Hurricane Mud Run satisfies need to get dirty; STGnews Photo Gallery

HURRICANE – The Utah Army National Guard sponsored the second annual Hurricane Mud Run on Saturday near Sand Hollow State Park. Along with over a hundred civilian runners, several dozen guardsmen tackled the 5k (3.1-mile) course, which was filled with 20 obstacles.

The event was broken up into heats starting a 0800, or 8 a.m. civilian time. The course was changed from last year to improve both organization and safety. More obstacles were added, as well.

College students, local ROTC groups and even families hit the trail, which included a mud crawl, a rope swing, a flat wall and plenty of mud to slip and slide in.

“It’s nice to see people have fun,” race organizer Chris Mathisen said. “We built this course to get them muddy. We like to get them muddy.”

Some teams spanned generations, Hurricane, Utah, May 17, 2014 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News
Some teams spanned generations, Hurricane, Utah, May 17, 2014 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News

Members of the local National Guard were on hand to encourage runners and insure the safety of the course.

“Our focus is community support,” Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Bowcutt said.

“That is what we do in the National Guard is support the community,” Bowcutt said, “and this is one way to get out and help with what the community does.”

This was the first year local National Guard member Bre Opdahl participated in the Mud Run. “This was a good exercise with all this extra weight (mud),” she said.

“My favorite obstacle is the rope swing,” Bowcutt said. “You can see some funny stuff coming off of that.”

The bulk of the National Guard participants are part of the local recruitment sustainment program. Units from as far away as Richfield and Delta were shuttled down to join the Mud Run as well as participate in a land navigation field training exercise in the Pine Valley area.

“This course was much better than last year,” said Eric Curtis, a returning Mud Run participant from Tooele. “Way more runs, way more mud – better. Last year it was all running; this year, there are more obstacles, more mud and better medals.”

Mud Run participants, Hurricane, Utah, May 17, 2014 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News
Mud Run participants, Hurricane, Utah, May 17, 2014 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News

The course this year was much more organized, said Staff Sgt. Kelton Hansen, who runs the recruit sustainment program. Last year the course crossed the highway, he said; this year, the course was contained on the north side of the road to Sand Hollow State Park.

The Hurricane Mud Run is an annual event.

National Guard recruiters hope to draw attention to their local efforts and encourage those interested in serving their country to get in touch with them for more information.

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