untimed, family-friendly and fun.

“If there was an obstacle that you didn’t want to do, we just let you go around it. Or you could challenge yourself if you wanted to,” she said, adding that some people did the full course five times, while others just went around once.

Coun. Robert Bouchard oversees the slip ‘n’ slide obstacle in the Color Me Muddy Mud Run on Sept. 8.
Sept. 8, 2019
Hay River
Photo courtesy of Heather Coakwell

Some kids just wanted to go up and down a slip ‘n’ slide on a hill.

“That’s what made it a very fun atmosphere,” said Coakwell. “The kids had a blast.”

Everyone who participated got a medal.

The participants ranged in age from two or three-year-olds with their parents to a woman in her 70s.

Coakwell noted that children 12 years of age and under wore wristbands which indicated they weren’t allowed to tackle some obstacles, such as a short kayak ride on the river.

There were also walls of two feet, four feet and eight feet in height.

“That we called the Trump walls, actually,” said Coakwell.

And she noted that everybody liked the pits where they jumped down into the mud.

Organizers are gathering feedback from everybody who participated to see if changes should be made for next year.

Shelby Coakwell scales an eight-foot-high wall, which was one of the so-called Trump Walls in the Color Me Muddy Mud Run on Sept. 8.
Sept. 8, 2019
Hay River
Photo courtesy of Heather Coakwell

Coakwell said that might even mean considering two mud runs on separate days – a fun event and a competitive event.

The Health and Wellness Foundation of Hay River doesn’t yet have an estimate of how much it raised from this year’s event.

“Either way, I would call it a success with the amount of positive feedback,” said Coakwell. “We didn’t have any negative feedback so far. It was definitely a success, and it’s going to be something that we do every year.”

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